Cavanman Jimmy John Owens has announced that he will be taking up hurling next season after being inspired by the performance of Kilkenny intermediate hurling champions, Ballyragget.
The Breffni county would not be known as a hurling stronghold but it is rumoured that the county board has received a mountain of proposals from new clubs looking to form a team. Speaking to Balls.ie, Mr Owens said, 'Those lads in Ballyragget have done more to progress the idea of hurling in Cavan than a lifetime of development structures.'
Interestingly, Mullahoran and Cootehill Celtic, the only two senior club teams in Cavan, have both requested that they be regraded down to Intermediate.
Owens' club Ballymachugh enjoyed major success this year on the football field, winning the Cavan Cullys Craft Bakery Junior Championship but when he reflects on what Ballyragget have acheived in Kilkenny, it's clear that an intermediate hurling championship is the new must-have prize in the GAA:
When you look at the celebrations in Kilkenny, it's obvious Ballyragget's championship journey created a very special bond between the players and their supporters.
Their performance really put Ballyragget on the map. I didn't even have Slapchat until this week but now I do be on it the whole time.
Jimmy John isn't fully sure of the rules of hurling but he's confident he can pick it up as he goes along 'It doesn't seem all that complicated really. I think it will take me a while to get used to not wearing any clothes during the match, that isn't something we have to deal with in football but sure we're made of hardy stuff in Ballymachugh.'
Owens said that while he didn't own a hurl, he does have a handle of a silage grape and sure won't that do rightly.