It may well be the hurling off season but there will be plenty of camáns and sliotars to be seen in Kill next Sunday when the annual Long Puck takes place.
Now in its eighth year, the Long Puck has sealed its place in many a Christmas calendar and attracts hurling talent from around the country. Indeed, All-Ireland winners such as our own Davy Fitzgerald and Kilkenny’s James McGarry are previous entrants to the competition.
Some of our own local stars have also trundled around the picturesque route and the likes of Ken McGrath, Dan Shanahan and John Mullane are all regular participants in the festive fun in Kill. Others to make an appearance over the years include, Tony Griffin, Colm Bonnar, Liam Fennelly, Willie O’Connor and Cork star, Brian Murphy.
In previous years, local charities have been the beneficiaries of this event. This year, Kill GAA club are using the opportunity to build new dressing-rooms for the club which as anyone who has ever played out there will testify, are badly needed. The successful St Anne’s Camogie club and St Marys Juvenile Club will also benefit from this year’s event.
Last year, 145 teams participated in the competition and I’m sure if the weather holds, even more will make the journey this Sunday. Competition is sure to be stiff and one wonders whether former Waterford stalwart, Daithi Foran will be able to hang on to the title he claimed last year along with his son, Darren and Micheál Harney.
The entrance fee is €60 per team and there is concession for students which means that they can play for €10.
The ‘Apres Puck’ will take place in Dunphy’s Bar where they will also be serving the seasonal hot toddy’s beforehand. There will also be a refreshment stand half-way around the 2.75-mile course where players can keep the heat in with a hot soup. Each participating team will also be served a hot meal afterwards in Dunphys Bar.