It has been a long and busy year for Fergal Conway on the football front with club and county but on Saturday afternoon his hurling did all the talking.
He helped himself to 1-1 and when dropping deeper in the second half to help out the defence he did a perfect job.
All that is made the more remarkable with the fact that this final was only his third game of hurling all year, but he has stood out in all of them.
After helping his team out of the group stages with victory over Clane, he then shone against Confey in the semi-final before this win.
Conway came into the game on the back of a devastating one-point defeat to Athy with the senior footballers, but with this on the horizon it made him look forward a bit easier.
“Losing the football semi-final was tough but I suppose it was beneficial having this to look forward to with such a quick turnaround in getting the head space right again. We knew this was a big one and the lads trained well all year.
“This was actually only my third game of hurling all year so it’s definitely nice to get the win and you’ve stalwarts there like Mark Moloney and they have been pushing for years now.
“Tom Fitzgerald’s goal was crucial as we were struggling there for 15 or 20 minutes of the second half but I suppose the word resilience is thrown out a good bit these days but we definitely had that in spades today when we got on top of them and we managed to turn the screw.”
Tactically the winners got it spot on with Conway stationed in at full-forward for the opening period.
The move paid off as he bagged a brilliant first half goal and he admits getting goals was a target for them.
“We had a plan of trying to get goals. We just said if we get the ball into our hands, take our men on and it wasn’t necessarily go for goals every time, it was more take our men on and if the goal was on take it and if it’s not take your score”.
“We probably didn’t do enough of that as we had a lot of wides, but flanked by the two lads inside who have good pace, sure why would you not go for goals. I’m just delighted overall,” he said.
The attacking platform was laid by the Celbridge defence who were relentless all over the field.
The O’Muinneachain’s at the heart of it took the headlines but the likes of Kevin Murphy and Sean O’Sullivan also had huge games in containing a star studded Ardclough forward line.
“That was Sean O’Sullivan’s first county final and I thought he done pretty well. Obviously then you have Niall O’Muinneachain who was man of the match there dominating the backs at centre back.
“I think it all started with the full forward line putting on as much pressure on the ball as we possibly could to try and make their lives easier but there were stages when we didn’t, and they were still mopping up balls.
“Even the free count was relatively low but its an inter county standard defence there so its brilliant to have.”
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