St. Mullins claimed their 28th Carlow senior club hurling title on Sunday and for some of the panel, there’s no slowing down.
Jack Kavanagh has been-there-done-that over the seasons and when we put it to him immediately after Sunday’s win over Bagenalstown, he was as hungry at the final whistle as he was for the opening one.
“You never get tired of this feeling, you actually enjoy it a lot more the older you get because you don’t know how many more you’re going to get”, says Kavanagh. “It feels absolutely amazing, we’re going to soak it in, embrace it for the next couple of days and enjoy it.”
1-12 to 0-08 up at the break, with Bagenalstown coming back into the game late in the first half, what was going through their minds and what was said at half-time?
“We were the same last week, going well at half-time”, he continues. We just said ‘don’t get them a foothold start in the second half’, go out and get a couple of scores and get some breathing space. Jason popped up with a goal, a huge score for us and I think it killed off Bagenalstown. We were never going down from there.”
As regards the return of Marty Kavanagh from the US for a county final, was it ever going to be a distraction?
“There was no distraction at all”, he offers. “We have an ace in the pack like that. He was knocked out of the championships over there last Sunday and any team would bring a player of his calibre home. He was never going to start, that was never an issue. The boys who’ve been here all year were going to take to the team first. He was a great asset to be able to bring on in the second half and drive the thing over the line for us.”
As for Jack Kavanagh, he’s in agreement that they had to earn the win despite the wide margin at the final whistle.
“We knew going into the game we had to get on top of that department (the Bagenalstown midfield), set a platform for our attacks, our forwards and counter the supply into their forward line who are very dangerous. Everything is based on hard work. The hurling will follow but if you don’t have hard work you’ve got nothing. “
“Maurice (Aylward, manager) gives everyone a chance. He’s very old-school, passionate, honest, and brings back the old style of open hurling, pure heart and determination. I can’t speak highly enough of him. I don’t know what his plan is but I hope to God he’ll be hanging around for another 12 months.”