Leinster club hurling: battling spirit shown by St Patrick's delights manager

John Knox

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John Knox

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Leinster club hurling: battling spirit shown by St Patrick's delights manager

Jim Lyng

St Patrick's (Ballyragget) may have been lucky to claim what was their second Leinster hurling title, but manager Jim Lyng was over the moon with the winning effort.
"Sometimes you have to go beyond anything you touched before in games, and I think this was one of those occasions for us," suggested the St Patrick's manager (pictured left) after a 62nd minute point from Kevin Kelly earned them a thrilling victory over teak tough Glenealy (Wicklow).
The visitors to Nowlan Park on Saturday simply let rip. With 11 minutes remaining they were three points ahead and they had the opposition on the back foot.
Pat's dug themselves out of trouble to add an intermediate Leinster club title to the junior one they won in 2011.
"When you win a game by a point after being three down with a few minutes to go you can call it lucky or whatever," Jim Lyng suggested. "I don't know.
"It was the Kilkenny way of winning, I suppose. We managed to grind out a victory. I am as happy about that as I would have been about any match we won this season because we shipped a lot of heavy blows.
"In fairness, Glenealy were wonderful. They were spirited. They out-hurled us at times. They shot magnificent scores.
“It took a fantastic effort to win this final, to drag themselves back into the game and win it."
Glenealy threw everything, the kitchen sink and more, at St Pat's, the former Rower-Inistioge player said. He took his hat off to them.
"They were an absolute credit to Wicklow," Jim continued. "They played a great brand of hurling and there were times when we couldn't cope with their physicality.
"At the end it was just that little bit of belief, I suppose, that saved us. That is why I am so proud of the players. They didn't give up. They could have thrown in the towel. They could have accepted defeat.
"They didn't. Look, I would have taken extra time, no problem at all, with five minutes to go. To get a late winning point in the pressure we were under was terrific."
The players showed they have something special to offer, he insisted. They dug themselves out of trouble after shipping a few heavy knocks.
Defender Geoff Morrissey was been taken to hospital with a suspected broken shoulder. Joe Brennan took a very early knock and had to come off injured. And star man, Kevin Kelly got through the game, but he was carrying a leg injury.
"He wasn't able to travel as he usually does, so all in all, we have plenty to be happy about," Mr Lyng explained when he painted in some of the background. "The players showed wonderful character, absolutely.
"The subs now have serious game time behind them. The challenge for them now is to kick on. We have a lot of work to do when we go up into the senior grade in Kilkenny.
"But we are happy that the lads will be able to survive in the senior grade. We have an All-Ireland series to look forward to now. We have an awful lot to look forward to, and an awful lot to be grateful for.
"Every game in a competition like this is a learning experience. This was a huge lesson, an absolutely huge lesson for us.
"After having a good win in the county final, and then a couple of wins that didn't test us to the maximum, to come out and surivve what we were hit with today was absolutely terrific."