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03rd Oct 2022

“The minute that whistle blew yesterday, they were all in tears. It’s for them lads” – Shinrone win for the first time ever

Niall McIntyre

Shinrone won the Offaly senior hurling championship on Sunday, their first ever, so it’s no wonder the celebrations are still going strong on Monday and will continue long into the week.

Along with Ciaran Cleary, 21-year-old Killian Sampson was the star of the show for Shinrone, the wing back scoring four huge second half points from play. Trevor Fletcher’s side were the underdogs coming on the game but, speaking on The GAA Hour’s Monday Club, Sampson told us that his team always believed.

Having won tight games on their way to the final, Sampson said they had an extra ‘edge’ this year and in the end, it’s clear that was what made the difference.

“The place is buzzing down there already,” Sampson says of the team’s Monday afternoon celebrations.

“Everyone’s out, the whole parish is out, they’ve been out since last night. You could see all the red and white flags, all the colour, all the people out, it’s great for the parish and great for the community as a whole.

“To see the kids and even all the people that have hurled before us, to see them crying yesterday, it meant so much to all of them. We were just so happy we could produce it for them.

“We’ll go to the schools tomorrow, all the kids were so glad to see us last night and there were so many of them there.”

Shinrone hadn’t contested an Offaly senior hurling final in more than fifty years and hadn’t won a knock-out game in the championship in the last decade but a group of youngsters, Sampson included, have drove the whole thing on.

“We’ve had good underage success, won a couple of under-21 titles. This year, we instilled a bit more character into ourselves and we had that extra edge in ourselves coming down the home stretch in games, an edge that we may not have had in recent years. We started to close out games, we never gave up and stayed going right until the final whistle.

“And the minute that whistle blew yesterday, they were all in tears. It’s for the older lads, lads who’ve been hurling for us for all these years. To get over the line for those lads, who have done the hard yards for so many years. It’s unbelievable.”

And for a small village like Shinrone, that means absolutely everything.

Listen to the full interview here.

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