Birr cruise to 16th title
March 26, 2001
Birr captured their 16th Offaly SHC title at St. Brendan's Park (March 25) following this surprisingly comfortable victory over a disappointing Seir Kieran side.
Having been postponed on two occasions since December, this final was eagerly awaited with hurling fans from throughout the midlands making their way to the Birr venue. As it transpired, however, a younger, fresher Birr team packed too much firepower for a Clareen outfit who over-relied on the Dooley brothers for their scores. It remains to be seen if the manner of Seir Kieran's collapse will prompt 37-year-old Joe Dooley to retire from the inter-county scene as was speculated all last week.
The writing was on the wall for Seir Kieran after just six minutes when Paul Molloy scored Birr's opening goal. The reigning champions were in cruise control thereafter, their advantage being extended to a massive 14 points (2-10 to 0-2) by half-time thanks to a second goal from Rory Hanniffy. Incidentally, referee Pat Horan blew his half-time whistle three minutes before the allotted 30 minutes.
Billy Dooley managed a second half goal for a beleaguered Seir Kieran side but there was to be no way back as Gary Hanniffy put the icing on the cake for Birr with a third goal.
Birr - B Mullins, G Cahill, J Errity, D Franks, JP O'Meara, Brian Whelahan, N Claffey, J Pilkington 0-2, Barry Whelehan, D Pilkington, L Power 0-3, R Hanniffy 1-2, P Molloy 1-4, G Hanniffy 1-5, S Whelahan. Subs: S Browne 0-1 for Barry Whelehan, B Hennessy for Franks, P Murphy for S Whelahan 0-4, G Doorley for O'Meara, C Hanniffy for Power.
Seir Kieran - L Coughlan, P Scully, K Kinahan, P Connors, D Murphy, K Dooley, J Guinan, F O'Neill, Joe Dooley 0-2, Johnny Dooley 0-5, M Coughlan 0-1, B Dooley 1-1, G Connors, E Coughlan, S Dooley. Subs: D Coffey for O'Neill, M Mulrooney for G Connor.
Referee - N Flynn (Kilcormac-Killoughy)
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