Tullaroan boss hails side's character after dramatic Croke Park win over Fr O'Neill's

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Tullaroan manager Jimmy Coogan hailed his All-Ireland winners. After a slow start, the Kilkenny side turned the game in their favour to take victory after an epic All Ireland intermediate hurling club championship final. He said character had a lot to do with their one-point win.

“Character had an awful lot to do with it. We have been in an awful lot of finals in Kilkenny over the years and beaten in a lot of finals by a point or two. So, we made up our mind at half time we weren’t going to come out the wrong side of it today.

“The first half we started very nervous. We couldn’t seem to win a ball in the forwards. Our backs were doing reasonably well. The second half, it was going one way and then the other way. We’d go ahead and then they would come back.

Fr O’Neill’s are a very strong team as well. I thought our lads showed tremendous character in the second half to get over the line.

“The second half we just seemed to get a run on it. Shane Walsh came to centre-forward and Martin Keoghan went into full forward and hurled very well. We seemed to get the scores at the right time.

“At the start of the year, our aim was to get back to the business end in Kilkenny. We were delighted to win that. After that, things just took off for us. We hadn’t planned anything about Leinster or an All Ireland series. But once we got here, we made a point of giving it everything.

“The lads have been tremendous all year. They well deserved their victory. I couldn’t say enough good about them. Everything you ask them to do, they would do it. Their application in training and everything is absolutely fantastic.

Hurling means an awful lot to the people of Tullaroan. There is a tremendous history and a tremendous tradition of hurling in Tullaroan. The whole parish was behind us.

“The lads just gave it everything and got out the right side.

“We are very honoured to be All Ireland champions and to be representing Tullaroan and Kilkenny. We are thrilled with it.”

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