Will it be a two-in-a-row for Cuala or a second title after a gap of five years for Kilcormac-Killoughey?
The top teams in Leinster Club hurling will contest an eagerly anticipated final at O’Moore Park, Portlaoise, this Sunday at 2pm.
Cuala stormed through Dublin, Leinster and All-Ireland campaigns last season and seem equally intent to repeat the feat.
For their part, Kilcormac-Killoughey completed a hat-trick of Offaly titles earlier this decade and subsequently represented their county with distinction in the provincial championships, securing the title in 2012, and almost snatching another two years later.
In recent weeks, Cuala easily disposed of Dicksboro (Kilkenny) in the quarter-final by 2-20 to 1-16 and St Martin’s (Wexford) by 3-17 to 0-15 in the semi-final. Dual star Con O’Callaghan and free-taker David Treacy continue to be the top marksmen for Mattie Kenny’s side.
Former All-Star goalkeeper, Stephen Byrne is enjoying his first year in charge of his home club Kilcormac-Killoughey. Similar to their opponents, they’ve enjoyed a trouble-free passage to the final, disposing of Castletown-Geoghegan (Westmeath) by 2-15 to 1-12 and Mount Leinster Rangers (Carlow) by 2-21 to 0-10, with Ciaran Slevin, James Gorman and Daniel Currams all in top scoring form.
This is the first Club SHC final between the champions of Offaly and Dublin since Birr beat Ballyboden St Enda’s by a point in 2007 – a similarly close and exciting game appears to be on the cards this Sunday.