Croke Park bore witness to a tale of triumph and redemption on Saturday night as Kilkenny sides, Tullogher Rosbercon and Thomastown, secured All-Ireland titles in their respective grades, etching their names in the annals of GAA history.
In the junior decider, Tullogher Rosbercon emerged victorious against Cork’s St Catherine’s with a resounding scoreline of 2-21 to 1-13. The Kilkenny champions set the pace early on, with Marty Murphy hitting the back of the onion net and Walter Walsh adding to the misery with a sublime “daisy-cutter” of a goal, securing a comfortable lead for Tullogher Rosbercon.
Cian O’Donoghue’s stellar performance, amassing an impressive 10 points, earned him the accolade of Detail Men’s Wear Man of the Match. As the final whistle blew, Tullogher Rosbercon had avenged their 2009 Junior All-Ireland final loss, triumphing by three points over Dripsey.
In his acceptance speech, Colman O’Sullivan paid tribute to manager Michael Doyle, describing him as “the best trainer I ever had.” However, in an interview with KCLR that can be heard in full on Sunday, Michael Doyle redirected the spotlight to his background team, acknowledging their pivotal role in the team’s success.
“I’m no fool. I’m very lucky to have stumbled across such a talented team,” shared Doyle. He emphasized the contributions of individuals such as Jack Cotrill, Tom Murphy, Richie Dollard, Ger Mullally, and Martin Buachill, highlighting the tireless work they put in behind the scenes.
Reflecting on the motivating factor behind the victory, Doyle disclosed the impact of the 2009 loss and the clever move made by Jack Cotrill before the match.
“It was a bit of a stroke of genius from Jack Cotrill…he took out his runner-up medal before the match, and you don’t need me to tell you what that means. As a player, that gives you a lift.”
Doyle also acknowledged the psychological advantage gained from the previous final loss to a Cork team, emphasizing its role in motivating the Tullogher Rosbercon side.
As the celebrations continue, Tullogher Rosbercon’s triumph stands as a testament to resilience, teamwork, and the pursuit of redemption. The players, under the guidance of Michael Doyle and his dedicated background team, have etched a new chapter in their storied history, and the echoes of their victory will resonate within the club for years to come.
Reporting by Scoreline.ie Donagh Maher