Mount Leinster Rangers have dethroned champions St Mullins after victory in the Carlow senior hurling final yesterday to win back the title after a three-year absence.
First-half goals from Dean Tobin, Chris Nolan and Fiachra Fitzpatrick helped the Rangers men to victory in Sunday’s JJ Kavanagh & Sons senior hurling final in Netwatch Cullen Park. St. Mullins went into the game as favourites having won the title in 2022 and were trying to make it back-to-back victories since the three-in-a-row win in 2014-2016 but their near-neighbours had different ideas, trying themselves to reclaim a title not held in three years. In the end, St. Mullins never really threatened their Borris opposition after the break and even a goal from Jason O’Neill couldn’t help the defending county champions retain their title.
“We were good enough, we did most of our good hurling during the year down in the field in Borris”, manager Paul O’Brien told KCLR after the final whistle.
“We were patchy enough at stages here in Dr Cullen Park. We’ve been aiming all year just to be right for last week and this week and I suppose it worked out in the end. I’ve been at all St. Mullins’ games except the first one and they’ve been excellent. They brought a lot of that again today, but luckily, we were set up for it today. We’ve said ‘we’re shite’ if fellas are not working hard, if we don’t have that as a baseline there’s no point.”
“A lot of those young fellas came in and made a huge impact. There are some fellas there have 11 senior titles now at this stage. More important, Sean Joyce in the full-back line made some amount of interceptions towards the end of the game. He was really really good and that’s his first final.”
“Tim Brennan came on and scored a point right away, he hasn’t scored all year. That’s one of the reasons I said to him that he wasn’t playing. I’m delighted for fellas like that, they come in and make an impact. Donagh Murphy – first final. Ciaran Kavanagh, Dean Tobin, first time starting in a final I think. They both made huge impacts. Ciaran Kavanagh scored three points, Dean Tobin scored a goal, Fiachra was excellent – you’d forget he’s so young. We’d have put a fair bit of pressure on him to try and perform like there’s an expectation on him to perform, and I think he was very good in midfield the last two days.”
There is a bit of a wait now for ‘Rangers before they take part in the Leinster club championship but ahead of that, they will prepare for the football championship getting underway in a fortnight’s time.
“We’ll worry about enjoying this week and then we’ll get our focus on the football. The club has never been to a senior football final or won the senior title and that’s where the focus goes now, and its a lot of the same fellas and you want those lads to push on and have that internal drive to do that”, said O’Brien.
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