COOLDERRY .....1-18. BALLYBODEN ...0-15
THEY share a love of the ancient craft, but they carried different moods home from Parnell Park yesterday.
The ’Boden boss, Liam Hogan, played on the Coolderry side that were beaten in the 1980 Leinster final by Ballyhale Shamrocks. But it’s the Coolderry chief, Ken Hogan, that will now be preparing for Oulart in the Leinster Senior Club Hurling Championship final.
“That will be a huge task for us,” admitted the former Tipp number one. “But this result proves there is still life in Offaly hurling. People had us written off because we lost to Raharney of Westmeath in Leinster last year.
“But we are a bit more mature now. We come from a small parish, but the lads have great heart. I thought it was a tremendous battle. Conditions were near perfect. The pitch was first-class and the ball was moving quickly. The goal before half-time put a bit of daylight between us
“It is always better to have the lead. We were strong and we kept at it. Boden will feel they didn’t do themselves justice.”
Inside in the clubhouse corridor, Liam Hogan, the disappointment etched across his face, had no complaints.
“We were beaten by the better team over the hour. That’s sport. There has to be a winner and there has to be a loser.
“We had a good start, but we gave away a few silly frees to let them back into it.
“Once they got a foothold on it, we found it hard to claw it back. We missed a couple of goal chances. When you get those goal chances, you have to take them.
“For the entire second half, the lads threw everything they had at it, but we just weren’t good enough on the day,” reflected Liam.
The golden goal came in first-half injury time. Damien Murray placed Barry Teehan on the left and he arrowed a beauty to the right corner at the church end. The visiting support, in a crowd of some 800, were on their feet. Anthony Daly was in the audience.
Coolderry led 1-11 to 0-8 at the interval. “A six-point lead in hurling is nothing and with whatever breeze that was there, I still thought we could turn things around,” added Liam.
The Offaly champions were composed and clinical in their work. Eoin Ryan and Cathal Parlon caused plenty of damage up front. They defended with conviction.
The Dubliners needed a goal to lift them in the second period. The closest they got was when Niall McMorrow had a shot saved by Stephen Corcoran, and Conor McCormack was inches wide after Simon Lambert’s effort had popped back off the bar.
“We were representing the people of Offaly. We didn’t want to let them down,” stated Ken Hogan.
If anything, with this worthy display, they raised them up.
SCORERS: D Murray 0-8 (8f), C Parlon 0-6, E Ryan 0-4, B Teehan 1-0. STARTING 15: S Corcoran; A Corcoran, T Corcoran, B Kelly; D King, J Brady, B O’Meara; K Brady, K Teehan; B Carroll, B Teehan, M Corcoran; E Ryan, C Parlon, D Murray. SUB: K Connolly for King (52). WIDES: 11 (8+3). BOOKED: Ryan.
SCORERS: P Ryan 0-6 (3f, 1 65), D O’Connor, S Lambert, N McMorrow 0-2 each, D Curtin, C McCormack, S O’Connor 0-1 each. STARTING 15: G Maguire; D Sweeney, D Spain, P Buckeridge; D Curran, S Nolan, S Durkin; M Travers, D Curtin; S Lambert, T Sweeney, D O’Connor; P Ryan, C McCormack, N McMorrow. SUBS: S O’Connor for Spain (ht); J Doody for T Sweeney (52); E Carroll for McCormack (inj, 60). WIDES: 11 (3+8). BOOKED: McCormack.
REF: A Stapleton (Laois)