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O'Rourke gives credit to McDonnell for scintillating display by forwards


Champion: Burren captain Cathal Foy in action yesterday

Champion: Burren captain Cathal Foy in action yesterday

Champion: Burren captain Cathal Foy in action yesterday

Burren midfielder Ryan Treanor was outside the dressing room with a face like butter wouldn't melt, calling manager Paddy O'Rourke into the dressing room.

As soon as he entered, he was caught in the crossfire of a couple of dozen water bottles sprayed at his head and well, the whole thing went sideways after that.

They will enjoy this win in the village of Burren, but their manager is a serene type and grounded as he assessed the match just before his soaking.

"Personally it feels as good as anything to me because I was conscious of the fact that the club hadn't got over the line for five or six years with a very talented group of players," he said.

"And some players have gone away. We have lost players where I think they got fed up getting beaten.

"As a club we are very driven and very, very good club with a good support base and it is so important to them. To lose so many is difficult for them. So to win this today, really for the club and the players means an awful lot to me because I know how important it is."

He continued: "It feels very good. I am happy we won. I wouldn't have been too down to lose, but today would have been a bad one to lose because we had a team that had been playing well, they were in a good place and I really expected them to win.

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"I think they expected to win as well."

While the performance of Donal O'Hare was a huge factor in this victory, O'Rourke unselfishly placed a great deal of the credit on to his selector, the former Player of the Year in 2003, Stevie McDonnell, who has been with the team this season.

"I managed him, and he was the sort of player who had a lot of belief in his own ability, and all we were looking for was him to transfer some of that belief into the Donal O'Hares of this world," O'Rourke explained.

"I think you can see that's starting to happen. He just carries an awful belief.

"He spends a lot of time with our forwards, and we've scored a lot all year. A lot of that must go down to him."

For his opposing number, Kilcoo manager Paul McIver, the loss of so many major players left an insurmountable gulf.

"You lift the paper on a Friday to read that you are telling lies. We just tell the truth and the fact of the matter is that we had all those boys injured and you just need that wee bit of quality. We had five county players missing and that is some hole in anybody's team," he said.

"But that's it, everybody has injuries, we just seemed to get a spell of too many injuries."

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