Thursday 27 July 2017

Gaels driven by Clara defeat - Comerford

Ageless Martin Comerford of O’Loughlin Gaels rolled back the years with a semi-final performance that yielded four points against Oulart-The Ballagh. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Ageless Martin Comerford of O’Loughlin Gaels rolled back the years with a semi-final performance that yielded four points against Oulart-The Ballagh. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Losing last year's Kilkenny county final to Clara was the catalyst for O'Loughlin Gaels' 2016 surge that has taken them to a Leinster final for the first time in six years, Martin Comerford has said.

Ageless Comerford rolled back the years with a stirring performance that yielded four points against Oulart-The Ballagh in Sunday's semi-final as the Gaels turned a five-point deficit into a nine-point winning margin in just 40 minutes.

Comerford believes their momentum, which saw them brush past Ballyhale in last month's county final, has its source in the Clara defeat.

"We have been poor in the last few years, we got to the final last year and we were beaten by a better team and it was very disappointing," he said.

"But when we left Nowlan Park last year we said to each other that we were going to give it a right rattle for 2016.

"Everybody knuckled down and put in a great effort in training. You know things are going well when lads are turning up early. They were mad for action and mad to set the record straight."

Comerford (38) is revelling in club action after putting a celebrated inter-county career behind him, even though he has played through the pain barrier, with a groin injury hampering his preparations.

"It's great for me to be playing with family and friends and team-mates that I grew up with," he said.

"I was playing with Alan Geoghegan since we were six or seven years of age, growing up.

"Alan didn't hurl for the last two or three years at senior level. He put in a fantastic effort this year, he went back training in October or November and got into great physical shape. He's a massive player for us."

Irish Independent

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