Ger Aylward fights back tears on glorious day for Glenmore men

AIB All-Ireland JHC final - Glenmore (Kilkenny) 2-8 Eoghan Rua, Coleraine (Derry) 0-12: Captain and Kilkenny star Ger Aylward fought back tears as he reflected on his native Glenmore’s courageous AIB All-Ireland junior success.
Ger Aylward fights back tears on glorious day for Glenmore men

The injured All Star took a full part in preparations and gave stirring speeches beforehand and at half-time before hobbling off on crutches to sit with the substitutes after his cruciate knee ligament setback.

The powerful forward conceded that it was a hugely frustrating hour or so as he watched the action pass by without him and saw opponents Coleraine also come back from the dead.

Aylward suffered the injury in the semi-final win over Dungourney and said that he will undergo surgery next week which will keep him out for the rest of the year.

In his absence, Glenmore just about completed the job yesterday, using a strong start as their platform to success and a first ever title at the grade.

“I said a few words before and I said a few words at half-time, just to drive the boys on,” said an emotional Aylward afterwards.

“It’s very frustrating personally but to see Glenmore winning, even without me, is something special.”

Glenmore weren’t overly convincing for two-thirds of the game though. Full-forward Murphy’s eighth and 18th minute goals put them 2-5 to 0-2 up and a comprehensive win for the Kilkenny men seemed a done deal.

But they only scored three more points and went the entire second-half without scoring from play.

Coleraine, backboned by the five McGoldrick brothers, fought back to trail 2-6 to 0-6 at half-time and they cut the gap to three in the 37th minute.

The Ulster champions outscored Glenmore by 0-6 to 0-2 in the second-half and registered some excellent points, including one from football ace Sean Leo McGoldrick in the 35th minute.

That three-point margin remained between them with 10 minutes to go and Ciaran Gaile’s seventh converted free of the afternoon brought it down to just two.

But Glenmore held on with Mark Aylward’s two second-half frees boosting them.“We were a bit nervous at the start and we got hit with two sucker punches for the goals,” said Coleraine manager Padraig O Mianain.

“They were the barrier that separated the two sides and we fought back but couldn’t just reel them in.”

Scorers for Glenmore:

A Murphy (2-2), M Aylward (0-4, 4 frees), E Murphy and S Murphy (0-1 each).

Scorers for Eoghan Rua, Coleraine:

(C Gaile, 0-7, 7 fress), SL McGoldrick (0-2), L McGoldrick, C McGoldrick and T Magee (0-1 each).

GLENMORE:

D Aylward; S Duggan, F Freyne, S Doherty; P Roche, R Mullally, M Phelan; S Murphy, D Aylward; J Cody, E Murphy, E Vereker; A Murphy, M Phelan, M Aylward.

Subs:

L Hennessy for Darren Aylward (h/t), B Doherty for Phelan (53), D Croke for S Murphy (62).

EOGHAN RUA, COLERAINE:

P Mullan; C Lagan, B McGoldrick, L McGoldrick; A Rafferty, N Holly, P Dallas; SL McGoldrick, R Leonard; C Gaile, R Mooney, D Mullan; C McGoldrick, C McGoldrick, T Magee.

Referee:

James Clarke (Cavan)

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