Tullaroan made history on Saturday afternoon as they sealed the club’s first league title in 20 years with a comfortable victory over reigning champions Bennettsbridge in a one-sided decider at UPMC Nowlan Park.
Following a league campaign that saw them defeat Ballyhale Shamrocks and claim top spot, the 2019 intermediate champions maintained their strong form in a classy display that propelled them amongst the favourites for this year’s county championship.
Attention will quickly turn to Saturday’s quarter-final clash with Erin’s Own for Ken Coogan’s side as they look to secure a semi-final spot for the second consecutive season.
See also: Ballyhale Shamrocks manager Pat Hoban on victory over Glenmore: ‘Our second half performance won’t be good enough in a tighter game’
Speaking to Scoreline following his team’s victory over Bennettsbridge, Coogan reflected on an historic day for the club, where they stand going into the championship and swatted away suggestions that there will be higher expectations for the team for the remainder of the championship.
He began: “We’re happy with the performance. You don’t get the chance to win many county medals in Kilkenny so we were totally focused on winning today.
“We’ll leave next weekend until we come to it, but for now we’re delighted to have won a final and picked up some silverware.”
“Bennettsbridge were the form team coming into this one. We had a bit of momentum before thus however, and we wanted to keep that going.
“We’re under no illusions that championship will be completely different, but at the same time, we just wanted to go out today and play our own game and that was enough to get the win.”
See also: Tullaroan claim first silverware of the season with league final defeat of Bennettsbridge
The staunch clubman pinpointed the area in which Tullaroan must focus on if they are to continue their charge.
“Our work ethic is what we are concentrating on. We know we have good hurlers, but every other team does too.
“It’s the team that gets in the hooks and blocks that will go far in this championship. That’s the key ingredient.”
The manager also spoke passionately about the club before making an effort to put a memorable victory behind them very quickly.
See also: Big Game Live: Bennettsbridge v Tullaroan, Kilkenny senior hurling league final
“We have a great tradition and a great love of hurling even if we don’t have huge numbers. The panel have been doing great and we got to give some lads a run today.
“The league is completely over now and the championship is totally different. I can’t say that enough.
“The Shamrocks are still the team to beat and there’s no pressure on us really because we’re into an entirely new competition.
“There’s so many strong teams in the championship and we’ll try our best and see where that takes us.”
We’ll have full live commentary on KCLR of all four quarter-finals in the St Canice’s Credit Union Kilkenny Senior Hurling Championship this weekend, with Tullaroan taking on Erin’s Own at 2.30pm on Saturday afternoon.