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Thu 15-Mar-2012 20:38
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The Ball Stop
Watson’s Wand to weave its magic for Loughgiel
As he takes to Croke Park on Saturday, Loughgiel star Liam Watson will rely on a batch of fresh handmade hurleys to strike glory for the Shamrocks and emulate the victorious All Ireland team of ’83.
Hurley maker Micheal Scullion’s link with that great ‘83 team ensures the Shamrocks prospects have once again been handmade at home in Loughgiel by Scullion Hurls.
Like his father before him, Micheal Scullion is hurley maker to the Shamrocks as they seek to emulate the men of ’83. In the weeks coming up to the game Micheal has been flat out with the spokeshave ensuring the Shamrocks have the ash for the job in hand. That and a constant supply of new sliotars for training and challenge games.
Said Micheal Scullion: “The majority of the team use Scullion Hurls now. I think there’s only a few boys don’t use my sticks but we’ll be working on them!”
Among the players that do ask Micheal to handmake their hurls is sharpshooter Liam Watson: “Yes, Liam has been using my hurls for a good while now. Every player is different in the stick they like and he has his own preferences.”
“It’s funny you soon get to know exactly what they want. In Liam’s case he likes a good thick handle with a large bas. He prefers a fresh hurl, says there’s something about the feel of fresh timber. Other lads would hate to use anything other than their number one stick but Liam got three new sticks off me for the match. He likes a fresh hurley and I make them the way he likes them. He’s raring to go.”
Although Micheal has been supplying the team, there wasn’t much demand for back up hurls during the semi final. He explains:
“There wasn’t a stick broken in the semi final. I was tempted to take the credit for that because of the way I’d made them.
“But I suppose it comes down to the style of hurling the boys are playing, they are hurling the ball very well rather than pulling on anything that moves. They are great to watch these days.”
With his brothers Joey and Martin in the Loughgiel ranks, Micheal will be hurling every ball from the Stand in Croke Park come Saturday. He knows too that every score that comes from the hurl of Liam Watson and most of his teammates has its roots in his workshop nestling opposite Shamrock’s pitch.
“It will be fantastic for the parish if we can win it” says Micheal. As a hurley maker he is delighted and immensely proud his handmade hurls will be used on the biggest stage of all in Croke Park on St Patrick’s Day.
“It would be nice if Winker or our Joey could hit the winning score using one of my sticks, I just hope that boys can perform the way they did in the semi final again,” said Micheal with fingers crossed.
Just one more step to complete that link with ’83 All Ireland team.
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