Camross were crowned the Laois senior hurling champions for the 25th time following a thrilling win over Clough-Ballacolla in O’Moore Park on Sunday afternoon.
A late goal from sub Mark Dowling was the crucial score but they were made to endure a nervous finish after Willie Dunphy crashed home a brilliant goal in injury time.
Camross survived that scare, however, and held on for an incredible win. In an amazing game, Camross got off to a dream start with two goals in the opening ten minutes - the first after five minutes when Dwane Palmer set up Niall Holmes; the second moments later when the roles were reversed.
But Clough-Ballacolla responded by scoring the next five points, four of them from the outstanding Willie Hyland who scored 15 points and was desperately unfortunate to end up on the losing side.
At half-time Camross led 2-7 to 0-9, but Ballacolla fought on after the break and took the lead in the 51st minute, when Hyland was on target again. Dean Delaney levelled things up with a point from play and then Zane Keean put Camross back into the lead with a sideline cut.
Dowling’s goal put daylight between the sides and although Dunphy gave Ballacolla a glimmer of hope, Camross held on.
Camross: Zane Keenan 0-5 (sideline cut, two frees), Niall Holmes 1-1, Dwane Palmer 1-0, Mark Dowling 1-0, Darragh Duggan 0-1, Damien Keenan 0-1, Gearoid Burke 0-2, Ciaran Collier 0-1, Dean Delaney 0-2.
Clough-Ballacolla: Willie Hyland 0-15 (nine frees, one sideline cut), Willie Dunphy 1-0, Robbie Phelan 0-1, Michael McEvoy 0-1, Aidan Corby 0-1, Lee Cleere 0-1
CAMROSS: Tadhg Doran; Michael Phelan, Martin Burke, Joe Phelan; Darrell Dooley, Gearoid Burke, Damien Keenan; Tomas Burke, Darragh Duggan; Andrew Collier, Zane Keenan, Dean Delaney; Niall Holmes, Dwane Palmer, Ciaran Collier. Subs: Mark Dowling for C Collier (41 mins), Darren Gilmarting for A Coller (47 mins)
CLOUGH-BALLACOLLA: Danny Hanlon; John A Delaney, Darren Maher, Eoin Doyle; Ronan Broderick, Michael McEvoy, Lee Cleere; Tom Delaney, Aidan Corby; Canice Coonan, Shane Hanlon, Robbie Phelan; Stephen Bergin, Willie Hyland, Willie Dunphy. Subs: Brian Corby for S Hanlon (44 mins)
REFEREE: Anthony Stapleton (Rathdowney-Errill)