Camross claimed just their third ever Laois Minor hurling title following a dramatic last gasp win over Abbeyleix in O’Moore Park on Friday evening.
James Cuddy was their hero as his goal in the second minute of injury time – Camross’ only score from play in the entire match – was the difference.
Below, we take a more in depth look at how the game unfolded:
1 – Man of the Match – Ben Deegan
The decision here is a straight shoot-out between Abbeyleix’s Colin Byrne and Camross’ Ben Deegan.
Both finished with nine points and both hit some sublime points mixed in with some wides too.
But in the end, Deegan’s part in the crucial goal edges it his way as it was his shot from the 13 metre free that caused the chaos from which James Cuddy scored.
2 – Incredible drama
That goal was probably the most dramatic finish we’ve had to a game in O’Moore Park since Jody Dillon’s last gasp winner for Stradbally against Portlaoise in 2016.
Colin Byrne put Abbeyleix two ahead after 47 minutes and then, incredibly, neither team scored again until that Cuddy goal.
It seemed as if Camross were dead and buried as we entered injury time and they were down by two points and still yet to score from play.
But that goal changed everything and when Camross won the resulting puck-out, the full time whistle blew and pandemonium ensued.
3 – Heartbreak for Abbeyleix
While it was of course an euphoric moment for Camross, your heart would have to go out to the Abbeyleix lads.
They trailed by five points at half time but a stunning third quarter comeback saw them hold Camross scoreless and tag on seven unanswered scores to give themselves the lead.
They had chances to make it a three point game but they failed to do so which left the door slightly open for Camross – which was all they needed.
4 – History for Camross captain
Camross full back Cathal Cuddy scored a great point in the first half and was the captain who received the trophy from clubman Mattie Collier afterwards.
He created history as his mother Trish captained Camross to Laois and Leinster championship glory in the past while his dad Pakie, who was a member of the management team last night, also captained Camross to league and championship glory before.
A serious pedigree in leadership and young Cathal gave a brilliant speech afterwards that hit all the right notes.
5 – An incredibly tight game
1-10 to 0-12 is very low scoring and just 1-4 of it coming from play suggests this was a drab affair but the opposite is actually the case.
Both teams were so evenly matched that they largely cancelled each other out and space was at an absolute premium – it was rare that a player got a free shot off at the goals.
The conditions didn’t help either. It was bitterly cold with a stiff wind blowing down towards the town end of O’Moore Park.
And the recent rain has made the playing surface in O’Moore Park very slippy with big chunks of turf routinely springing up whenever a player would go to ground.
All of that combined to produce a low scoring, but nonetheless enthralling, game of hurling.
6 – Just a third ever minor for Camross
Camross are the most decorated club at adult level in Laois with their 26 Bob O’Keeffe Cups a long way ahead of the rest of the clubs.
But incredibly Minor has been a very different story with just three titles heading to the club throughout all of the years.
Last night was their first minor final since 2017 when they defeated Castletown-Slieve Bloom.
Their solitary win before that came in 2005 against Borris-Kilcotton – a staggering statistic considering how successful they have been at adult level.