Bergin gets O'Loughlin's over the line

December 04, 2023

O'Loughlin Gaels Mark Bergin celebrates with his teammates. ©INPHO/Ken Sutton.

Mark Bergin’s 60th minute free handed O’Loughlin Gaels a dramatic 0-22 to 1-18 Leinster Club SHC final victory over Na Fianna at Croke Park.

The 34-year-old captain held his nerve to convert his ninth free and 11th point overall as O’Loughlin’s were crowned Leinster champions for the first time in 13 years. Conquerors of All-Ireland champions Ballyhale Shamrocks in the Kilkenny SHC final, the Gaels looked to be heading for defeat when AJ Murphy edged Na Fianna ahead in the 58th minute, but Luke Hogan equalised before Bergin won it at the death.

It was cruel on the first-time Dublin winners who contributed handsomely to a ding-dong contest that was level eight times. With Paddy Deegan in fine scoring form, O’Loughlin’s led by two points at the break before a superb Sean Currie goal propelled Na Fianna into a 1-12 to 0-13 lead after 39 minutes.

It was nip-and-tuck thereafter with Colin Currie finishing with 0-11 for the Mobhi Road outfit and wing back David Fogarty hitting two vital second half scores for the winners.

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