Four Roads, eight titles!


Mulry hails ‘one of our best wins ever’ as champs win thriller


Kepak Roscommon SHC Final Replay: Four Roads 0-17 Padraig Pearses 1-11

A very strong final-quarter display saw Four Roads win their eighth Roscommon senior hurling title on the trot following this thrilling replay at Athleague on Saturday evening.

  Padraig Pearses were level (1-11 to 0-14) with only five minutes to play, but the champions pulled away in the final few minutes to run out the deserved winners after what was a titanic struggle.

  If there has been a better county senior hurling final in recent years, then I cannot recall it. The teams went at it hammer and tongs from the throw-in and the crowd were treated to a cracking encounter.

  Pearses were in the contest right to the end, but in reality Four Roads were the better team overall. However some poor shooting looked like it would cost them dearly. In the end they got it right.

   The decisive move was made by the Four Roads management in the final quarter when Conor Coyle was switched back into the half-back line. Shane Curley, Micheal Kelly and team captain Coyle took over in that sector in the final 15 minutes and that was the springboard for another title success. Once again Micheal Kelly was king of all he surveyed. He was magnificent again and led his side from the front with another inspirational display. What a player this guy is, for club and for county.

   For Pearses, it was another case of what might have been. They played some superb hurling in the first half and were slightly the better team in that period. But when they turned into the finishing straight they couldn’t match the intensity of the Four Roads challenge.

  David Loughnane, JP Dolan, Cathal Kelly, Tomas Seale, Shane Naughton, Daniel Glynn, Adam Finnerty and Tomas Sweeney were all excellent on the day but they just came up short in the end. They have a young and side and they will surely be back.

  Four Roads have the big-match players who know how to win titles. Mark McLoughlin, Shane Curley, Micheal Kelly, Johnny Moran, Cathal Dolan, Jamie Lawlor, David Dolan and Conor Coyle were all outstanding.

  Johnny Coyne was once again sprung from the bench, and although he did not have as big an impact as he did in the drawn game, his arrival coincided with Four Roads’ surge to victory. It was another masterclass in how to win a major title and team manager Micheal Mulry and his selectors can take great pride in this latest success.

  After the game an emotional For Roads manager Micheal Mulry said that he was thrilled at this latest success for the club.

  “This is absolutely brilliant, I’m over the moon. We didn’t play well in the first half and there were a few harsh words spoken at half-time. The players themselves knew that they had to improve, but I am so proud of them that they pulled it out of the fire. It’s one of our best wins ever. There is a massive will to win in Four Roads. A county final is a county final and once we get there we want to win it every year. It’s a brilliant feeling.”

  Another Four Roads man who was especially happy after another victory was the experienced Shane Curley. He was out injured for almost a year and only returned to the team for the semi-final against Athleague. He was one of the stars of the show on Saturday last.

  “That was one of the hardest-won titles that we have won. We are thrilled. We had a lot of hard words in that dressing room at half-time, but it is an unbelievable feeling. No matter how many we win it feels just as good every year. The bit of experience that we have stood to us, and we learned from the mistakes that we made last week in the drawn game.

  “The momentum was with Pearses after last week. They had got the goal to draw it so we had a point to prove and it is a great win for us. I did my cruciate last year and my first game of the year for me was the semi-final so this is my third championship game of the year and I have to say I couldn’t be happier.

  “We grew up watching great players like Mickey Cunniffe and Micheal Mulry and Paul Connolly and many others winning county titles year after year and we remember watching Four Roads winning big matches in September and October and that’s what drives us on now.” 

  So another hurling year is over and another senior title for Four Roads. When 2016 starts, and the question is asked as to who will win the Roscommon SHC, the answer will start with Four Roads and their quest for nine in a row. Is there anyone that can stop them? Not on the evidence of last Saturday. They are truly the kingpins of Roscommon hurling.

Man of the Match: Micheal Kelly (Four Roads)

For Pearses, David Loughnane had a great game throughout and Cathal Kelly, Tomas Seale and the young lads in attack – Daniel Glynn, Adam Finnerty and Shane Naughton – were very impressive.

  For the champions, Mark McLoughlin, Shane Curley, Cathal Dolan, Davy Dolan and Conor Coyle were in top class form. But there were two outstanding displays. Jamie Lawlor was a menace throughout at centre half-forward and scored four excellent points from play.

  Then there was Micheal Kelly. There is little that remains to be said about this magnificent player. He was an inspiration again last Saturday and what a precious gem they have in Four Roads. He is assuming legendary status at this stage – and rightly so too.