THE GLORY days are back for the St Finbarr's hurlers after a sensational display left their supporters singing in the rain at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Dreadful conditions didn't stop the Barrs from producing a masterful performance to lift the Seán Óg Murphy Cup aloft for the first time since 1993 by beating Blackrock 2-14 to 1-7.
Conor Cahalane and Brian Hayes grabbed the crucial second-half goals as their side drove on after leading by just a point at half-time despite the worsening weather which made the pitch extremely slippy and every score hard-earned. The platform was a backline led by Damien Cahalane and Jamie Burns, with Cian Walsh brilliant at corner-back, while Ben O'Connor and Ethan Twomey were heavily involved in the middle third.
Ben Cunningham, as he had been all through their unexpected run to the final, was the leading scorer with 0-9, including four points from play.
It ended a famine for the Blues, with Man of the Match Cunningham joking afterward: "It's been a long 29 years and I wasn't born for half of it, so it's hard to know what to say!"
The Togher club are on for a double, with their footballers favourites to retain the Andy Scannell Cup when they take on Nemo at the end of the month. There's also a Munster hurling semi-final on the horizon in November, against the Clare champions, Ballyea or Éire Óg, Ennis.
Blackrock, champions in 2020, looked menacing up front in the first half but weren't allowed to reach their potential by a hungry, hard-working St Finbarr's. Like the Barrs, their footballers have a shot at a county in two weeks when St Michael's meet Knocknagree in the Senior A decider at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
The PIHC final ended in a draw when Castlemartyr missed a late free against Inniscarra in a game where there was very little between the sides all through.
That replay takes place next Saturday.
On Saturday night in the Páirc, Ballygiblin defeated Tracton to capture the Premier Junior Hurling title. Due to the reshaped Cork championships, Ballygiblin, Munster junior winners in 2022, get to defend their crown next month.