ANTRIM’S U21 SIDE will return to the site of last Saturday’s famous triumph when they meet Clare in this year’s Bord Gáis Energy All-Ireland U21 hurling final.
Semple Stadium in Thurles was confirmed today as the venue for the game on Saturday September 14th.
Despite Antrim’s players and supporters having to embark on a far longer trip to the Tipperary venue than their counterparts in Clare, the GAA have opted to stick with Semple Stadium to host the game.
Semple Stadium has been the venue for the last three All-Ireland U21 finals although controversy erupted in 2010 when Galway protested at having to play the game there given their opponents Tipperary were playing in their home pitch.
In the wake of that episode, the GAA ruled that all future U21 hurling finals would be played at Semple Stadium but an alternative venue would be chosen if Tipperary were one of the participating counties.
There will be a throw-in time of 5pm for this year’s showdown with Cork’s Colm Lyons the referee for the encounter.
Antrim will be the first Ulster side to contest the final of this competition after they shocked Wexford in last Saturday’s semi-final despite being 12/1 outsiders beforehand to defeat the Leinster champions.
The GAA also confirmed other major fixture details for the coming weeks this afternoon:
Saturday August 31st
All-Ireland IHC final: Kilkenny v Tipperary, Nowlan Park, 6pm, (Ref: Tony Carroll, Offaly)
Sunday September 1st
All-Ireland MFC semi-final: Roscommon v Tyrone, Croke Park, 1.30pm, (Ref: Derek O’Mahoney, Tipperary)
All-Ireland SFC semi-final: Dublin v Kerry, Croke Park, 3.30pm, (Ref: Cormac Reilly, Meath)
Saturday September 7th
All-Ireland MBHC final: Meath v Kerry, Nenagh, 3pm, (Ref: TBC)
All-Ireland MCHC final: Mayo v Monaghan, Ballinamore, 3pm, (Ref: James Clarke, Cavan)
Sunday September 8th
All-Ireland SHC final: Clare v Cork, Croke Park, 3.30pm, (Ref: Brian Gavin, Offaly)
All-Ireland MHC final: Galway v Waterford, Croke Park, 1.15pm, (Ref: Cathal McAllister, Cork)
Saturday September 14th
All-Ireland U21HC final: Clare v Antrim, Semple Stadium, Thurles, 5pm, (Ref: Colm Lyons, Cork)
All-Ireland U21BHC final: Kerry v Kildare, Semple Stadium, Thurles, 3pm, (Ref: Fergal Horgan, Tipperary)