Brian Hogan insists "there was no way we were losing that match" after Kilkenny SHC final

O'Loughlin Gaels were four point winners over Ballyhale Shamrocks at Nowlan Park on Sunday

BY Cian Roche 12:06 Monday 31 October 2016, 12:06 31 Oct 2016

Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie 

O'Loughlin Gaels captain Brian Hogan insists his side were not going to be beaten in the final of the Kilkenny senior hurling championship on Sunday afternoon.

Hogan was on hand to lift the cup as Gaels ran out four-point winners over Ballyhale Shamrocks and said that the disappointment of last year's result spurred on their performance at Nowlan Park.

"Anyone who was in the dressing room after defeat to Clara will know where that came from," he told Newstalk Sport's Oisin Langan after the match. "Gorta [Martin Comerford] was captain last year and he said some words in the dressing room. We didn't talk about it all year until today really.

"It was emotional. He just said 'Look lads, it's in our hands to come back again here next year and it's going to be a test of what we're made off'.

"We didn't make a big deal of it throughout the year because we didn't want to drag it out but today was the day to bring that back to the forefront.

"I think we showed it as well, if we had to be dragged off the field there was no way we were losing that match today." 

Henry Shefflin (centre) congratulates Brian Hogan (left) and Anthony Forristal (right). Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie 

The club clinched just their fourth title ever and the victory was made even sweeter by the competitive nature of the Kilkenny hurling championship.

"It's always worth it to win a county championship, especially in Kilkenny where they're so bloody hard to get. There were times this year I was wondering with injury was it ever going to happen.

"The panel were just so focused this year after the disappointment of last year. To get back here and - I won't say set the record straight because the better team won last year - to win one, I can't explain how much this means."

Hogan explained that last year's defeat offered a period of reflection for his team and himself personally to see whether or not they actually were committed to going all the way.

"There was a bit of soul searching over the winter thinking do you have it in you to go again? The club year is a long year. A couple of weeks passed and I was itching to get back into it. We got together as a group of players and did a bit of fundraising because we wanted to get a gym in the club.

"We took that onus upon ourselves because the easiest thing to do would have just been let the club try and do it. It was a chance to bring the players together more than ever for a bit of bonding. 

"During the summer there's a long lay-off with the club so you try manage that... We knew exactly what was ahead of us. It's just a matter of getting through the summer months and allowing lads to live. You're peaking for different periods and then you drop off and then you have to try and peak again."

The title becomes their first in six years, the last coming in 2010 when they were three-point winners over Carrickshock.

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