St Rynagh’s collected their 18th Senior Hurling Title on Sunday last when they came from the brink of defeat following an enthralling battle against Birr.
Birr who hit the ground running and were 1-3 to no score to the good after six minutes – the goal coming from Eoghan Cahill after an initial save by Conor Clancy from Morgan Watkins.
St Rynagh’s were finding it hard get their feet and trailed by 1-7 to 0-4 at the break, with an impressive Birr lording it throughout the field.
A massive push saw St Rynagh’s claw the game back to three, but with forty three played, Birr were in the driving seat 1-11 to 0-7.
Nothing could have prepared the 5,000 strong crowd for what was to come. St Rynagh’s in the closing quarter of the half, outscored Birr by 10 points to one.
The introduction of Diarmuid Horan and Stephen Quirke by Ken Hogan and his management proved to be decisive with the dup contributing six from play.
It a late injury time score from Joseph O’Connor who sealed the deal. The final scores reading 0-16 to 1-12.
St Rynagh’s: Stephen Quirke 0-4, Aidan Treacy 0-3 (0-1 Free, 0-1 ’65), Sean Dolan 0-3, Diarmuid Horan 0-2, Ronan Hughes 0-1, Aaron Kenny 0-1 (Free), Gary Kelly 0-1, Joey O’Connor 0-1.
Birr: Eoghan Cahill 1-5 (0-3 Frees), Colm Mulrooney 0-3, Craig Taylor 0-1, Brendan Murphy 0-1, Morgan Watkins 0-1, Paddy Mullins 0-1.
St Rynagh’s: Conor Clancy (Capt.); Stephen Wynne, Conor Hernon, Dermot Shortt; Matthew Maloney, Ben Conneely, Paul Quirke; Gary Kelly, Aidan Treacy; Ronan Hughes, Joseph O’Connor, Garry Conneely; Sean Dolan, Ciaran Flannery, Aaron Kenny.
Subs: Stephen Quirke for Ciaran Flannery (27 mins), Diarmuid Horan for Garry Conneely (Half Time), Luke O’Connor for Aaron Kenny (48 mins), Garry Conneely for Gary Kelly (57 mins), Ciaran Flannery for Diarmuid Horan (62 mins).
Birr: Brian Mullins; Jimmy Irwin, Dylan Watkins, Oisin Murphy; Brian Watkins, Paul Cleary, Sean Ryan; Eoghan Cahill, Stephen Lonergan; Craig Taylor, Dylan Hayden, Colm Mulrooney; Morgan Watkins, Brendan Murphy, Barry Harding (Capt.).
Subs: Paddy Mullins for Barry Harding (11 mins), Michael Verney for Dylan Hayden (49 mins), Dylan Quegan for Paddy Mullins (54 mins), Eoin Pilkington for Brian Watkins (58 mins), Tomás Bolger for Stephen Lonergan (62 mins).
Referee: Kieran Dooley (Drumcullen).