Saturday 3 December 2016

'I was cut to the bone but refused an ambulance 'til the game was over': Westmeath hero on shocking Kilkenny

Published 26/05/2016 | 16:43

Westmeath's sensational upset of Kilkenny in last night's Leinster U21 hurling championship quarter-final was wildly memorable for a number of reasons, not least for the all-action performance by Warren Casserly.

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The midfielder put in a committed performance for his county and it was his goal five minutes into the second half that ultimately proved the difference in the famous 1-11 to 0-12 victory.

However, Casserly wasn't able to enjoy the big win with his team-mates for very long as he was whisked off to hospital and forced to spend the night in the A/E after picking up a nasty gash on his forehead.

Despite the gaping wound, he was able to still able to send this Snapchat that highlights just how committed he was to his team's cause last night.

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Speaking to Independent.ie, Casserly explained how he ended up with such a mighty scratch and also described the strange feeling off being forced off to hospital amidst wild dressing room celebrations.

"The wing forward went to strike the sliotar and I came in off his left hand shoulder to get a hook on it," Casserly says.

"The hurl came around and went through my face guard. I thought nothing of it at the time, just that I had got a slap in the face. I thought, 'ah you'll be grand' but then I went to get up and stumbled back down.

"It was a mighty performance but I didn't get to celebrate much afterwards, I was in the A/E overnight and only got out at 9.30 this morning. It is weird to go from jumping for joy to spending a night in the A/E."

The midfielder faces a fitness race to be available for Westmeath's U21 semi-final against either Dublin or Wexford on June 15, but thankfully he got his cut sown up and even shared a new photo showing off his mended face.

"I thought it wasn't too bad but then the doctor told me I was cut to the bone," he says.

"I ended up getting nine stitches."

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Given how tight the game was, when Casserly realised his forehead was with gushing blood he initially wanted to continue. When he was finally persuaded to come off for treatment, he refused to go to hospital until he was certain that the victory was assured.

"There was a lot of blood but I was adamant that I wasn't going off," he says.

"The physio explained to me how serious it was and then I was stretchered off.

"I fell to my knees in pure amazement [at the final whistle]. There were tears of joy in my eyes. I shouldn't have still been there but I refused an ambulance to take me to hospital until the game was over."

Despite being deprived of some cherished moments with his team-mates as they basked in slaying such a formidable giant, Casserly assured Independent.ie that the rest of the panel's focus was firmly on their semi-final, and not on a raging night out in Mullingar.

"There was no celebrating by the team last night whatsoever," he said.

"There is a drink ban in place now while we prepare to play Dublin or Wexford in three weeks time."

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