This year’s Tipperary hurling final brings together Thurles Sarsfields and Borris-Ileigh, with the former aiming for a fourth success on the trot.
Now across the road from the Sarsfields clubhouse and Semple Stadium is Bohernanave church and parish. The resident priest is Father Vinny Stapleton and he will line out for Borris-Ileigh in Sunday’s decider.
“I grew up in Borris-Ileigh and literally breathed in hurling”, Fr Stapleton told RTÉ Sport ahead of Sunday’s showdown.
“When I decided what I wanted to do after the Leaving Cert I put down primary teaching because of the holidays, of course not realising how tough a job it is but I did it to suit my hurling.
“When I was teaching I got great satisfaction out of teaching the religion and that came as a call to me.”
As to whether Borris-Ileigh can upset their nieighbours at Semple Stadium, the 35-year-old added: “We are mad underdogs with the bookies.
“You look at the calibre of players that Sarsfields have, but yet we’re quite confident. There’s been a great bond built into the team this year.
“If we win there won’t be a cow milked or mass said for a couple of days.”
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