Thirty six years after Pearses’ first togged out in a Senior County Hurling Championship and securing victory – the South Roscommon Club defied the odds and secured the spoils of victory in a tense – Final that went to extra time and the drama of a man down against Athleague on a scoreline of 2.22 - 1 -18.
Captained by Paul Dolan and Eoin Costelloe the side had the rub of the Gods in qualifying stages , surviving 3 late goals against St. Dominick’s, and dodging a missed free against Traman in the semi - final.
A youthful squad managed by Shane Sweeney saw the side honour the efforts and dedication of those early 80 hurlers , the likes of James Costelloe, Johnny Johnson , Gerry Burke RIP captained by Tom Shaugnessy and trained by the legendary Brian “Bunty” Kelly RIP.
The celebrations on this occasion were subdued with no heroes welcome permitted to club house but it did not prevent Manager Shane from reflecting on an epic adventure as his first time at the helm.
“ Firstly I have to thank and acknowledge the effort and spirit of all the lads in the squad and the hard work and support put in; my team – Tom Corbett and Derek Frehill ( Mentors), Paraic Kelly ( Strength and Conditioning Coach) , Adrian Murphy Selector/ Trainer, Gerry Reilly Physio and our most loyal assistant Aiden “ Fred “ Bergin”, states Shane.
The Club last won the County Hurling title in 2017 , when they came tops out of 7 senior clubs and want to acknowledge the huge support they got from sponsors Alan Naughton of N6 Motors , Fergal Darcy of Today FM, Ambrose Cuddy Solicitors, Patrick Finneran D4.
“ Our guest trainers Paul Kilgannon and Eamon Cleary are deserving of praise as all the officers of the Club, the Committees, our supporters and especially the Camogie Committee who supplied and masterminded our resources and refreshments “ states Shane.
Co - Captain Eoin Costello managed to stop the domestic squabbling when he matched his fathers County medals at two – Dad Tom was on the victorious teams of ’84 and ’87!
The wing back on the day reflected on how the panel were thrilled that the old war horses like the Dolan Brothers- Paraic and David – 15 years at senior, Cathal Kelly – some 16 years and Mike Donaghue the Elder Ashwielder of the team -all played such a role in the final.
“ It was a strange 12 month year with a lot of lads have to train alone and then during the summer months we had 11 fellas out of a panel of 25 travelling back regularly from as far as Waterford for training – which gives an idea of their commitment and dedication” explains Eoin.
“ We got short changed with the celebrations a bit so it is giving us more hunger to knuckle down and focus on winning title five next year which is our new ambition” , declared the Co - Captain.
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