Oranmore Maree became the first ever Galway intermediate club to be crowned All Ireland champions following their six-point win over Charleville of Cork yesterday.
County star, Niall Burke was in sensational form for his club, finishing with a tally of 1-11 as Oranmore overturned a six-point deficit to win by six in Croke Park, despite the best efforts of Darragh Fitzgibbon who registered 10 points.
Oranmore’s fortunes majorly changed in the final 10 minutes, during which Charleville received two red cards and also conceded a penalty, which Burke dispatched.
However, Oranmore manager, Gerry McInerney refused to credit the dismissals for aiding their recovery as he maintained that his side were unfairly judged by the referee in the opening half. His opinion improved in the second half, however, when Charleville goalkeeper, Cian Collins was yellow carded for using an unauthorised sliotar.
“We got nothing in first-half. We got no frees, they were allowed quick puck-outs and he called them back on our side. In the second half we changed, we made it change.
“Ah yeah, Cork. C’mon, they did it in our day so no big deal there”, McInerney quipped.
“Anything they can get away with, they’ll get away with. And fair play to them, they got away with it years ago but they got caught today. Rightly so. It should be a fair playing field.”
Instead, the Galway legend maintained that their increased work-rate was the key to their victory.
“It went up a lot. The energy was in the room so we brought it onto the field. We hadn’t hurled in the first-half as such. The message was to take a man, mark up and no quick puck-outs. Everybody threw off the shackles and they went for it.”
McInerney’s two sons also had a major impact on the result, Sean won the penalty before scoring a goal in the final minute while Gearóid came roaring into the game in the second half, and also ended up on the scoresheet.
Gearóid, who lifted the cup alongside joint-captain, Burke, has plenty of experience of Croke Park on All Ireland final day with Galway, and admitted that winning the title with his club was another “special” moment.
“The two of them are very special, very special moments in I suppose a small bit different ways. Having grown up with a lot of the lads there makes it special. It will be a lot tighter now going back home but winning an All-Ireland is massive too.
“They’re two very different experiences and it’s great to be able to say I experienced both of them.”