Kelly stars in a team of heroes as Mayfield savour All-Ireland success

Kelly stars in a team of heroes as Mayfield savour All-Ireland success
Mayfield brothers Ian, Gavin and Derek Looney after defeating Mooncoin in the AIB All Ireland Junior hurling Championship final at Croke parkPicture: Eddie O'Hare

MAYFIELD’S historic All-Ireland Club Junior Hurling Championship triumph at Croke Park last Saturday has united a community as never before, according to club chairman John Brennan.

The Northside club put the seal on an already memorable season that had seen them triumph in the city, county and provincial championship but to go up to Croke Park and to defeat a Kilkenny team by a point in an All-Ireland final was something they could only have imagined in their wildest dreams.

Such was the support in the locality for the team, the club sold old two special trains, hundreds more went by car and bus and it is estimated that there were at least 3,000 Mayfield people in the famous stadium for the historic final.

Brennan, the long-serving club chairman, was almost lost for words outside the Mayfield dressing room in the immediate aftermath of their magnificent win over Kilkenny and Leinster’s best Mooncoin.

“What can one say, this was a combined effort made possible by a fantastic bunch of young men wearing the Mayfield jersey, an outstanding management team and wonderful support from the entire community of the area.

“Everybody rowed in behind us, the support we had today was unbelievable, it was a sea of red and white everywhere you went.

“You have to be so proud to be a Mayfield person today because those boys delivered for us today.

“It’s been 15 months of hard work by so many people and there’s an All-Ireland championship title at the end of it all, it’s just amazing.’’ Those sentiments were expressed right across the board as team captain Shane O’Donovan held the cup aloft on the podium in the Hogan Stand.

Team boss Seamus Lawton alongside selectors Martin Cronin, Jim Walsh and Joe Sheehan, declared that it took a huge effort by everyone to get them to where they now are.

“For the past 12 months, it has been relentless. There has been no let-up, this is a fantastic bunch of players with a great spirit and an equally great attitude.’’ 

Lawton too believes that man of the match Nicky Kelly with a haul of 11 points deserves to be looked at by the Cork management.

“He deserves a try and I am sure he would acquit himself quite well. He’s an absolute gent with a fantastic attitude, very professional about his game and a great leader. He has been sheer class for us’’.

Nobody will argue with those sentiments, Kelly was a heroic figure on this day.

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