COOLDERRY won their 28th title with a comprehensive and well-deserved win over the holders Tullamore in O'Connor Park yesterday.
Played in front of over 8,000 people, this game only really ignited into life for a brief period in the second half and this was due to Coolderry's dominance.
Coolderry's pace and hurling skill proved too much for Tullamore and the winners were particularly grateful for outstanding performances from Joe Brady, who was a tower of strength at centre-back, Damien Murray, whose two goals unhinged Tullamore, and Brian Carroll, who produced a man-of-the-match performance, striking over seven sublime points from play.
Coolderry made a dream start with a Damien Murray goal inside the first minute. Tullamore got back on level terms by the sixth minute but after this, wave after wave of Coolderry attacks descended on their goals.
The points flew over freely and by the 19th minute, Coolderry were 1-6 to 0-3 ahead. A goal from Cathal Parlon four minutes from the break hammered another nail into the Tullamore coffin. At half-time, Coolderry led 2-9 to 0-5 and they would have been out of sight but for eight bad wides. For their part, Tullamore rued some uncharacteristic misses from Shane Dooley frees.
In the second half, Tullamore came out with all guns blazing. Three quick points, an opportunist Shane Dooley goal and a Francis Kerrigan point had the deficit back to a goal, 2-9 to 1-9, within minutes and it was game on.
Ken Hogan's Coolderry, however, didn't panic and points from Damien Murray and Carroll settled their nerves and a Cathal Parlon goal nine minutes from time sealed a comfortable win.
SCORERS -- Coolderry: D Murray 2-4 (0-3f), B Carroll 0-7, C Parlon 1-1, B Teehan, E Ryan, K Connolly 0-1 each; Tullamore: S Dooley 1-7 (0-5f), F Kerrigan 0-2, S Kelly, J Duffy, E Finnerty 0-1 each.
COOLDERRY -- S Corcoran; A Corcoran, T Corcoran, B Kelly; D King, J Brady, K Brady; M Corcoran, K Teehan; K Connolly, B Teehan, B Carroll; E Ryan, C Parlon, D Murray. Subs: P Teehan for Ryan (61), M Ryan for Connolly (62), B O'Meara for King (62).
TULLAMORE -- D Fox; A Martin, M Conlon, S Egan; N Mannion, B Dagg, H Treacy; J Keane, S Kelly; K Waters, F Kerrigan, G Mannion; S Dooley, J Duffy, E Finnerty. Subs: D Hogan for G Mannion (h-t), A Heffernan for Duffy (51), B Hogan for Finnerty (56).
REF -- B Gavin (Clara).