Pics: Donal Foley
THE ST Canice’s Credit Union Senior Hurling League Final was tough and indeed tanalising at times for both sets of players and supporters.
With city bragging rights at stake there was no hope of either James Stephens or O’Loughlin Gaels enjoying a comfortable Saturday afternoon at Nowlan Park.
At one stage the Village did edge ahead by a few points but that didn’t last for long as the bold Gaels, resilient and fighting fit as ever looked as if they might snatch the honours.
Edging towards the finish, it was score for score as the teams swapped points, some of them great long range efforts in what were not exactly ideal conditions.
Point scoring is an art that both teams have mastered and it came down to a shoot-out from dead balls to decide who would triumph.
With the minutes and then seconds ticking away, it looked as if it would take extra time to separate two very good sides.
But it was Stephens who scored, O’Loughlins were off target, both from placed balls, and it was the Village supporters who were celebrating.
The notion was that neither team would have savoured two periods of extra time.
And despite the skills shown, bravery and tenaciousness that was always obvious, there was still an undertone that while this game was important, there was always a bigger fish to fry.
Both will have had their minds on the Senior Hurling Championship which beckons.
And on League Final form either is well capable to bringing home the bacon on county final day.