Beaten All-Ireland B football finalists last year, Abbey ensured they wouldn’t be bridesmaids in the small ball code with a hard-fought extra-time victory over St Louis Grammar School from Antrim.
Power unleashed a torrent of emotion when he lashed home the insurance goal in the dying embers of extra-time and the Galtee Rovers player lined out just a day after his sister’s funeral.
Team mentor Darragh O’Donovan, a member of Limerick’s senior hurling panel and an All-Ireland U21 medallist last year, hailed Power’s strength of character at full-time.
O’Donovan said: “Shane is just an amazing fella. There’s not a player in Tipperary can catch a ball like Shane can.
“He’s beaten every centre back he’s played this year.
“To come out and do what he did today, I don’t think anyone else could have done it.
“He was very emotional beforehand – he’d normally be the craic at the back of the bus, he sat on his own today. His performance was something else.”
Two late frees from leading scorer Rian Doody brought the game into extra-time before Abbey kicked for home.
St Louis scored the only goal of regulation time in the 19th minute, Ronan Graham kicking home the first of his brace from close range.
The remaining three goals of the game arrived in a three-minute spell at the end of extra-time, Daire Egan netting to establish a six-point lead for Abbey before Graham struck again.
The final word went to Power, who capped a fine individual display in difficult circumstances with an emphatic finish into the top corner.
O’Donovan insisted: “The boys were never going to get tired. We came in eight days over the Christmas, this week we were in four times. We’ve trained at 6, 7 o’clock in the morning, we’ve often done two hours after school.” All of that hard work paid off as the Abbey claimed a third B hurling crown, following on from previous successes in 1992 and 2002.
R Doody 0-10 (7f), S Power & D Egan 1-1 each, J Ryan, K Franks & S Neville 0-2 each, K Breen 0-1.
R Graham 2-0, J McNaughton 0-6 (5f), S Elliot 0-3, C Doherty-Cunning 0-2, E O’Neill & K Molloy 0-1 each.
A Griffin; C Ryan, D Byron, C Bradshaw; S O’Brien, J Ryan, C Donovan; K Breen, T Lowry; S Neville, S Power, R Doody; K Franks, D Egan, N Heffernan.
C Hennessey for Donovan (49), C Maher for Egan (55), M McCormack for C Maher (70), Egan for Franks (77).
R Elliot; P Graffin, D Martin, C Rice; C Kinsella, C McMullan, R McGarry; S Duffin, E O’Neill; K Molloy, C Doherty-Gunning, R Graham; C Elliot, J McNaughton, S Elliot.
S McKinley for Graffin (49), N Shannon for McGarry (69), E Fyfe for O’Neill (77).
C McAllister (Cork) ends