Shamrocks’ Colin Fennelly has confirmed his inter-county retirement from the ranks of Kilkenny senior hurling.
Fennelly was on the field to lead and in the stand to lift the Tom Walsh on Sunday afternoon with his Shamrocks side completing a four-in-a-row of senior hurling titles in Kilkenny.
Ballyhale finished up 3-19 to 3-15 winners, having trailed at the last water break before turning up in the heat in traditional Shamrocks fashion for the final quarter-hour of play, the second time the club have completed four-in-a-row (also 2006-2009).
If tradition was followed, a return to the Kilkenny fold for the 2022 season would likely have seen Fennelly named captain of the senior hurlers as has been customary for county-winning captains to take up the inter-county role.
A four-time All-Ireland winner with Kilkenny, Fennelly sat out the 2021 inter-county season, then “taking some time out to regain his appetite for county action and focus on work commitments”.
Fennelly also won two All-Stars during his time with the Cats, in 2014 and 2019.
Speaking to reporters following Sundays win, Fennelly says while he has had enough, it was a fantastic time in the black and amber.
“I had a year to think about it and I am glad I took that time to think about it. I am happy playing with the club and there are so many young lads coming through. I had a great time playing with Kilkenny. Fantastic so it was.”
While the inter-county career is confirmed to have finished, the club journey continues in earnest.
The 32-year-old now leads Shamrocks into the Leinster hurling championship with Carlow’s Mount Leinster Rangers on the horizon for the end of the month, all with an eye on a first-ever three-in-a-row Leinster and All-Ireland club hurling title.