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'Being underdogs suited us' -...
Hurling

'Being underdogs suited us' - Brendan Maher after Borris-Ileigh shock St. Thomas'

Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

06:55 5 Jan 2020

For the first time in 33 years, Tipperary's Borris-Ileigh will contest the AIB All-Ireland Senior Club Hurling Championship final.

They upset the odds today beating last year's finalists Galway's St. Thomas' on a scoreline of 1-21 to 1-14 at the LIT Gaelic Grounds in Limerick.

Speaking to Off The Ball at full-time defender Brendan Maher said it suited them to come in under the radar.

"I suppose we were coming in slight underdogs today which was merited obviously was merited with St Thomas' record being in a club final, back-to-back Galway champions - they're a savage team.

"I suppose we came in with nothing to lose - that suits this team, we have a lot of free spirits on this team and we're allowed to let them loose and they just go out and express themselves.

"We combine that with a savage work ethic and a serious positive attitude like we always back each other up. the dressing room is always so relaxed before games but we know in the back of our heads that we're about to go to battle and we go to battle for each other and I think that's what's most important about this team."

They'll face reigning champions Ballyhale Shamrocks in the decider in two weeks time after Henry Shefflin's side beat Derry kingpins Slaughtneil by five points in Newry earlier on.

Maher said it's a special moment for the community as they prepare for the biggest day they'll have had in three decades.

"It's the first time for everyone here. 33 years - it's stuff that dreams are made of. We've two weeks of a lead in to a big day in Croke Park, we'll be proud men wearing the maroon and white of Borris-Ileigh on the 19th.

"We're going up there now with brothers, cousins, friends that you've grown up with - it's different, it's special.

It's a day we're going to embrace, we've embraced every day this year - we said that we were going to enjoy every minute of this. We've enjoyed training, the slog over the Christmas.

We came down with a smile on our faces and we're leaving with a smile on our faces again today.

"The next day we'll go out and give it everything we have, we're absolutely going to be underdogs again.

"Ballyhale are a serious team- the standard-bearers for the last decade and we'll go out and give them a rattle and see what happens."

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AIB All-Ireland Senior Club Hurling Championship Borris-Ileigh Brendan Maher

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