Meet the new, same as the old.
Yes, Ballyhale Shamrocks are the newly crowned Kilkenny senior hurling champions, just like they were last year, and the year before, and the ye….you get my drift. It was the fifth time in a row, and Shamrocks equaled Tullaroan’s record with 20 titles.
It was also redemption for one man, who has suffered numerous setbacks over the years, Darren Mullen. Out of the Mullen brothers that started last weekend, Darren, Adrian, and Paddy, each has been unfortunate with a stream of knee issues plaguing the brothers over the last few years, specifically cruciate injuries.
See also: Shamrocks make history, beat James Stephens to 2022 Kilkenny senior hurling championship crown
Speaking to Scoreline Darren was extremely grateful to be able to play and make history with his club;
“Personally, it is great. A lot of injuries, and a lot of time on the sidelines but when you get to play in games like this and make history as we did. It is absolutely great.”
“We were always on the up underage, we battled hard. We did not do a whole lot underage but when we came to minors and under 21, it started to come together. The success we had over the last few years and long may it last.”
See also: Pat Hoban knew a fierce performance was on the way from TJ Reid
There were some moments in the final where it look the drive for five may be stopped, and one moment, in particular, was the sending off of Darren’s brother, Paddy. Referee Conor Everard deemed that Paddy had wildly pulled at the start of the second half, thus Shamrocks were reduced to 14 men. Amazingly Pat Hoban’s team seemed to only get better as the match progressed, and Mullen seemed to outline that the sending-off spurred them on:
“I felt we were in the driving seat, and we tapped over a few points, and we seemed to settle. We started to hurl really well, it opened up for us and did not seem to faze us.”
See also: Ballyhale Shamrocks v James Stephens, 2022 Kilkenny senior hurling championship final
When will this dominance stop? That is a question asked coming out of UPMC Nowlan Park come to the final whistle. It certainly does not look like any time soon, with a plethora of talent coming through the ranks and the brilliant final score of the game from Niall Shortall emphasized that, Mullen said of the score;
“It was a wonder score. Niall is coming up the ranks, and this year he seemed to push on, it’s unbelievable.”
“Himself, Cillian Corcoran, and more lads on the sideline, it is great having these lads coming through.”
To hear the full interview and more listen to Scoreline Extra below: