Edward Byrne says Kilcormac-Killoughey gave Mount Leinster Rangers the belief to reach the 2014 All-Ireland Club SHC final.
The Carlow and Leinster champions were defeated by Portumna at Croke Park on the biggest occasion in their history. The previous season, they had been pipped by KK in the Leinster club championship and the Offaly kingpins went on to reach the St Patrick's Day showcase. As the two clubs prepare to lock horns again for a place in this year's Leinster decider, Byrne admits that Sunday's opponents contributed to MLR's rise to national prominence:
"When we played Kilcormac in 2012, they beat us and we were sitting there watching them the whole way through the championship and we watched them win Leinster and they got to the All Ireland final and that gave us encouragement that we were good enough to do it because the game with Kilcormac was close enough," he reveals in The Irish Daily Mirror.
"It's grand having that experience but you need that injection of youth too. We have a few lads coming along and they are hurling alright at the minute but it's good to have the experience to know what is coming.
"They have the bones of that team and they are very strong with very good hurlers. Offaly are always that step ahead of Carlow at intercounty so that tells its own story so we expect them to be unbelievable on Sunday and it is a home venue too for them so it's all in their favour and we will be underdogs.
"We'll look at them later in the week and see what we can do in our match-ups."