Thurles CBS had 40 subs on sideline for Harty Cup thriller and every one of them worth their place
90 minutes of hurling, 66 scores and still nothing between them.
Thurles CBS and John The Baptist Community School Limerick played out a thrilling Harty Cup quarter final on Wednesday afternoon in Dundrum.
A game that had everything bar a winner, the schools were tied on a scoreline of 3-31 to 4-28 after normal time and two periods of extra-time during which John The Baptist player Dylan O'Shea scored 2-17 and young Tipperary forward Devon Ryan responded with 0-14 of his own.
In the end, the word was that a free-taking competition would decide the day but given the standard and the competitiveness of the game, both schools agreed it wouldn't be a fitting way to solve it and a replay will now take place on Saturday week.
Such a tight, pulsating and long drawn out affair, strong panels were key to both sides staying alive at different stages in the game but strength in numbers certainly isn't something the Tipperary school are lacking.
Indeed, spectators present in south Tipperary were more than likely surprised to read on the pre-match programme that Thurles CBS had no less than 40 substitutes listed with their panel stretching to what is surely a GAA record of 55 players.
Now thats what you call a real panel !! 55 names on the programme for Thurles CBS' Harty cup quarter final today!! Great stuff to see so many hurlers training all year!! #GAA #HartyCup pic.twitter.com/7JvqLQHY3y
— Stephen Gleeson (@StephenGleeson_) January 9, 2019
Only six of those forty subs got the nod on Wednesday but the school's deputy principal Ollie Kelly assured us on Wednesday that each one of the 55 was as deserving of their place on the panel as the next.
"Hurling is massive in the school, we've four first year teams and from the very beginning in first year it’s all of those lads' dreams to play Harty Cup for Thurles CBS. Of course, we as a school encourage that and love to see so many of them so involved and so competitive and that's why we've so many hurlers at the level this year," he said.
"Every single member of that panel was out on them cold mornings training over the Christmas," he continued.
What it results in is two sets of jerseys, a very packed dressing room and an insanely competitive battle to make it onto the first 15.
There's something in the water down in Thurles.