Moyne Templetuohy bidding to break 25 year spell in intermediate.
The curtain raiser to the senior game has more than a degree of interest attached and the novel pairing of two fine clubs in The Premier County is sure to draw a sizeable attendance early to Semple Stadium on Sunday.
Moyne Templetuohy, a club steeped in tradition last won the county title in this grade back in 1983 and are now seeking their second crown. Interestingly, on the day when Loughmore Castleiney won the Mid title in 1988 en-route to winning the county title - the team being feted this Sunday in celebration of their silver jubilee anniversary - Moyne Templetuohy were relegated to the intermediate grade. Drom-Inch it was who consigned them to intermediate in a game played at Templemore 25 years ago following the introduction of a by-law at the Mid Convention of the previous year.
A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then and Moyne Templetuohy have come close to regaining senior status on a number of occasions. But, it has alluded them so far and as they prepare this week for the big game on Sunday, they will be hoping that this can be their year.
Their campaign has been indifferent so far - they fell to four in a row Clonakenny in the Mid Final, but managed to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and got back on the horse again. They will be hoping to use all the hurt of the last few years to good effect when they take to Semple Stadium on Sunday.
Ballina are in unchartered territory having won a first ever North title this year and now seeking a first ever county title also. They fell to Silvermines in last years County Final in a one sided game and they will want to make amends for what turned out to be a big disaster on the day.
The experience of the big day might have gotten to them last year, but it could well be the difference this time round when they face the Moyne Templetuohy lads.