The most significant success of a remarkable hurling year?
Champions of Carlow are champions of Leinster after historic win over champions of Wexford
Mount Leinster’s Jack Murphy and Paul Coady celebrate after yesterday’s game at Nowlan Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
Seems like Jedward might be able to carry a note or two after all. Mount Leinster Rangers struck a blow for Carlow hurling in the most spectacular way at Nowlan Park yesterday when they beat Wexford champions Oulart-The-Ballagh by 0-11 to 0-8 to take the county’s first ever senior provincial hurling title back to Borris.
Tom Mullally’s side outhurled and outfought Oulart to condemn them to their fourth Leinster final defeat in four years. The perennial Wexford kingpins have now been runners-up six times in Leinster without ever winning the competition. No other non-winner has lost more than three.
But this was Mount Leinster’s day. Founded in 1987, they only won their first Carlow title in 2006 and have been quietly building by the year. They were All-Ireland Intermediate champions in 2012 and came in here as underdogs to be sure but underdogs had bite to their bark all the same.
“There was no point coming up here not thinking we could win,” said Mullally afterwards. “To me this is a special bunch of players, they pride themselves on doing it right, they don’t get carried away with success – they didn’t get carried away with the win over Ballyboden, for instance. The Wednesday after that, training was a bit iffy but by Friday we were focused and the players were set on this game.”
Corner-forward Denis Murphy finished the day with eight points, all but two from frees. The Carlow side were carried by massive displays from Richard Coady and Derek Byrne as well. All three played on the Carlow side the lost the 2006 minor final to Kilkenny, as did substitute Hugh-Paddy O’Byrne. They got tonked that day as boys but walk away from this one as men. Made men.
Presumably a note of congratulations will be read out at the next meeting of the Cork County Board.