Denis Kelly pictured sharing the Seamus O'Riain Cup with Michael Scully of Roscrea.
Father and son bidding for county final honours with two different clubs on the same day.
When Toomevara Manager Denis Kelly was asked whether he or his son Jerry would be claiming the lions share of the attention this week, in the lead-up to the County Final, there wasn't even a moment of hesitation.
“ I would say it is definitely the kid. We will have to look after him over the next couple of days. Sunday is going to be a busy day alright. It’s a great situation and also with the 1992 Toomevara team honoured for the three in a row as well. It is one we are really looking forward to,” the cuurent Toomevara Manager said.
Of course Jerry is a key part of the Borris-Ileigh attack - his grandather Timmy Delaney was in the Borris' side in 1986 when they last won the Dan Breen Cup, but missed out on the final due to injury.
So, while Jerry, who has enjoyed All-Ireland minor success with Tipperary and Harty Cup and All-Ireland Colleges success with Our Lady's Templemore in the last 13 months, will be the focus of much attention in the Kelly home, Denis too has plenty to occupy his own mind ahead of the Seamus O'Riain Cup final against Roscrea.
“It is very important to get back to Semple Stadium. Some of these young lads haven’t played there before and to get a bit of silverware would be great. The first part of our aim for the year was to get up and compete in the Dan Breen next year. That’s achieved and now we will try and cap it off and get a good win against Roscrea.
Jerry Kelly (centre) pictured with his grandfather Timmy Delaney, who won county titles and an All-Ireland Club Final with Borris-Ileigh, and Ciara Maher.
“We are very pleased with the championship. We have blooded a lot of young players. They came through from the under -21 last year and it has really worked well for us. I suppose the older lads are helping to bring them through and give them loads of confidence,” Denis told The Tipperary Star this week.
A multiple county senior hurling final winner with Toomevara, Denis has coached extensively since hanging up the boots and together with the new Tipp U-17 boss Tommy Dunne, he has masterminded the return to the top table of 'The Greyhounds.'
And, two of their main men are very experienced lads and household names in the county.
“Joey McLoughney has been colossal this year - our stand out player - and we have lads coming off the bench too. We have used twenty two or twenty three players at this stage and they have all played their part. Ken Dunne too is absolutely unreal. He is still going strong and there is no sign of him given up any time soon. It’s brilliant the way he came back after illness. He was in the field a few weeks after he came out to hospital. He was mad for road. We are very happy to have him around the place,” Denis said - Ken had taken ill earlier in the year in Cork and was very fortunate to have been dealt with immediately when it was discovered that he had a serious tumour. His recovery and return to the game has been an inspiration to the Toome' lads.
Toome', are working hard to fight back and with u-16 and u-21 success behind them, the groundworks have been underway for some time. But still, there is a distance to go and the club has a determination to roll up the sleeves and get on with it.
“At the start of the year we realised we were down in Seamus O’Riain for three years and our objective was just had to get out of it and we achieved that. It would be nice now to cap it off and our juniors are into a county semi final and they train with us as well. It’s looking good for the club at the moment,” Denis says.
As for Roscrea? “We always have had good games against Roscrea. We met in the first round of the O’Riain Cup and we were very lucky to come out with a one point win. There will be nothing in it again. Unfortunately we are going to be down a couple of players. Joey McLoughney got married on Friday and he will be missing as well as John O’Brien. But we have loads of talent on the bench and they will be mad to show up in Semple Stadium,” Denis said ahead of the big game.