Croke Park witnessed a triumphant night for Kilkenny sides as both Tullogher Rosbercon and Thomastown clinched All-Ireland titles in their respective grades on Saturday night, leaving the county’s hurling fans in a celebratory mood.
In the junior decider, Tullogher Rosbercon showcased their prowess by overcoming Cork side St Catherine’s with a commanding scoreline of 2-21 to 1-13. The team’s relentless spirit and skill were on full display as they secured a well-deserved victory on the grand stage of Croke Park.
In the intermediate final, Thomastown proved to be a dominant force, emerging victorious with a resounding 2-23 to 0-13 triumph over Castelyons. The Kilkenny and Leinster intermediate champions showcased their class and determination, leaving no room for doubt about their deserving claim to the All-Ireland title.
Following Thomastown’s outstanding campaign, manager Noel Doherty sat down for an interview with KCLR, providing insights into the team’s journey and the significance of their All-Ireland triumph.
Thomastown, having previously secured an All-Ireland title at the Junior grade in 2013, have now elevated their status as they prepare to enter the Kilkenny senior championship next year. Some even predict that they could replicate Clara’s previous success, winning the senior title in the year they secured promotion.
Noel Doherty acknowledged the weight of expectation and pressure that the team felt after years of falling short in the intermediate grade. He shared, “Over the previous few years coming up short, there was a massive weight of expectation so there were mixed emotions. There was a sense of relief.”
He highlighted the team’s preparation and their ability to deal with distractions as crucial factors in their success. Doherty expressed gratitude for the opportunity to train under lights, emphasizing the outstanding appearance of Croke Park.
The Thomastown manager also commended the classy gesture of the Kilkenny County Board for allowing them to train at the iconic venue. The team’s homecoming in Thomastown was a special occasion, with crowds turning out to celebrate the historic achievement.
Reflecting on the journey, Doherty noted the impact of learning from previous losses, stating, “If you learn from those losses, I think that’s huge. I think it was a catalyst for us to be more ambitious. I think we’re all the better for it.”
The victory has not only lifted the spirits of the Thomastown community but has also inspired younger members to aspire to be part of the team. Doherty concluded, “It was an experience I will never forget.”
For the full interview with Noel Doherty, providing deeper insights into Thomastown’s journey to All-Ireland success, tune in to KCLR Scoreline this Sunday and relive the moments that define Kilkenny’s hurling excellence.
With reporting from Scoreline’s Donagh Maher.