By Kieran Murphy
HUNGER. This was the motivation for Rangers this year. From goalkeeper Frank Foley, who up to Sunday had six winners medals in his possession, this victory was all about putting the name of Rangers back to the top of Carlow hurling.
“It hasn’t sunk in at the moment. 2013 was our last. At that stage we probably thought we were going to have a free run from there on,” said Foley.
He admitted there were similarities to 2006 where the club had lost three finals in five years and it was becoming more difficult to make the breakthrough.
“Before we won our first, we wondered whether we were ever going to win one. The same doubt could have crept into these lads and you didn’t want that happening.”
He admitted the three-in-a-row team may have been a little jaded going into the 2014 championship.
“Lads need to realise it isn’t the same team that was there back in 2013. Lads were tired and we had to blood young lads. The longer we didn’t win one the harder it was going to get for them. They were used to success (at underage level).”
Diarmuid Byrne said the whole squad was driven this year.
“Regardless of who we were playing today, we said at the start of the year we were going to bring back the trophy today. Thankfully we did.”
The Rangers midfielder said Naomh Eoin made them dig deep for this one.
“Myshall were up for this as much as we were. They brought up the intensity, we brought up the intensity. They brought it up again. That is what made it the game it was.”
Clutching his man-of-the-match award, Denis Murphy was adamant there was no individual plaudits to be taken from a huge team performance.
“It is a nice bonus but it is all about the cup. It is not about me. It is about the team, the lads on the line, the panel who are there every night of the week. Every man that is there who puts in 100% during the year. We are all delighted.”
He conceded the blitz before the interval was pleasing.
“Chris Nolan put over some great scores. Kevin McDonald turned over ball. He got in at the end of a long ball and scored a goal. There are times when you think that is not possible and you have to dig in and grind. Thankfully we did that when we had to.”