VIDEO: Gaelic Life Club All-Stars Hurling Manager of the Year (Gregory O’Kane – Dunloy)

IT’S not every year an Ulster team reaches the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship final, so great credit must go to the management team of Dunloy, spearheaded by Gregory O’Kane.

O’Kane was at the helm of a fantastic year for the Dunloy hurlers, who produced a stirring performance in the Ulster final against rivals Sleacht Néill to bring the Four Seasons Cup back to the club for the first time since the 2009/10 season.

They weren’t fully satisfied with that, however, and claimed a super win over St Thomas to reach the All-Ireland final where they ultimately fell short against an already-legendary Ballyhale Shamrocks team.

But it was a marvellous season nevertheless and O’Kane dedicated his award to all those who helped out along the way.

“It’s nice to receive this award but I have to dedicate it to my management team and the group of players we have at our disposal. They’re a great group of lads to manage. Without the management team I wouldn’t be winning anything like this.”

On their long-awaited Ulster success, he said: “It was nice surely to get over the line. This group of players had been building to that day. They’ve improved year by year and you saw that come to fruition last season between their game experience and age profile, and thank God the result against Sleacht Néill went our way on the day.”

Dunloy more than matched Ballyhale for long stretches of the All-Ireland final but the Kilkenny kingpins pulled through on the home straight. Their experience proved crucial when the game was in the melting pot, but Dunloy can look ahead to the future with confidence.

“Ballyhale, my God, what a side. It’s like a county team playing club hurling if that makes sense, given the quality they have. We did well to match them for the guts of 50 minutes but their experience and guile probably got them over the line.”

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


Gaelic Life is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 10-14 John Street, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT781DW