Ahead of the championship, few were expecting Mount Leinster Rangers not to make the county final.
That isn’t a slight on other teams, it is just a testament to the ever-consistent form of Rangers. You would have to go back to 2014 for the last time they did not appear at the final stage. In fact, since 2001, they have only not been decider three times. So many would be forgiven for assuming Bagenalstown as underdogs going into the encounter.
On this day though, the underdogs won. It will go down as one of the biggest shocks in recent years in the Carlow Senior Hurling Championship as an inspired Bagenalstown Gaels defeated champions Mount Leinster Rangers on a memorable day in Netwatch Cullen Park.
Talisman Craig Doyle, was overcome with emotion after the game, speaking with scoreline he said;
“It is a relief. We are ecstatic. It was something we aimed to get to when Gavan (Nolan) took us on. We set our stall out nice and early three years ago and this is the end result. When I say end result is getting there is a part of it, the next part is to going to win one.”
“We showed all of Carlow, we are a team to be reckoned with once again.”
Edward Byrne found the back of the net within two minutes to seemingly begin Mount Leinster Rangers’ march to another final. Heads did not drop for the Gaels and Doyle attributes that to the success the side has experienced at the underage levels over the years;
“One thing these guys are not going to panic. They have won loads underage, they are driving the bus, and the likes of me is just along for the ride. They are used to winning, so why would it be any different when they get to the senior level? We have been really good underage but we never brought it to the senior table, hopefully this is the start of it.”
“It would mean to the world to the older lads. We have hurled for a long time, and we have very little to show for it. It means a great deal to us, we would not be still here if we did not love hurling.”