"You can walk the steps of the Hogan Stand, but nothing gives me more pleasure than this" 9 months ago

"You can walk the steps of the Hogan Stand, but nothing gives me more pleasure than this"

"And I mean this from my heart..."

The more things change, the more they stay the same. He's well past his prime, but Eoin Kelly still has something to offer for Mullinahone.

And on Sunday, more than 20 years on from his Mullinahone debut and many glorious successes later, the club's talisman gave them greatest gift imaginable.

A south Tipperary title, the 12th of his decorated career and the club's 14th in their history. This one felt a little sweeter.

Three years waiting, it felt like something of a famine for the CJ Kickhams. Clubs like Killenuale and Carrick Swan were taking over and heading into Sunday's final, a young, coming and in-form Carrick Swan outfit were the favourites to take home the ร“'Riain Cup.

But Mullinahone wouldn't die easy. Three points down and with the Swans in the ascendancy, the Slieveardagh men looked a beaten docket.

Kelly kept them alive though. He wouldn't go away. His laser-like ball-striking from placed balls was to the fore while youngsters like Colin Shelly stepped up alongside the old guard which was fronted by the great Paul Curran.

By the end of it, Mullinahone powered home for a hard earned 1-18 to 1-16 victory over a gallant Swan side and captain Kelly's rousing acceptance speech had the hair standing on each parishioner's neck.

"It started in 1993, John Leahy kicked it all for us. It's a credit to everybody who has been a part of these successes," he said, before thanking everyone involved.

One of the people thanked was the club's manager Sean O'Meara, who paid tribute to his club-man and stalwart.

"Eoin's a huge leader. I'm the manager but he's nearly the manager on the field. When things were going against us yesterday, he won dirty ball that he had no right to win. There was two high balls in the second half he caught between Swans men and I don't know how he caught them, but that's Eoin," the Mullinahone manager said to SportsJOE.

"He's had a bad run with injuries the last few years. He played junior most of this year and he was unbelievable for them in loads of games, but he still has it and on the big day he did it again for us. He has a fantastic attitude, he gives so much back. Like he's the coach of our under-8s team.

Maybe he'll add to that one county title this year.

Some man for it.