St Mullins bid for their first ever Leinster club hurling crown on Sunday and forward Marty Kavanagh has revealed an inspiring moment from the semi-final.
The Carlow outfit defeated Cuala in the quarter-final, a feat which was overshadowed by the heart attack suffered by selector Micheál Ryan, father of panel player Oisín.
Thankfully, Micheál is making a full recovery, but still made a timely intervention in the last four victory over Rathdowney Errill, as Kavanagh reveals:
"We were obviously a point down and the game was there to be won and the manager Niall O'Donnell came in and said he was just off the phone to Micheál from his hospital bed. He told us what Micheál said - just a bit of advice in the second half and we took it on and thankfully it worked. We'd have loved for him to be there, but I suppose we used it as a motivator too to give him another day out at a Leinster final. Thankfully he'll be able to go now next Sunday and it's great for him."
The heartwarming news is that Micheál Ryan will be able to attend Sunday's AIB decider against reigning All-Ireland and club champions Ballyhale Shamrocks of Kilkenny in Portlaoise.
St Mullins is a small club in South Carlow and they will bidding to match the achievement of Mount Leinster Rangers, the Carlow outfit that won the provincial crown in 2013.
Kavanagh says the rural location dovetails with a hurling heritage:
"There's two churches, there's no shop. Three national schools. There's a cafe down by the river. Anyone that knows it, it's a beautiful space. It's over 100 years old the club. It's always been a hurling mad club. It's just what you have grown up into. Every year we have a good team, so thankfully this year now we are after pushing on in Leinster, because in previous years we haven't been doing that. We're really looking forward to Sunday and we'll see how it goes on the day."