THE U-21 grade, introduced in 1964, is one of the most attractive competitions in hurling. This championship has proved to be a solid bridge from minor to senior. The first two championships, in 1964 and 1965, were contested by Wexford and Tipperary, with honours even.
Clare has consistently performed well, but had to wait until 2009 before Ciarán O’Doherty became the first Clare man to raise aloft the magnificent Cross of Cashel. Since then, the county has enjoyed unprecedented success, with Conor McGrath, Paul Flanagan and Tony Kelly, all leading Clare to victory.
The Cross of Cashel shines a light on all 51 All-Ireland U-21 finals, conjuring up the great names who made this grade special. From a Clare perspective, there is a lot to be taken from this book, with Clare teams and captains photographed in colour. It also includes team-sheets, scoring records and there is a synopsis of each All-Ireland final since 1964. The foreword is by John Costigan, a former Tipperary full-back of note. Author Jim Fogarty has done a splendid job on The Cross of Cashel.
By Ollie Byrnes