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It's a St Patrick's Day to remember as King Henry reigns supreme and Shamrocks thrive

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Henry Shefflin, Ballyhale Shamrocks, kisses the cup. AIB GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Club Championship Final, Ballyhale Shamrocks, Co Kilkenny, v Kilmallock, Co Limerick. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

Henry Shefflin, Ballyhale Shamrocks, kisses the cup. AIB GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Club Championship Final, Ballyhale Shamrocks, Co Kilkenny, v Kilmallock, Co Limerick. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

SPORTSFILE

Corofin player Gary Delaney and his daughter Kaya (16 months) on the pitch after the victovery over Slaughtneil at Croke Park. Photo: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

Corofin player Gary Delaney and his daughter Kaya (16 months) on the pitch after the victovery over Slaughtneil at Croke Park. Photo: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

SPORTSFILE

Brian McLernon, from Ballycastle, Co Antrim, and Lisa Bohil, from Downpatrick, Co Down, at Croke Park. Picture: Arthur Carron

Brian McLernon, from Ballycastle, Co Antrim, and Lisa Bohil, from Downpatrick, Co Down, at Croke Park. Picture: Arthur Carron

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Henry Shefflin, Ballyhale Shamrocks, kisses the cup. AIB GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Club Championship Final, Ballyhale Shamrocks, Co Kilkenny, v Kilmallock, Co Limerick. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

If this was to be the king's last outing in Croke Park, then Henry Shefflin wore his crown with aplomb and could scarcely have picked a better occasion to bow out.

Another hurling triumph, amidst all the colour and noise of club finals day at Croke Park on St Patrick's Day, brought the Kilkenny man his 13th All-Ireland medal after his Ballyhale Shamrocks side comfortably overcame Kilmallock of Limerick in yesterday's curtain raiser at the GAA HQ.

'King Sheff' has yet to say if he will stick around for another year to add to that haul.

Yesterday, though, the 36-year-old looked like he could go for a while yet as he fired over two points and commented afterwards that a decision on his future is looming.

"If this was to be his last day here, then what a fitting way for one of hurling's greatest to bow out," celebrating Shamrocks fan James Fitzgerald said in the moments after victory.

His wife Aine, sister to star half-forward James 'Cha' Fitzpatrick, was quick to point out the players "all played their part" in securing the club its sixth All-Ireland crown.

"We're elated because it's the third time this current team has won now and six overall, which is just a phenomenal achievement and we are all just so proud of all the lads," she added.

The football was an equally one-sided affair as Galway side Corofin overcame Derry underdogs Slaughtneil - ending a 17-year famine.

"It's been a long time coming since the last one in 1998 but thankfully well worth the wait," said Peter Higgins, who's been a Corofin club member "all his life".

He identified the Galway side's commanding midfield display as being key to victory. "We took our chances as well, no one can say it wasn't well deserved," he added.

But with the elation of victory came the devastation of defeat and for the three generations of the Houlihan family - who had come to the capital from Kilmallock - the 12-point loss was a bitter pill to swallow.

"The disallowed goal in the first-half really hit us hard. We just never recovered after that," said Ger Houlihan, son of Gerard Snr and father of Conal, James and Kate.

All was not lost as far as Brian McLernon from Antrim was concerned. Brian, in typical Ulster football fashion, was in Croke Park to cheer on his northern neighbours.

"There is plenty to be proud of after the effort the players put in," he told the Irish Independent.

"They'll be back."

One man who won't be back is Garda Sergeant Vinny Flanagan, from Clones, Co Monaghan, who was retiring after 15 years of dutifully manning Jones Road on big days and nights in Croke Park - including saving two people's lives when they suffered heart attacks.

"It's always been interesting. The atmosphere and the craic with the fans is what made it great. Today was no different," he said.

Irish Independent