Molloy magic helps Brigid’s seal double after thriller
ST BRIGID’S, LOUGHREA 4-14
ROSCREA CC 4-12
ALL-IRELAND VS SH ‘A’ FINAL
ST BRIGID’S completed a historic hurling double with a dramatic two-point victory against Roscrea CC at Semple Stadium on Saturday.
Fresh from their recent junior success, St Brigid’s added the senior crown in a high-scoring thriller, with a 2-5 haul from 15- year-old Brian Molloy helping to secure more silverware for the Galway outfit.
This victory was even more notable as it was achieved without the services of full-back Shane Flynn, who was laid low by flu on the morning of the game, and centre-back Mark Horan, Man of the Match in the 2009 All- Ireland final victory over Roscrea.
Manager Martin Raftery struggled to contain his emotions as he paid a rich tribute to his players after thegame.
“Words can’t express the way they hurled out there – we were underdogs all through,” he said. “We felt we were awful lucky to be here, but what a performance they gave. There were nine of those lads junior, but the men really stood up, men like Darragh Burke, Sean Sweeney, Cathal Kennedy, Gary Moylan.
“Every time they came back, we answered and came again.”
It was St Brigid’s sixth success at this level in 12 years against luckless Roscrea, who led by 0-5 to 0-0 in the early stages.
By half-time, St Brigid’s had fought back to lead by 2-7 to 2-5 as Stephen Cahalan and Molloy struck first-half goals for the winners.
An early second-half goal from Michael Hannon and Molloy’s second green flag – he finished with a tally of 2-5 – had Loughrea in a comfortable position, before an Eoin Ryan penalty and a late John Wall goal hauled Roscrea back into contention.
But Loughrea, inspired by captain Burke – brother of Galway senior star David – held out for a two-point success as Molloy fittingly hit the insurance score in stoppage-time to secure an eighth All-Ireland success and first since 2009.
Offaly minor star Ryan topscored for Roscrea with 1-6, including a penalty and four converted frees.
Lively corner-forward Jamie Bergin and wing-forward Damien Murphy raised the other green flags for Roscrea.
SCORERS – St Brigid’s: B Molloy 2-5 (2f, 1 ‘65’), S Cahalan 1-2, D Burke 0-5 (1 sl), M Hannon 1-0, S Sweeney, D Dolan 0-1 each. Roscrea: E Ryan 1-6 (1-0p, 4f), J Wall 1-2, J Bergin 1-1, D Murphy 1-0, J Cleary, J Sampson, B Toohey 0-1 each.
ST BRIGID’S – G Kelly; E Burke, C Kennedy, D O’Donoghue; P Kennedy, M Hannon, G Moylan; D Burke, T Spellman; D Dolan, S Sweeney, T Mitchell; J Ryan, B Molloy, S Cahalan.
Subs: B Dolan for Hannon (48), N Haverty for Mitchell (53).
ROSCREA CC – D Ryan; J Feeney, C Bergin, E Greene; J Ryan, M Collier, M Campion; J Cleary, J Sampson; D Murphy, B Toohey, J Wall; D Cleary, E Ryan, J Bergin.
Subs: E Flynn for Toohey (48), B Teehan for Murphy (54).
REF – J McGrath (Westmeath).