Kennedy is kingmaker for Tipp champs

This article is from page 100 of the 2007-12-04 edition of The Clare People. OCR mistakes are to be expected so download the original SWF or the rendered page 100 JPG

ONE final scrum developed out on the field after the final whistle, then it morphed into a rolling maul that went up the steps to the presentation area in the Gaelic Grounds. It where David Kennedy joined his team mates in celebration.

Before that he had broken away from the scrum to be feted as TG4 man- of-the-match — it was an easy call for match analyst Donal O’Grady, such was Kennedy’s dominance of this game from centre back.

Kennedy more than anyone else was responsible for Loughmore- Castleiney’s Munster final victory — the impenetrable wall in their de-

fence who swatted Tulla attackers out of his way all day.

He caught more ball high ball than everyone else on the field put togeth- er, Something that moved some sages of Tipperary hurling in the stand to it was Kennedy’s greatest ever per- formance on a hurling field.

If so, he picked a great day to pro- duce his very best. Maybe it was the level of his own performance and the significance of Loughmore- Castleiney’s victory that left Kennedy slightly shell-shocked after the game. Certainly he was stuck for words.

“T don’t know what to say really,” he said seconds after Cathal McAI- lister’s final whistle. “It’s very hard to believe that we’re Munster cham-

pions. A year ago we were nowhere, we had nothing, that’s where we’ve come from.

‘This means everything for Lough- more-Castleiney. This is going to se- cure hurling in the parish for a long number of years.

‘We’re a very small club and win- ning this title is great going into the jaUiaet Ken

“It’s way beyond winning an All- Ireland. With Tipperary every year, no matter how bad things were go- ing you expect to be in Croke Park. With Loughmore you don’t expect anything.

‘This year we didn’t expect to win a county title and a Munster title — we didn’t expect to be hurling at

this time of year. This is a different universe,’ added Kennedy warming to his subject.

Then he turned to vanquished Tul- la. “They gave it everything and were really attacking us near the end, but our defence held firm.

‘We knew it was going to be a real battle out there and with the condi- tions there was never going to be pealecelemsneme ie

“We knew at half-time that the game was far from over, even though we were only a point up having played with the wind. It was almost as difficult to play with the wind as against it. We showed something in us today — I don’t know where it came from.

“It was important that we didn’t concede a goal, while the goal we got in the first half from Evan Sweeney was very important.

We missed a few other chances in the half but in the second half really played well at the back and got the crucial scores to win the game.”

With that Kennedy rejoined his team-mates — Munster Council chair- man Seamus O’Gorman presented the cup to Loughmore-Castleiney captain Johnny Gleeson. The singing started in the Mackey Stand.

It was cold, wet and miserable, but no one in the green and red of Loughmore-Castleiney minded. It was theirs and most of all David Kennedy’s day.

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