"There's plenty of heartache in this management trade, so you take these good days" - Hogan on the double
It was an early start and a late finish for Ken Hogan on Sunday, when he famously won two county finals in the one day.
He let out a few yelps when the Lorrha camogie team won the Tipperary Junior B camogie title on Sunday morning but, with his St Rynaghs side playing in the Offaly senior hurling final on Sunday afternoon, that was all he had time for.
From there, the managerial maestro made a burst for Tullamore with a passenger informing us that, for most of the one hour and 20 minute journey from the Ragg in Drom and Inch to O'Connor Park in Offaly, the smile barely left his face.
He had initially planned to leave the camogie game with ten minutes to go but with Moycarkey-Borris pushing his native Lorrha all the way, this was no place for quiet escapes. Hogan couldn't bring himself to leave anyway and he was delighted when, a couple of minutes later, the final whistle was blown and Lorrha held out for a one point win.
Across the country to O'Connor Park where it was just as tense. Coolderry started the better in a proverbial November dog-fight but with Rynaghs hanging in there, Hogan's day of days got even better when, with time almost up, Stephen Quirke scored the goal that sealed the Banagher side's third championship win in a row.
1 day, 2 county championships 🏆🏆
Ken Hogan managed his home club Lorrha to the Tipperary Junior B Camogie title at 10.30 this morning before heading for Tullamore.
There, with a win over Coolderry, he managed @strynaghs to their third Offaly senior hurling title in a row 👏 pic.twitter.com/D1hWFdPHFj
— GAA JOE (@GAA__JOE) November 21, 2021
Word has it that Hogan ended his night dancing on the tables in Maher's pub in Lorrha, although he was quick to deny these rumours in an interview with Colm Parkinson on Monday's GAA Hour Show.
"How would any table hold me up?" he laughed.
"I left the Ragg at ten to 12. Headed for Tullamore and our warm-up was already set up, we were there at around ten past one and it was a sense of relief just getting to the venue first of all. We were brought down to earth straight away by Coolderry then."
Make that six Offaly senior hurling championships Hogan has now won as manager, his first with Birr in 1991 when he was still playing for Tipp. What will have made Sunday's win bittersweet is that it came against Coolderry, a club he won two with before guiding them to an All-Ireland final in 2012.
"I choked when I was speaking to the Coolderry players back in 2014, on my last day with them after we lost to Kilcormac-Killoughey in the semi-final. It was the same yesterday. I went into those Coolderry players, a team of absolute legends."
Hogan has also won with Borris-Kilcotton in Laois, he has won a Ryan Cup with Maynooth and an All-Ireland under-21 title for Tipp. But, even after all those big wins, winning with his home club, albeit at a lower grade, was just as sweet.
— Dammit, Marty (@DammitMarty) November 21, 2021
It's a measure of the man that, while managing a Junior Camogie team wouldn't be considered a glamour job, when his home club came looking, he answered the call and through his busy schedule he committed to training them once and sometimes twice a week.
"There's plenty of heartache in this management trade as well, but the huge fillip for me was winning that junior championship with Lorrha because they gave it absolutely everything. Blood, guts and thunder. They always say the team that wins is the team that wants to win most so to get over the line with this team is unbelievable."
All in a day's work.