Glory days in Kilmoyley
WITH six county titles in a decade now in their possession following Sunday's county hurling final, it was little wonder Kilmoyley erupted in massive celebrations as they brought the champs home from Austin Stack Park in Tralee.
With six county titles since 2001 from seven contests and the 22nd title for the north Kerry club, the result is being hailed as one of the proudest achievements for sport in the community ever. After beating noble contenders Ardfert by 1-19 to 2-8, they can rightly claim to be recognised as the county hurling team of the decade.
If that wasn't enough, Kilmoyley took home the minor title as well — boding very favourably for the future of hurling in this stronghold of the game in Kerry.
"We're delighted with it, for the players and for all the supporters here," Kilmoyley Chairman, Seán Murnane, told The Kerryman. "It's a fantastic achievement and the lads really put in a big effort."
"One of the great things about the team is that there's a real mix in age, with some really experienced, strong older players who've taken the younger lads through the whole thing in a really effective way. Anthony Daly's strategy to start the campaign slowly also paid off, as their game really came into its own for the final," Mr Murnane added.
"The great thing about the game in Kilmoyley is that everyone is involved to some degree in the team, so it makes for fantastic celebrations," Seán added.
Named man of the match in Ballyroe on Monday, captain Micheál O'Regan, said he was delighted with the honour. "Getting man of the match as captain is a nice bonus I suppose, but it was a great achievement by all of us.
"It was a tough match starting off, but the goal just before half-time set us up well and we capitalised on it with a string of points in the second half.
"It's our seventh final in the decade, our sixth win, so we had a good share of work done over the last few years and not just the last few months, really. Anthony Daly's input was hugely appreciated by all and it is great to have such a high-profile manager who's in such demand all over the country. And congratulations are due to the minors as well, bringing home the two titles is a wonderful achievement."For full forward James McCarthy (who captained the team to their first title after a 30-year drought back in 2001) the victory meant everything: "It was a tough match for the first half, but the goal just before half time made all the difference. It means ever so much to us, it was simply fabulous."