In a pulsating finale that will be etched in the memories of Kilkenny hurling fans, O’Loughlin Gaels secured their fifth Kilkenny Senior Hurling Championship title in the club’s history, marking a significant milestone and breaking a six-year drought since their last triumph in 2016. The tightly contested final on Sunday saw O’Loughlin Gaels emerge as 0-20 to 0-19 victors, also denying the formidable Shamrocks a historic sixth consecutive title.
As the final whistle echoed through the stadium, the O’Loughlin faithful erupted in jubilation, celebrating not only the victory but the resilience and determination displayed by their team throughout the competition.
Captain Mark Bergin, a pivotal figure in O’Loughlin Gaels’ triumphant journey, expressed his elation in the post-match interview. “We said in December that we were going to go hard on this,” Bergin declared with a smile that mirrored the joy of the entire squad. “Brian came in, he galvanized us all, and as I said in the speech, he reminded us what it’s like to play for O’Loughlin Gaels.”
Bergin’s mention of their new manager, Brian Hogan, underlines the impact of fresh leadership on the team’s success. In his inaugural year at the helm, Hogan’s influence has been transformative, injecting renewed vigor and a winning mentality into the squad. Bergin continued, “It’s such a great club, huge memories that we have. I’m just so happy for the panel players.”
The victory speech carried a sense of gratitude and admiration for the entire team, highlighting individual contributions, such as Hugh Lawler’s stellar performance. “I know you’re speaking to Hugh Lawler there. You talk about us who are elite, the best fullback in the country over the last two years. What a man,” Bergin exclaimed, acknowledging Lawler’s prowess and the collective effort that brought O’Loughlin Gaels back to the summit of Kilkenny hurling.
The triumph over Shamrocks not only ended their pursuit of a record sixth title but showcased O’Loughlin Gaels as a force to be reckoned with in the Kilkenny hurling landscape. Mount Leinster Rangers, the Carlow champions are what awaits now in provincial competition as the Gaels aim to build on this historic triumph and etch their name even deeper into the rich tapestry of Kilkenny hurling history.
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Have a listen to our Kilkenny Hurling Podcast. Each week Robbie Dowling and former Blacks and Whites manager Eddie Scally cast their eye over all the action from the weekend’s senior, intermediate, and junior league and championship games as well as looking ahead to the next round of action.