FEILE-na-nGael champions, O’Loughlin Gaels rounded off a super hurling season when they proved much too good for John Lockes (Callan) in a high class Roinn A under-14 final at Nowlan Park on Saturday.
This was a tense affair and Callan won a lot of ball during the early exchanges. Indeed, they had four points registered before the city slickers raised a white flag, two coming from James Power and one each from Dylan Kavanagh and Cathal McGrath.
Robbie Buckley grabbed the first score in the first of an unanswered 1-6 blast for the city side in 13 minutes as they slowly took control of the game. Ross Butler threw over a point after a determined run through the middle. This was followed by two pointed frees from Robbie Buckley, one a 65, the other from the 20 metre line.
Daniel O’Connor, after great work by the excellent Shane Maher, scored a good point on 23 minutes which was followed by more intense pressure from the O’Loughlin’s forwards. This resulted in another converted 21 metre free from Buckley and a well deserved goal which was finished by Peter Collins.
The last score of the half came from Callan’s James Power, who threw over a 20 metre free. At the break the winners led by 1-6 to 0-5.
O’Loughlin’s emerged from the dressing rooms in the new stand in Nowlan Park with a real sense of urgency in the second half. They went on to control this period and dominate most of the exchanges.
Robbie Buckley pointed a free on 32 minutes and then he popped over a good individual effort three minutes later. Lively Callan full-forward James Power pointed on 40 minutes but that effort was cancelled out by the accurate Cian Loy.
Cathal McGrath, the stylish John Lockes centre-forward, popped over a nice point on 43 minutes as Callan tried in vain to close the gap. O’Loughlin’s didn’t score during the next five minutes, but when they did it was the in-form Cian Loy who goaled to send the O’Loughlin’s supporters wild with delight.
Loy added another point moments later and O’Loughlin’s were on their way to another big win. Robbie Buckley scored the next two points, one after another on 51 minutes.
John Lockes never gave up and James Power drilled over a long range free on 58 minutes. That man again, Robbie Buckley, scored the city side’s last point on 60 minutes which was followed by a converted close in free by Callan’s Cathal McGrath.
The O’Loughlin Gaels club are very proud of these players a lot of them could have a bright hurling future. They have won every competition in hurling and football they entered this year.
For the record they are the All-Ireland Feile hurling champions, the All-Ireland Feile Peil-nanOg (Division 5) champions, the Kilkenny under-14 hurling and football league and championship champions. This remarkable run has never been achieved by any club in any county.
If the future is bright for O’Loughlin’s, it is also promising for John Lockes of Callan, who can look forward to great days with their youngsters as well. The names James Power, Sean Power, Cathal McGrath and Brian Kirwan will be heard many times in the future.
O’Loughlin Gaels - Thomas Wadding, Shane Fahey, Patrick Clifford, Jay Leahy, Jack Lawlor, Gary Bryan, Thomas Gleeson, Shane Maher, Ross Butler, Shane Mahoney, Daniel O’Connor, Cian Loy, Sean Bolger, Robbie Buckley, Peter Collins. Subs - Marcus Stapleton, Sean Kiely, John Dillon, Robbie O’Driscoll, Robbie Murphy, Lyndon Brannigan,Kevin Rowe, Gary Gleeson, Jordon Molloy.
John Lockes - Eoin Byrne, Eoghan Scriven, Ryan Bergin, Lee Doheny, Dylan Kavanagh, Brian Kavanagh, Dylan Roche, Jack Lynch, Sean Power, Kevin Fitzpatrick, Cathal McGrath, Patrick Vaughan, Padraig Purcell, James Power, Conor Murphy. Subs - John Byrnes, Cian Bogue, Luke Komar, Nicholas Butle, Robert Kerwick