Last weekend brought with it one of the biggest shocks in recent memory in the JJ Kavanagh & Sons Carlow Senior Hurling Championship as an inspired Bagenalstown Gaels side defeated Mount Leinster Rangers in an enthralling semi-final.
Goals from Jake Doyle and Jamie Clarke were the difference between the sides as they moved one step close towards their first title since 1967.
Manager Gavin Nolan’s experience leading his own club Conahy Shamrocks to All-Ireland glory in 2020 has proven to be far from a one-off as he has worked his magic to guide Gaels to a final in his third year at the helm.
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Speaking following his side’s outstanding performance, Nolan elaborated on what it would mean to win a Carlow county title, the importance of the semi-final victory and the strength of his panel.
“Since I have been here the boys have given me massive commitment.
“The semi-final win was huge for us because we lost out at that stage last year and this was the next step for us as a team. It’s what we wanted and it certainly is a great result for hurling in Bagenalstown Gaels.”
He continued: “We have a lot of young players who were getting used to senior hurling and the pace of it. We had everyone fit for the semi-final and that was crucial for us.
“It’s a panel effort and it’s brilliant to get over the line and be involved in a final. There’s no trophy handed out though and we have to be ready for the final.”
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“It’s a brilliant challenge to have to get to prepare for a final. I don’t think anyone is moaning about training or anything because this was our goal at the start of the year and now we’re here.
“Winning with Conahy, nothing compares to it, but if we do get over the line with these bunch of lads then it might top everything because they are just brilliant.”