Kelly looking forward to giving it a lash at Croker
15 March 2017
Clare's Tony Kelly and Cathal Naughton of Cork during the 2013 All-Ireland final replay.
It's hard to believe that Tony Kelly's last run out at Croke Park was the 2013 All-Ireland SHC final replay victory over Cork.
The Banner County's fortunes on the inter-county stage have dipped since that memorable day but the 23-year-old will, once again, grace the hallowed turf this St Patrick's Day in the colours of his club.
It's fair to day that Ballyea's march to an All-Ireland Club SHC decider against Cuala has come as a surprise to the former Hurler of the Year.
“If you'd told me in 2013 coming off the field with Clare that the next time I'd be in Croke Park would be with Ballyea, I would have said, 'Jaysus I won't be here for a very long time',” he quipped in conversation with The Irish Independent.
“We definitely didn't expect to be here.
“Let alone get to Croke Park, we thought we wouldn't be playing in Cusack Park but if you can't really play in Croke Park you can play nowhere.
“It's a place that it's kind of off the cuff and you give everything a lash.”