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Super-sub, 74, scores winning goal

ST GABRIELS have unearthed an exciting new prospect ahead the summer’s championship.

The club’s intermediate team were 2-10 to 2-7 winners over Thomas McCurtains in Goodmayes on Sunday in Division Two of the London Hurling League, with corner-forward Kerril Burke pouncing to grab the winning goal late in the game.

But Burke is no up-and-coming youngster. At 74 years of age, the St Gabriels chairman already has six London SHC titles under his belt from his playing days.

However, the Athenry native made a shock return to action on Sunday when he was introduced at half-time. The Gabriels only had 14 players and needed to start the second-half with the full compliment to avoid forfeiting the game.

Burke obliged and did more than just make up the numbers, hitting the target for a goal that proved to be the difference between the teams.

“I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and put the ball in the net,” he told The Irish Post.

Burke doesn’t recall the last time he togged out in the Gabriels jersey – “It’s so long ago I can’t remember” – but he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of doing so again. After Sunday’s heroics, it will surely be difficult for management to ignore his claims for a starting place.

“Will I play again? Quite possibly. I’d never say never. I have warned some of the senior players to watch their backs. Nobody’s place is safe,” he joked.

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