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Twin telepathy with a cruel twist for the Hannans

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*Tom Hannan chases after Bryan Donnellan. Photograph: Chris Copley

Twin telepathy is an ongoing debate, you may believe it or you may not but upon hearing the similar injuries of serious degrees sustained by Hannan twins of St Josephs Doora/Barefield, one may have their views altered.

Both Tom and Jack were Stateside for the summer on a J1 Visa, they had expected to miss some games in the championship for the intermediate hurlers and footballers of St Josephs Doora/Barefield. “The injuries that lay in store were obviously not part of the overall masterplan. I was away in the States for the summer so a lot of people knew I was going to miss some games but I was looking forward to coming back, being a part of the squad but unfortunately I got injured so that cut my season short,” Tom outlined.

His season ended due to a cruciate ligament injury while in America as their time there was drawing to a close. Very soon after returning home, Jack picked up what was feared to be the exact same injury but has transpired to not be as serious. “Initially we feared that it was the cruciate but he went up to Ray Moran in Santry, got a scan, he has a strain on his cruciate and the other ligament of his knee”.

“It was quite bizarre alright. I done mine in America and as soon as we came home, Jack seemed to go over on his knee. We were initially both up with Ray Moran the same day which was gas to be fair”.

Ray Moran may have thought he was seeing double, “You couldn’t have wrote it really,” Tom remarked. Jack has been much more fortunate and was sprung from the bench on Sunday as the club’s intermediate footballers came up short against St Breckans. An appearance for the hurlers is not expected according to his twin brother, “I can’t see him playing much at the weekend to be honest, he hasn’t played a hurling game for the club since April, it would be very unlikely that he’ll play”.

On Friday, he underwent an operation and is now on crutches, Hannan is hopeful of being back on his feet in the next few weeks. For now, he’s to adjust to a difficult build-up the intermediate decider as undeniably he’s itching to be on the field but instead must play the role of supportive teammate. “For myself, it’s tough to watch on but I’m still part of the panel even though I may not be playing, it’s still great we’re in the county final and hopefully we can win on Saturday to come straight up after a tough year last year”.

When they last won the intermediate title, Tom was a minor and a watching spectator. For their knockout ties, he has been on the sideline and has been impressed with their use of the ball and danger men up front. “We’ve a couple of big men up front, Cian Barron and Alan O’Neill have been winning powerful ball in the half and full forward line which is great for a back’s perspective, under pressure they can leave it up long and the lads will win it. Inside you have Conor Tierney and Brian Guilfoyle who have been working fierce hard, Tierney the last couple of games has scored a goal in both games and a couple of points, he’s in good form which is good for us going into the weekend”.

Relegated from senior last year, Seanie McMahon has stayed in charge of the side, the presence of the former Hurler of the Year is always welcome and respected by the current panel. “Seanie keeps a cool head the whole time, he will always take you aside and give you whatever advice you need, see how you’re getting on, he keeps a personal relationship with everyone on the panel which is good, above else he has a cool head, at times you just want someone to stay composed on the line and that always seems to be Sean,” the third year business student at UL said.

This year saw the return of Newmarket-on-Fergus native David McCormack to their set-up, the primary school principal trained the side that last had success in this grade. “We’ve plenty lads involved in the club, they’re parents or they grew up in the club but it’s good to have someone from the outside coming in with a fresh perspective. He’s a fantastic coach and he has been an unreal addition to us this year, when you come down to the field, training is on at 8pm and he’s there at 7:30pm with all the drills set up, you’re going into your hour’s training and straight away it’s all there ready for you. It’s great to have a man who is so committed to Doora/Barefield hurling even though he is not from Doora/Barefield”.

Retaining Division 1B status was a key goal at the beginning of the year to have them properly prepared for championship. 2019 also marked twenty years since they were crowned All-Ireland club champions, such history brings a level of pressure according to the dual-player. “There is a small bit of pressure but we’re a very young team, lots of us weren’t even born then when that happened.

“For other members of the club who were around in them glory days it’s vital for them that we are up playing senior hurling but as players we believe we are good enough to senior standard so that is where we want to be hurling. When you win championships and go into Munster and All-Ireland it’s all bonus territory, the momentum builds then. For us, we just want to get back to senior and take it from there”.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, and A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to -

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