Seans Are Ulster Champs

29 October 2010 No Comments by The Northern Standard

KEVIN CARNEY Reports

Spawned from the loins of the Glens of Antrim, the Cloughmills St. Brigid’s side had the appendix of champions-elect indelibly etched on their camans by scribes nationwide last week. Pundits, bar none, had pencilled in the Antrim champions for an All-Ireland JHC semi-final tilt with the best from the west down the line.It was thus no surprise that the St Brigid’s crew from the home of Ulster hurling travelled the relatively short distance to Casement Park with all the swagger of Goliath.

Inniskeen, the script had ordained, would put up a brave show but, unlike, David, would see their brave challenge eventually fold like a deck chair on the seafront.

What transpired instead was a fairytale beyond even the cultured imaginations of  the Brothers Grimm.

The Ulster Club JHC trophy is holed up this week among the inspirational Grattans following their 0-14 to 1-9 win in last Sunday’s nail-biting provincial final.

Inniskeen’s finest were all stars in Belfast but man-of-the-match Ronan Meegan shone that bit more than most.

Typically, the team’s top scorer (nine points including four frees) couldn’t wait to spread the word that Inniskeen’s brilliant success was all about the collective and not the individual.

“We were massive underdogs going into the match but we produced a serious effort – every man on the team  – and proved ourselves the better team on the day,” Meegan enthused.

The superlatives continue to trip off Meegan’s tongue as he waxes lyrical about Inniskeen’s greatest hour on the hurling field.

He becomes a bit more specific in his reflections on the match and cites Inniskeen’s half-back line as the sector that did most of all to put the raging hot underdogs within two matches of claiming an all-Ireland title.

“When we came under the cosh in the second half in particular, our half-backs really stood up and were counted – they were unbelievable and we owe them, big-time.

“I think everyone on the team was fired up and believed that we could do it even though nobody else outside the club did.

“Even when we missed the penalty, I felt that we had it in us to put it behind us and get over the line.”

Of course, Meegan and his team-mates needed no incentive to do the business in the bowels of Belfast’s peerless sporting arena.

The fact that the Paddy O’Rourke Cup was up for grabs made last Sunday’s triumph all the more special.

“Paddy O’Rourke coached me and a lot of the lads from the time we were 12 up ‘till we were twenty so winning last Sunday made it all the more unforgettable and pleasing.

“Paddy O’Rourke is a legend in Inniskeen and in Monaghan GAA and we couldn’t have honoured him in a better way than to win the cup named after him.”

Full report in The Northern Standard

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