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Sunday 26 October 2014

Peregrine's swoop on historic final

St Peregrine's will make history when they contest this Sunday morning's Dublin MHC 'C' final in Russell Park (11.0).

The Blakestown Road club will be making their debut in a hurling championship final at minor level with manager Cillian Burns well aware of its significance.

"Traditionally, our club would be perceived as being stronger at football and that is why making the final is very important to the development of hurling within the club.

"In some years, we may not have been able to even field a team and that has had a knock-on effect for our adult teams, as the players weren't coming through in large numbers.

"We're very much looking forward to the match but of greater importance is that we don't want this to be the end of their hurling careers. The strength of the senior hurling panel is naturally the most important thing," said Burns.

St Peregrine's enter the final in form having overcome Kevin's, Cuala 'B' and Round Tower's Clondalkin.

The foundation for those wins has been based on a disciplined and frugal defence in which captain Ciarán McCarthy has shone at centre-back.

At the opposite end of the field, Mark Sweeney has been racking up impressive tallies and their chances will be further enhanced if dual player Eric Lowndes is free to tog out.

Lowndes, who has featured in the All-Ireland football and minor finals for the past two years, could be part of Jim Gavin's senior football panel for their NFL Division 1 opener this Saturday, but Burns is optimistic the versatile defender will be allowed to honour his club commitments the following day.

"Please God, Eric will be able to feature on Sunday.

"He exerts a huge influence on the rest of the panel and naturally our chances of winning will be much higher if he gets to play on Sunday," concluded Burns.

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