Maureen O'Meara (FBD Insurance) and Michael Berkery (FBD Insurance) pictured with Seán McCormack, Conor Kenny, Joe Gallagher, Johnny Kelly (Borris-Ileigh manager) and Kiladangan manager Brian Lawlor.
Kiladangan manager Brian Lawlor admits that had his charges not made it to Sunday's county senior hurling final, they would have been kicking themselves. At half-time in the semi-final against neighbours Nenagh Éire Óg, Brian could sense their opportunity slipping away.
“We wouldn't have been happy with the first half performance because we just did not turn up. A lot of our players were very nervous and we did re-evaluate at half-time and put a few things right. I thought the subs worked very well for us and we got there. Had we lost that game, we would have been kicking ourselves because we didn't do ourselves justice,” Brian Lawlor who is joined on the Kiladangan management team by selectors Martin Nolan and James Flannery and team coach Seán Treacy.
Brian Lawlor also admitted that Sunday's final is wide open and it is not lost on him that both clubs will see the game as a gilt-edged opportunity to get their hands on the coveted Dan Breen Cup.
“We have both been here in the county final and we both want to atone for those performances. We were very impressed watching the Borris- Ileigh match. They went down to fourteen players, but you wouldn't know it from watching the game because, like any Johnny Kelly team, they were highly-organised and everyone knew their role. They dealt very well with the sending off and used the ball very well. It's going to be a very tight county final because the two teams know each other very well. It will be very hard to call it,” Brian explained.
And, although the sides met in the North final when Kiladangan came out on top, neither will be placing too much emphasis on that result.
“The landscape has changed since we were in the final last and the whole mentality is different. Both Borris-Ileigh and ourselves are psychologically in a different space. We got the better of them in the first half of the North final and because it wasn't straight knock-out, Borris-Ileigh maybe didn't show their full hand; that would be my assessment of it.
“The North final means nothing now. The way the system is, you just cannot judge anyone until it is knock-out and since it has got to that stage Borris- Ileigh have shown their true colours. It was a phenomonal performance by them in the semi-final,” Brian Lawlor added.
County Final Match Details
Sunday, November 3
FBD Insurance Séamus Ó Riain Cup Final
JK Bracken's v Holycross-Ballycahill in Semple Stadium, Thurles @ 12.15pm ET
FBD Insurance County Senior Hurling Championship Final
Borris-Ileigh v Kiladangan in Semple Stadium, Thurles @ 2.30pm ET
The Kiladangan team which beat Nenagh Éire Óg in the recent county semi-final: Barry Hogan, David Sweeney, James Quigley, Fergal Hayes, Declan McGrath, Alan Flynn, Darren Moran, Jack Loughnane, Johnny Horan, Dan O'Meara, Willie Connors, Joe Gallagher, Tadhg Gallagher, Paul Flynn, Billy Seymour. Subs used: Seán Hayes, Andy Loughnane, Martin Minehan.
The Borris-Ileigh team which beat Kilruane MacDonagh's in their recent county semi-final: James McCormack, Séamus Burke, Paddy Stapleton, Liam Ryan, Seán McCormack, Brendan Maher, Ray McCormack, Tommy Ryan, Dan McCormack, Kieran Maher, Niall Kenny, Conor Kenny, Kevin Maher, Jerry Kelly, James Devaney. Subs used: Jack Hogan.