Coolderry return to the winner’s enclosure
Powerful finish gets Coolderry over the line against Kilcormac/Killoughey
Tempers flare between the Coolderry and Kilcormac-Kiloughey players in the final at O’Connor Park. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho
Coolderry 2-17 Kilcormac/Killoughey 0-17
Coolderry won their 31st Offaly senior hurling championship title in O’Connor Park on Sunday and this was as sweet as any of their previous successes with Kilcormac/Killoughey forced to play second fiddle.
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. Their defence was particularly influential as they snuffed the life out of a rated Kilcormac/Killoughey attack while they laid a powerful foundation in the first half.
In a rip roaring tussle, Coolderry had first use of the wind. Kilcormac/Killoughey were looking good when they led by 0-7 to 0-6 after 25 minutes but Coolderry got 1-3 in the remaining minutes of the half to lead by 1-9 to 0-8 at the interval with the goal coming from Kevin Connolly.
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.
Coolderry: S Corcoran (0-1, 0-1 free); S Connolly, T Corcoran, S Burke; B Teehan, K Brady (0-1), B Kelly; M Bergin, D King (0-1); E Parlon (1-0), C Molloy (0-1), D Parlon; B Carroll (0-10, 0-6 frees and 0-2 ‘65s’), M Corcoran (0-1), K Connolly (1-2). Subs: C Parlon for Kelly (h-t), D Miller for D Parlon (40 mins), J Brady for M Corcoran (51), W Malone for Molloy (51).
Kilcormac/Killoughey: Conor Slevin; G Healion, E Grogan, O Mahon; K Grogan, D Kilmartin, K Leonard; S Leonard, D Murray (0-2); P Geraghty, Ciaran Slevin (0-6, 0-4 frees), C Mahon (0-3); D Currams (0-1), C Kiely (0-2), T Geraghty (0-2). Subs: J Gorman (0-1) for S Leonard (44), C Lowry for Currams (49).
Referee: S Guinan.