Two years ago, he was at the helm when St Mary’s in Wicklow won a senior title and in Dr Cullen Park yesterday, he helped Old Leighlin regain the senior football championship title they last won two years ago.
Old Leighlin made a perfect start as Cathal Coughlan took advantage of a mistake in Rathvilly’s defence to goal from close range. Old Leighlin led by six points before Gary Dempsey got Rathvilly off the mark in the 17th minute. Rathvilly enjoyed their best spell in the second quarter and were rewarded when Brian Murphy found the net. At half-time the sides were level at 1-4 each.
In a dour second period, Old Leighlin toughed it out. Seamus Kinsella scored three points from play while, man of the match, Pat Hickey also split the posts on two occasions as they eclipsed the potential danger of Rathvilly dangerman, Brendan Murphy.
The game could have changed on 53 minutes but Old Leighlin keeper, James Clarke produced a magnificent save to deny Patrick Byrne. Though JJ Smith converted the resultant 45, Rathvilly were unable to break down the resolute Old Leighlin defence.
Scorers for Old Leighlin: C. Coughlan 1-1, P.Hickey 0-3, S. Kinsella 0-5 (2fs), W. Minchin 0-1.
Scorers for Rathvilly: Brian Murphy 1-3 (2fs), G. Dempsey 0-2 (1f), JJ. Smith 0-2 (1 45) J. O’Donoghue 0-1.
OLD LEIGHLIN: J. Clarke; R. Burke, M. Meaney, G. Hickey; D. Dowling (E. Fitzgerald 45m), J. Hayden, B. Hayes; D. Bambrick, H. Gahan; M. Brennan, P. Hickey, M. Meaney Monemore (S. Kennedy 49m); C. Coughlan, W. Minchin, S. Kinsella.
RATHVILLY: D. Kehoe; B.J. Molloy, B. Leonard, T. Bolger; J. O’Donoghue, S. Murphy (K. Doyle 54m), A. Bolger; Brendan Murphy, P. Byrne (K. Byrne 60m); E. Finnegan (D. Byrne 51m), JJ. Smith, D. Molloy; G. Owens, G. Dempsey, Brian Murphy.
Referee: J. Hickey.