OFFALY: Birr exact revenge in ruthless final display
BIRR 0-20 COOLDERRY 0-5 Offaly SHC Final BIRR regained the Offaly hurling title in some style when they scored an emphatic 15-point victory over holders Coolderry at St Brendan's Park, Birr.
Twelve months ago, Birr's bid for a sixth title in succession was ended in the final by Coolderry but Birr, containing a host of Offaly's star names past and present, were determined to make amends this year and that showed in their performance.
Team captain Barry Whelahan led the way with an inspirational performance which earned him the man of the match award and he was strongly supported by Joe Errity, Paul Cleary, Brian Whelahan, Rory Hanniffy and Simon Whelahan.
In all 10 Birr players got on the scoresheet - Simon Whelahan and Rory Hanniffy top scoring with 0-4 each - while Coolderry struggled for scores all through and only managed a single point in the second half.
The sides were level 0-2 each after 11 minutes but from there on Birr took control quickly, opening up a four-point lead.
Coolderry were finding it difficult to make headway against the Birr defence, and by the interval Birr were six points in front 0-10 to 0-4.
Coolderry were expected to make a strong challenge on the resumption but it never materialised and Birr maintained their dominance.
Birr hit seven points in a row before Coolderry scored their only point of the second half and the outcome was clear long before the final whistle as Birr collected their ninth title in 15 years.
SCORERS - Birr: S Whelahan and R Hanniffy 0-4 each, S Brown, M Dwane, P Malloy and G Hanniffy 0-2 each. Brian Whelahan, Barry Whelahan, D Hayden and D Pilkington 0-1 each. Coolderry: D Murray 0-2, J Masterson, D Masterson and D Dooley 0-1 each.
BIRR: B Mullins; JP O'Mara, P Cleary, N Rogers; Brian Whelahan, J Errity, N Claffey; Barry Whelahan, P Malloy; R Hanniffy, G Hanniffy, S Brown; D Hayden, S Whelahan, M Dwane. Subs: M Verney for B Whelahan, D Pilkington to Dwane, S Ryan for Hayden, L Power for Simon Whelahan.
COOLDERRY: S O'Connor; T Cochrane, B O'Mara, A Cochrane; K Brady, J Brady, B Teehan; M Cochrane, Andrew Hall; C Parlon, B Carroll, James Masterson; D Masterson, P Teehan, D Murray. Subs: D Dooley for D Masterson, P Hudson for J Masterson, K Teehan for P Teehan, D Dooley for Parlon.
REF - Tony Carroll, Kinnitty.