OULART-THE BALLAGH boss Brendan O'Connor admitted that his side's victory over Drom-inch played out exactly how he would have scripted it.
'I suppose, if you can sit down and write it out before you start it that would be a brilliant way to do it,' said the supremo. 'We did set a target, they didn't want to be in that losing dressing-room again.'
O'connor said that preparation was the key to success and pointed to a practice match against J.J. Doyle's Wexford team as an extra useful boost of confidence that they needed.
'I definitely think the whole year there was a feeling. At the start of the year we set out the plan, holidays, everything were out of the way. Even if the county team won the All-ireland they had their holiday in January. If we got that far, everything was agreed, from the start.
'I just think every game we played all along the whole year, we played some really great practice matches which really stood to us. The night we played Wexford, fair play to J.J. (Doyle), we played a practice match the Monday two weeks before this final, and we thought that night that it was great. Even the Rathnure people there looking at it, and J.J., were saying we were very sharp, very determined and that's the way we came today.'
Even in the ascendancy, with the second-half looking like a mere formality, O'connor said he was keen to stress to his charges at half-time that there was no room for complacency.
'That was the biggest worry we had going in at half-time. We talked to them, we drilled into them that this was a proud, traditional hurling county so we knew it would be a hard half. They did put pressure on us in the second-half, but we hung on and hung on.
'They scored five points, five or six points, but in that period of time that they had a good spell, pushing us back, the centrefield fell back to help us out. We got back up and we scored again which settled us down again you know. I think Drom and Inch in fairness to them, I think they were better than what the score showed at the end of the day.'
O'connor believes that while this has the potential to be the first of many titles for Oulart, after three years in charge, it's likely to be the last under his stewardship.
'That team have made the breakthrough now. I just think they are capable of doing another All-ireland. They've broken the barrier now, so whoever's in charge, whoever'll take over next year, who ever it will be, it's their's, it's a challenge, this team is well capable of putting two back-toback.'