KILMALLOCK’S winning captain Graeme Mulcahy has lauded manager Ger ‘Sparrow’ O’Loughlin for masterminding the downfall of champions Na Piarsaigh.
Former Clare manager O’Loughlin won three successive Limerick titles with Adare (2007-2009) before joining Kilmallock this year.
“I think Ger (O’Loughlin) has taken it on board this year to do all the talking and I don’t think there are too many others with an input and I think his experience in the dressing room the last two or three games has really paid off for us. I think he is a super man to have over you, especially when it comes down to the nitty gritty,” praised Mulcahy.
“He told us it would be a point game, that it wouldn’t be 2-20 to 1-18 the likes of what we were used to against Na Piarsaigh. He said it was going to be tight and we were ready for a battle and going in at half time seven points up we knew that the second half was going to be 10-times harder than the first half but we were prepared for that with preparation over the last couple of weeks has been nothing short of amazing and hats off to Ger for that,” outlined the captain.
“We didn’t want to be too predictable going out there today and we made a lot of changes and I think they paid off. The management really had their homework done.”
The title win was a third in five years for Kilmallock.
“I actually don’t think it will sink in until we wake up on Monday morning. Waking up to know that you are county champions is the greatest feeling that I have ever felt. I have won it twice already but this is the sweetest one for me - leading my own club into a county championship and winning it has been a dream ever since I was a young kid”.
The bookies had Na Piarsaigh as 4/9 favourites, which was a Kilmallock motivation.
“I think everyone was writing us off - I’m sure Na Piarsaigh weren’t but outside of that we weren’t given much of a chance and were 3/1 or something crazy like that in the bookies and in the middle of October it’s always going to be tight. We knew if we could get ahead by a few points and hold that lead that we would be in a great position,” said Mulcahy.
“It was tight the whole way through - I know we were six or seven points up at half time but the first half went on for an eternity and the second half was longer - I have never played a game when it was so heavy on your legs before. Maybe it had something to do with us having a man sent off before the second half but I was out on my feet for a lot of that and that hasn’t happened to me before and that goes to show the intensity that’s in club hurling in Limerick.”