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Kilcormac shed tag of the 'nearly men'

HAVING been beaten in three previous finals and six semi-finals in the last decade, Danny Owens' man finally delivered on their underage pedigree, having accumulated 10 Offaly minor crowns since 1990.

Ciarán Slevin buried an 11th minute penalty having earlier miscued a handful of scoreable frees but goals from Gary Kelly and Diarmuid Horan meant St Rynagh's (managed by former Antrim supremo, Dinny Cahill) led by 2-8 to 1-7 at the break.

But Slevin scored five of the next six points and when Kieran Grogan tapped in a second Kilcormac-Killoughey goal, the curse of the bridesmaids had been lifted.

"It's 105 years of a gap we had to fill here today.

"It brought a lot of pressure but it was good pressure. We embraced it rather than feared it. We're a fit team all year and that fitness came through in the finish," reflected a delighted Owens.

CONFEY denied Celbridge back-to-back hurling titles in Kildare as they took some revenge for last year's reversal at the same stage. John O'Neill goaled after 20 seconds while eight points, including seven placed-balls, from Paul Divilly helped Confey to a 1-16 to 0-14 win.

Tony Considine won the battle of the former Clare managers as his KILMALLOCK team beat Ger 'Sparrow' O'Loughlin's Adare by 1-15 to 0-15 in the Limerick SHC final while Sarsfields claimed a third Cork title in five years with a 1-15 to 1-13 win over Bishopstown.

- CONOR McKEON


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