Clare captain, Ciarán O’Doherty will never forget the countdown to the All-Ireland U-21 hurling final following the birth of his baby daughter, Abaigeal last week.
The Crusheen corner-back will have another reason to celebrate for the second time in eight days if the Banner dethrone All-Ireland kingpins, Kilkenny in the eagerly-awaited decider in Croke Park.His girlfriend of five years, Michelle Carroll from Broadford gave birth to Abaigeal, who weighed 6lbs at 4.35am on Friday.
The baby was due on the day after the All-Ireland semi-final against Galway but Ciarán was spared an awkward dilemma when she didn’t have to go into hospital early.
“It was on my mind before the Galway game, but once I went into the bus, I put it to the back of my head. I am over the moon with our new baby.
“It was good timing over a week before the final and gives me a clear run to concentrate on the game against Kilkenny.
“It would be nice to top it off if Clare win on Sunday. After losing the minor and intermediate All-Ireland finals, Kilkenny will be more motivated to beat Clare. Kilkenny U-21s have a wealth of experience at senior level.
“Their win over Tipperary on Sunday showed you can never take your eye off them. If you do, Kilkenny will punish you,” he said.
Abaigeal might not know too much about hurling at this stage but she will no doubt send Ciarán off to Croke Park with her version of the Clare Shout.