Ballyhale Shamrocks’s winning captain Colin Fennelly has confirmed his retirement from inter-county hurling.
The 32-year-old had stepped away from the panel this past season but had not ruled out a return to the set-up.
However, speaking after claiming his 10th senior county medal, the five-time All-Ireland SHC winner and two-time All-Star revealed he had played his last game for the county.
“Naw, I'll be finished up. I have had enough. I had a year to think about it and I am glad I took that time to think about it. I am happy playing with the club and there are so many young lads coming through. I had a great time playing with Kilkenny. Fantastic so it was.”
Fennelly revelled in the club’s latest success, their 19th in total and second four-in-a-row. “That is amazing. It is something you couldn’t even think about. You would get butterflies in your stomach at the thought of it. To stand here now and know we have achieved it is an amazing feeling.
“We are after doing the (club’s) second four-in-a-row. This is my 10th championship win. Myself, Eoin Reid and TJ, three of us left of the first one. This is an amazing feeling. I am delighted for the club and team.”
Shamrocks trailed O’Loughlin Gaels at half-time as well as the two water breaks before turning on the turbo chargers in the closing quarter. “That was the essence of a top team performance. Everyone on the team stepped up when needed. Different players showed for us at different times. Eoin Reid, who has been injured for the last three games, caught a vital ball that was crucial. TJ (Reid) did wonderful things as usual. Everyone performed.
“O’Loughlin’s were wonderful in the first half. Every ball we got on they swarmed us. At half-time the simple message for us was that they were working harder than us. It wasn’t that we weren’t trying during the first half. They were literally on top of us on every ball and they showed how really good they are.”
A Leinster quarter-final clash with Mount Leinster Rangers awaits Shamrocks at the end of the month and Fennelly is keen to make up for lost time after the provincial competition was postponed last year.
“I won’t be stopping with the club, that is for sure. The Leinster Championship is very much on our radar now. We are out in three weeks time and we will be looking forward to it. We will enjoy this moment, and for the week and then we will get back to training."