BALLYGIBLIN coach Ronan Dwane paid tribute to the efforts put in by his players in taking the club all the way to All-Ireland glory.
Since Aghada native Dwane became involved with Ballygiblin at the beginning of 2021, they have gone from junior A to intermediate A, with the only championship defeat coming in the All-Ireland club final last year against Mooncoin.
That they have amassed such a record is down to the players, Dwane feels.
“They’re a great bunch, really,” he said.
“There’s great fun in them, they’re a great gang.
“Some days there you’d say maybe they’d be coasting along a little bit, but when the pressure comes on in championship, they’re great hurlers. They’ve great temperament for it as well and great understanding of the game from a tactical point of view of trying to do anything, they understand it well.
“They’re great fun, they’re a really lovely bunch. Everyone aspires to come to Croke Park and win an All-Ireland and it’s fantastic to be involved. I’m just delighted to be here and absolutely thrilled to be involved with this club.”
Darragh Flynn’s early goal, set up by Mark Keane, put Ballygiblin into a lead they never lost.
“We got a fantastic start from the throw-in,” Dwane said, “Mark got through and no better man than Darragh to finish it off.
“I suppose it was scrappy enough after that, or looked to be, we had a couple of points lead, but we didn’t play that well at times in the first half.
“At half-time we were up five points, we weren’t playing that well and said we needed a bit more energy and hunting and chasing, we let them out a bit easy, but we were still in a good position to be five points up, just a bit more energy and that it was an All Ireland we were going to die in the effort of trying to win it.
“We kicked on a little bit in the second half and we were very solid at the back. Unless they got a goal they were going to find it hard to come back.”
Nothing ever stands still of course, and Ballygiblin won’t want their journey to end here.
“You know yourself, when you’re going well you try to keep it going as long as you can,” Dwane said.
“We’ve county championship now and we’ll go back training in April, but the county championship isn’t that far along. We’ll be hoping to drive it on as far as we can next year, because when the momentum goes it’s very hard to get it back, so we’ll try to keep this going as long as we can.”