Coolderry won their 31st Offaly senior hurling championship title, in front of 5,072 spectators at Bord Na Móna O’Connor Park this afternoon Sunday. In what was considered one of the best county hurling final for years, Coolderry won this game in the five minutes either side of half time when they outscored the reigning champions 1-5 to 0-1 in that period.
Brian Carroll was Coolderry’s chief marksman and finished the game with 10 points, however, he was just edged for man of the match by centre back Kevin Brady, who game a master class display and scored a crucial point from play mid-way through the second half. To their credit Kilcormac/Killoughey were not going to surrender their title easily and had the deficit back to just a point as the game entered the final minutes. However, Coolderry finished the stronger and hit 1-2 in the last five minutes to close out the game.
Despite being the only unbeaten team in the championship this year, Coolderry went into this as underdogs but the merit of their win was beyond dispute.
Scoring 1-2 in the last few minutes got Coolderry across the finish line and it would not have taken a lot for Kilcormac/Killoughey to edge the contest this one but the winners displayed a great work ethic all over the pitch.
Coolderry’s defence was particularly strong with Stephen Burke, Trevor Corcoran and Kevin Brady all outstanding and they repeatedly repelled Kilcormac/Killoughey attacks.
In a pulsating encounter, Coolderry had first use of the wind. But by the 25th minute Kilcormac/Killoughey had edged 0-7 to 0-6 in front, However, Coolderry finished the half the stronger and aided by a Kevin Connolly goal led by 1-9 to 0-8 at the interval.
Ultimately that lead proved sufficient. As expected Kilcormac/Killoughey had a lot of possession and dominance in the second half but never looked like getting the goal they needed. With five minutes left, they had it back to a point, 0-17 to 1-15 and it was all in the mix. Coolderry, however, finished powerfully with Eoghan Parlon getting the clinching goal and Carroll adding points.
Coolderry: Stephen Corcoran (0-1, 0-1 free); Stephen Connolly, Trevor Corcoran, Stephen Burke, Barry Teehan, Kevin Brady 0-1, Brian Kelly, Mark Bergin, David King 0-1, Eoghan Parlon (1-0), Conor Molloy 0-1, Declan Parlon; Brian Carroll (0-10, 0-6 frees and 0-2 ‘65s’), Martin Corcoran (0-1), Kevin Connolly (1-2). Subs: Cathal Parlon for Kelly (h-t), Daniel Miller for D Parlon (40 mins), Joe Brady for M Corcoran (51), William Malone for Molloy (51).
Kilcormac/Killoughey: Conor Slevin, Ger Healion, Enda Grogan, Oisín Mahon, Kevin Grogan, Damien Kilmartin, Killian Leonard, Stephen Leonard, Dylan Murray (0-2); Peter Geraghty, Ciarán Slevin (0-6, 0-4 frees), Conor Mahon (0-3); Dan Currams (0-1), Cillian Kiely (0-2), Tommy Geraghty (0-2). Subs: James Gorman (0-1) for S Leonard (44), Conor Lowry for Currams (49).
Referee: Shane Guinan (Drumcullen)