28 September 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By John Graham
Castleblayney won the Silver Hill Foods Seniior Hurling League Final last Saturday and now have their eye on the bigger stage of the Ulster club championship.
Blayney boss Paul Hughes saw the league final as ideal preparation and also a good occasion to give some of the squad players match experience but he is also aware that it is a big step up from senior hurling in Monaghan to the standard at intermediate level in Antrim.
“Yes we were able to bring in a full complement of substitutes and we have been trying to do that all year and giving them experience in the final is vital because it will help build lads confidence and improve their game as we try and bridge the gap from the squad players to the senior players.
“I was happy that the players we took in all did a job for us because that gives us options because it is a big step up particularly on the intensity level from playing club hurling here to what it is in Antrim. Antrim teams will play for the full 60 minutes and will play very hard, fast, direct hurling. We have tried in the Armagh league to get that level of hurling and play at a more consistent level and you could see today the difference in the two levels. “We need to bring our A game to Casement Park for us to compete with the Antrim champions. We are well able to do that because it just can’t be a Jekyll and Hyde performance, it has to be a true performance from start to finish and these guys are capable of that. We had some hard words at half-time and they needed to be hard but the guys responded to it which …

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