O’Loughlin Gaels emerged victorious in the AIB Leinster Senior Club Hurling Championship on Saturday, securing a hard-fought win against Na Fianna at the iconic Croke Park.
Brian Hogan’s side triumphed with a final scoreline of 0-22 to 1-18, clinching the provincial title in a tightly contested match.
In a post-match interview, Hogan attributed their successful season to an unwavering focus on internal dynamics and player abilities rather than external influences. He remarked, “All the time the focus was on reinforcing the ability that the lads have and focusing on ourselves.” Hogan emphasized the importance of maintaining concentration on their game plan, particularly when facing unfamiliar opponents from outside the county.
Hogan highlighted the challenges posed by teams beyond their local sphere, acknowledging the need for a quick turnaround in preparation. Despite limited familiarity with certain oppositions, O’Loughlin Gaels relied on a strategy of analyzing key aspects while maintaining a primary focus on their own strengths and tactics.
“Each opposition we came up against, particularly the teams outside of the county who the lads wouldn’t be as familiar with them so in terms of this week it was a quick turnout.”
“We did try to, analyze and give the lads some information in terms of what to expect but then was about it what we wanted to do and focus on ourselves and all the external noises was for other people. That was certainly the way I was focusing anyway.”
The Leinster triumph not only solidified O’Loughlin Gaels’ regional dominance but also secured their place in the upcoming All-Ireland semi-finals. In two weeks, they are set to face Ruari Og Cushendall, who earned their spot after a victorious performance against Slaughtneill in the Ulster final.
The Kilkenny side will make the trip to Navan on Sunday, December 17th for a 1.30pm throw in at Páirc Tailteann. The other semi-final takes place on December 16th with Ballygunner and St Thomas’ going head-to-head in Laois Hire O’Moore Park at half past 7.
The upcoming clashes are anticipated to showcase top-tier hurling action as these elite clubs strive for national glory in the All-Ireland Club Hurling Championship.