Shinrone captured an historic first Offaly senior hurling title with a flourishing performance in O’Connor Park.
In only their second ever final, their first since 1960, the men in red and white were handsome victors against a fancied Kilcormac-Killoughey side that lost so much confidence after an erratic first-half of shooting.
If Ciarán Cleary was the star of the first half, Killian Sampson was the star of the second as he sent over four points from wing-back.
Kilcormac-Killoughey made it a one-point game with the first of the new period but didn’t score for another 14 minutes in which time Shinrone had stretched their lead to seven points.
Ger Healion touched the ball in for a goal in the 53rd minute to make it a five-point game but Shinrone were surging and responded with a couple of points. A second Kilcormac-Killoughey goal came from Cillian Kiely in additional time but once more Shinrone responded with a brace of white flags.
Kilcormac-Killoughey opened with the first three points of the game but their shooting went awry for the remainder of the half as they clocked up 12 wides aided by a gentle breeze in contrast to Shinrone’s five points.
Corner-forward Alex Kavanagh struck three wides, two of them goal attempts, while he was blocked by Darren Crean for a point attempt. Cathal Kiely had four wides to his name by the break, a couple of them from long distance frees.
The margin was three points in Kilcormac-Killoughey's favour up to the 17th minute when Shinrone strung together a couple of scores, the latter of them from Ciarán Cleary who was a constant threat in the opening period.
Trailing by two in the 22nd minute, they hit Kilcormac-Killoughey for three on the trot as Michael Cleary began to dictate matters at centre-back. Kilcormac-Killoughey twice levelled the game via Kiely and James Kilmartin but scores from Shinrone corner-forwards Paul Cleary and Jason Sampson gave the underdogs a deserved half-time advantage, 0-10 to 0-8.
D. Morkan (0-7, 4 frees, 1 65); C. Cleary (0-5); K. Sampson, J. Sampson (0-4 each); S. Cleary (0-2); D. Cleary, Paul Cleary, C. Doughan, D.J. McLoughlin (0-1 each).
C. Kiely (0-7, 4 frees, 1 sideline); Cillian Kiely (1-1, 0-1 65); G. Healion (1-0); C. Mahon, A. Spain, L. Kavanagh, J. Kilmartin, C. Mitchell (0-1 each).
E. Cleary; D. Crean, D. O’Meara, Peter Cleary; K. Sampson, M. Cleary, D. Maher; D. Cleary, L. Watkins; S. Cleary, D. Morkan, A. Cleary; Paul Cleary, C. Cleary, J. Sampson (c).
C. Doughan for A. Cleary (48); D.J. McLoughlin for P. Cleary, C. Ryan for S. Cleary, J. Cleary for M. Cleary (blood) (all 56); M. Morkan for D. Cleary (60+1).
C. Slevin; T. Spain (c), E Grogan, O. Mahon; J. Quinn, D. Kilmartin, A. Spain; Cillian Kiely, C. Spain; C. Mahon, J. Kilmartin, Cathal Kiely; A. Kavanagh, G. Healion, L. Kavanagh.
J. Screeney for J. Kilmartin (h-t); C. Mitchell for A. Kavanagh (37); J. Gorman for L. Kavanagh (38); T. Geraghty for A. Spain (40).
S.M. Maher (Drumcullen).