*Ian MacNamara. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

Understandably, Feakle/Killanena manager Francie O’Grady was beaming as supporters of the East Clare team extended congratulations moments after Sunday’s under 21 A hurling championship final at Dr. Daly Park in Tulla.

“It’s a super day for Feakle-Killanena, it’s only the second time since the formation of this amalgamation that this title has been won, it is huge day”, he said ahead of the presentation of the cup. “We knew coming here today that Inagh/Kilnamona would be formidable opposition and they proved that, we got a small bit of luck”.

O’Grady added, “they beat Scariff/Ogonnelloe in the group stage and that brought us back in after we losing to Clarecastle. You have to count your lucky blessings”.

On the role of their defence, he said, “we knew we had a strong 6 and a good goalie, two good midfielders who work back. We knew they were going to come at us but we were able to steady the ship. It was a serious game”.

As the beaten finalists piled on the pressure in the final quarter O’Grady was honest when he said he was worried. “Naturally I was a bit worried but our forwards worked hard and they got frees to get us over the line”.

Looking to the future he felt that this success “is huge for both clubs. Look at the talent that is there with this, the Harty cup, the Clare under 20’s and seniors. The future looks positive for both clubs if we can build on this”.

Adam Hogan’s showing at centre back was key to their win. “Every day Adam pulls on the jersey, he does his best. He is one of those special players that is able to stand up but as he says himself it’s all about the team”.

With a big smile on his face Francie concluded by saying “we will be smiling eating the turkey this Christmas”.

 

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