- John Kenny reports on Mount Leinster Rangers win over Oulart-The Ballagh
- Mount Leinster Rangers captain David Phelan says his side showed great character in victory over Oulart-The Ballagh
- Man of the match Denis Murphy of Mount Leinster Rangers gives his reaction to their provincial win
- Mount Leinster Rangers' Richard Coady was delighted with his side's win
Mount Leinster Rangers star Denis Murphy wants their Leinster Club Senior Hurling Championship success to boost the fortunes of Carlow hurling.
Rangers became the first team from the county to lift the O’Neill Cup after a 0-11 to 0-08 win over Wexford's Oulart-The Ballagh in Nowlan Park.
The Carlow county board had lobbied last month for inclusion in a proposed restructured league format that was eventually ditched.
But Murphy hopes that yesterday’s win can serve as a lift to the code in the county.
He told RTÉ Sport: “We got our breakthrough on 2006, we won our first ever hurling Championship and since then we’ve really been building on success after success.
“Hopefully, we can inspire more success, not just for ourselves but for Carlow, the county team and clubs teams to believe in themselves and go on and build on this platform and do great things from here.”
“With ten minutes to go we felt we’d a super panel that could push on” - Denis Murphy
Despite coming in as underdogs, Mount Leinster shocked the Wexford champions, beaten finalists for the previous three years, with Murphy scoring eight of 11 points.
“We felt coming here today that we’d every chance,” he added.
“We’d belief in our team to go and take this Oulart team. We’d huge respect for Oulart, they’d been here for the last three [finals], they were beaten but they are still a great side.
“With ten minutes to go we felt we’d a super panel that could push on.”
“That’s understandable from outside the club [that no one gave us a chance]. We won six out of the last eight Carlow Championships, we’ve won the last three in a row, we’ve won the All-Ireland Intermediate Championship two years ago. We’re an experienced team but there’s a great bit of youth as well.”
Captain David Phelan was understandably delighted after lifting the trophy and singled out man of the match Murphy for praise.
“Ever since he was under-14 or under-16 he was a whiz kid and he still is, he showed in his performance, I don’t think he missed one free today,” said Phelan, whose side will now face Antrim champions Loughiel Shamrocks in the All-Ireland semi-final next year.
He added: “The game was won in the second half, that’s what we always say no matter who we are playing. Our lads dug deep in the second half and ground out a good victory.”