Liam Moreton breaks through the Cluainin defence. Photo by Willie Donnellan
It might have been their 32nd title but never has a Leitrim Senior Hurling Championship title felt so sweet for the hurlers of Carrick-on-Shannon.
Still coming to terms with the sudden passing of one of their stalwart players in Bernard Murray, Carrick were seeking to regain the Stephen Dorrigan Cup for the first time since 2014 and end what, for them at least, was a famine.
Driven by the memory of last year's loss to Cluainin, Carrick-on-Shannon played with an intensity and desire that turned this game into one way traffic for long periods, only Manorhamilton's startling effective attack and their own wastefulness stopping them from taking complete control in the first half.
Still they led 1-5 to 0-4, led by the towering Man of the Match Colm Moreton and while we expected a Cluainin fightback in the second half, what we got was total Carrick dominance as they stormed to a 3-11 to 0-8 victory, comprehensive and comfortable.
For Carrick's players, it was a victory tinged with sadness as they remembered their team-mate and friend, the late Bernard Murray. Captain Vinny McDermott said “We just had it in the back of our minds the effort Bernard would put in, he was a trier, he was one of the lads who got stuck in no matter what and we just had to do what he did on the field and give it everything.”
Manager Olcan Conway said “It was going to be one of those days emotionally, emotions were going to be all over the place. I was talking to the players, trying to keep them in check, trying to keep to the gameplan and concentrate on what we needed to do to win the game.”