THE point - Rory hadn’t a clue

Deadly finisher Rory Hickey was the star of the show for Lisdowney, but for details of his winning score you had better ask elsewhere.

Deadly finisher Rory Hickey was the star of the show for Lisdowney, but for details of his winning score you had better ask elsewhere.

Lisdowney clinched the Aylward Cup with a 62nd minute point from their ace attacker, but the action was so fast and furious at the time Rory couldn’t recall how he actually won the match.

When asked about the winning point he suggested: “I don’t know how I scored it. It all happened so fast. I hit it and the ball just went over the bar. Lucky it went over.”

The 22-year-old described Lisdowney’s win as “unreal”. It was the club’s first victory in the championship since 1960.

“You couldn’t make up the story of that game,” Rory beamed. “It was incredible. This win has been a long time coming, six or seven years. Winning is the best feeling in the world. We were down. This year we kind of knew it was coming, so we pushed that bit harder.

“Everyone put serious effort into winning this championship since we first planned for it in December of last year.”

He felt Lisdowney played well in the first half, but they didn’t keep it up, or they weren’t let keep it up by a good Bennettsbridge team.

“We have been playing like that all year, not putting teams away,” Rory said of the tie in which they lost a once strong lead of six point during the second half to fall behind by one with five minutes remaining. “We don’t care about that now. We have the title. We made it hard for ourselves, but that doesn’t matter now.

“We will enjoy this, but we want to drive on in the Leinster championship. We still have a lot of work to do for that. We are not going to stop now. We want to get as much as we can out of this. I think everyone will want to drive on in the Leinster championship.”

He admitted that Lisdowney had looked on in other years when other clubs enjoyed great times in the Leinster and All-Ireland club championship, but now they had earned the right to have a go in them.

“We will drive on as hard as we can,” he said of the Leinster series in which they meet Shanahoe (Laois) the weekend after next. “We will milk it for everything it is worth.”

Former Kilkenny star, Eddie Brennan, enjoyed his first year in management, and he couldn’t praise highly enough a panel of players who just wanted to learn and be as good as they could be.

“It was the players who won the final,” was his opening volley, insisting that the squad should get all the praise. “They are a great bunch of players. They proved that in a final that was a true test of character. The one thing you ask of a team is that they will improve during the season. That is exactly what Lisdowney did.

“They did that today too. They were absolutely brilliant. When the match looked like it was going away from them the character shone through.

“There was character throughout the field. For the club going forward these players should grow and mature on the back of this win. I am looking forward to hurling against these lads in the intermediate grade next year,” he laughed, reminding that his own club, Graigue-Ballycallan had been relegated from the senior division.

Eddie was sure the club would enjoy the success. Lisdowney were a long time trying to win the junior championship.

“The whole parish got behind the players this season,” Eddie continued. “Martin Power (manager) drove on the lads, and Charlie Carter (last year’s manager) made a fair contribution to developing this squad too

“The big thing now is to try and do well in the Leinster championship. The Kilkenny champions must always strive to push on. When a club wins a championship after a long, long wait it is natural that there will be hectic celebrations. In the middle of the week, hopefully, the players will park it and face the van for somewhere else. It is worth have a go in Leinster.”