St Rynagh's 1-11 Coolderry 0-12

St Rynagh's completed three in a row for the first time since the 1970s when they broke Coolderry's hearts in a dramatic Offaly Senior Hurling Championship title in O'Connor Park.

A deflected goal from Stephen Quirke two minutes into injury time rescued the champions from the brink of defeat and left a devastated Coolderry side no time to recover.

It was a sensational end to a game that never really got going. The hurling was tough, the match was fiercely fought and there was great intensity here but it was also scrappy, dour and low scoring with too many errors.

That, however, is November hurling for you and the sheer commitment of both sides kept the much lower than normal attendance of 2,833 enthralled, while that finish rescued the game and ensured it will be remembered.

Coolderry had been on the cusp of a famous win.

A small rural parish, Coolderry are top of the Offaly hurling roll of honour and they looked set to pull it off when they led by 0-12 to 0-10 with it heading into three minutes of injury time. They had missed their own goal chance to seal it in the 58th minute but sub David Tooher was hooked by Ben Conneely with the net gaping.

With the pitch cutting up as the game wore on, the contest never really ignited, but the issue was always in doubt.

St Rynagh's had first use of the wind and were the better side in the first half. They led by 0-03 to no score before Brian Carroll got Coolderry off the mark with a tenth-minute free.

Coolderry got back level by the 19th minute but St Rynagh's got three of the closing four points to lead by 0-6 to 0-4 at half-time.

The Banagher club were well worth that lead, but Coolderry forced them into an increasingly desperate rearguard action in the second half.

They got three in a row from Carroll, Eoin Ryan and Kevin Connolly to lead for the first time, 0-08 to 0-07 by the 42nd minute. And they were three points up, 0-11 to 0-08 with eight minutes left and St Rynagh's were in serious bother, hitting some very poor wides before Stephen Quirke and sub Paul Quirke pointed to make it a one-point game with three minutes left.

After Tooher was denied, Brian Carroll's delightful point put Coolderry two clear before Aidan Treacy got a 65 and Stephen Quirke won it for St Rynagh's at the death.

Tipperary goalkeeping legend Ken Hogan has now managed St Rynagh's to three in a row, having guided Coolderry to back-to-back titles in 2010 and 2011.

He was a relieved man at the final whistle. "Matches are never gone, particularly championship hurling. You saw the events have transpired over the last number of years particularly in hurling, you're thought to fight to the end to the wire and we used our subs bench, emptied our subs bench.

"I thought Niall Wynne had a huge difference when he came in corner forward and we kept pegging away.

"There was a temptation to lob it in and we said take the point take the point and we were trying for the equaliser at the very end and thankfully the ball broke and Stepehen Quirke applied the finishing touch.

"What a way to win it. In 2015 Coolderry caught Rynagh’s in a similar way so it’s amazing how fate intervenes. And to the lads it was one of those county finals that had to be earned."

ST RYNAGH'S: Conor Clancy; Conor Hernon, Pat Camon, Stephen Wynne; Matthew Maloney, Ben Conneely, Dermot Shortt; Joseph O'Connor, Ronan Hughes; Stephen Quirke, Sean Dolan, Garry Conneely; Luke O'Connor, Aidan Treacy, Aaron Kenny.

Subs: Niall Wynne for Luke O'Connor (38m), Paul Quirke for Hughes (41m), Diarmuid Horan for Garry Conneely (46m), Ciaran Flannery for Kenny (49m),

COOLDERRY: Stephen Corcoran; Stephen Burke, Trevor Corcoran, Stephen Connolly; Conor Molloy, David King, Gearoid McCormack; Shane Ryan, William Malone; Eoin Ryan, Brian Carroll, Eoghan Parlon; Daniel Miller, Kevin Connolly, Cian Burke.

Subs: David Tooher for Miller (37m), Kevin Brady for Burke (46m), Mark Bergin for Ryan (57m), David Connolly for Malone (59m),

Referee: Kieran Dooley (Drumcullen).


St Rynagh's: Aidan Treacy 0-5 (1f and 1 "65"), Stephen Quirke 1-1, Luke O'Connor 0-2 (1f), Garry Conneely, Paul Quirke and Aaron Kenny 0-1 each.

Coolderry: Brian Carroll 0-6 (3f), Kevin Connolly 0-3, Eoin Ryan 0-2, David King 0-1.