Carton hopes the Larriers can bring 'Boden's incredible winning streak to an end
DUBLIN club hurling is back in the swing. The Cups are presently banishing the cobwebs, then it's onto the League.
The Senior Championship is away in the distance, but still very much in the players' gaze. The draw last week ensured that it's only around a couple of corners.
O'Toole's are in Group B along with holders Ballyboden St Enda's, St Vincent's, St Patrick's (Palmerstown), Kilmacud Crokes and Faughs. Nothing handy there.
Dublin senior Michael Carton hopes it will be the Lordly Larriers that will be climbing the Parnell Park steps in the Fall.
"We had a good season last year. Reaching the semi-final wasn't bad," says Michael. "Hopefully this season we can push on a bit more and win the Championship.
"Yet, in fairness, we are all playing catch up with Ballyboden. They are a great side and they have such a strong panel.
"But they have to lose sometime, and hopefully when that day comes it will be to O'Toole's."
In last season's semi-final, O'Toole's gave 'Boden a searching test on the first day before the Firhouse men emerged comfortably in the replay ahead of securing the three-in-a-row.
O'Toole's were the last club to achieve the three-in-a-row, and the Ayrfield boss, Damien Hernon, a member of that adventure back in the 1990s, has the ideal mixture of experience and young talented players on the rise.
And regarding the Dublin team, Michael believes that it's the hurlers who have progressed through the ranks that have considerably helped Dublin hurling.
"I reached two Leinster under-21 finals. We lost both of them to Kilkenny," recalls Michael.
"There's an awful lot of underage talent coming through, and they are adding so much to the senior set-up.
"These lads don't fear anybody, and that's great. There are so many good sides out there. People say Cork are getting old but I don't agree. They have such a good panel."
Michael adds that the brother's specially crafted hurleys could well be a secret weapon in that aim!
Peadar is doing well in his new hurley making business. Many of the Dubs are using the sticks.
The order book is filling up -- email@example.com. Or phone 086-0612231.
Looking to the future, O'Toole's would love to break the grip of the 'Boden Boys.
When they last hit the Dublin jackpot in 2002, Michael was in his Leaving Cert year but was on the team.
And maybe, just maybe, eight years on, the Cartons will do the trick in Donnycarney's field of dreams.