Spanish Point captured their second green pennant at Carton House on Friday (19 September) when they retained the AIG Pierce Purcell Shield title.
The Clare men enjoyed a fairytale success at Royal Tara last year and although they were pushed all the way by Rossmore from Monaghan in this year's final, they held firm to win their second All-Ireland in as many seasons. A convincing win for Fergal Hehir and Martin Glenny in the third game was the key to Spanish Point's victory but the decisive point was delivered by Evan Talty and Mervin Hehir on the 17th green when they claimed a 2&1 win.
“It came down to the second game and who better than Mervin Hehir and my cousin Evin to pull it out,” said Spanish Point team captain Micheál Talty.
“I'm gobsmacked. It's beyond our wildest dreams. I only got asked to take over these lads a week before the first trial in East Clare. I'm only 27 years of age and I played with the boys last year.”
Talty took the reigns for this season having played on last year's All-Ireland winning team along with, Micheál Hehir, who served as his assistant this year. Talty's team retained their Munster title in July but were lucky to come out of Clare.
“Hand on heart, this was unexpected,” said Talty. “Woodstock, against us in the county Clare final, we were two down with three to play in the last game and we won on the 18th green. Eric Murrihy and Niall Heeney won their match. We kind of went from there really.”
Since then the west Clare men have gone from strength to strength and after a comfortable semi-final victory against Enniscrone on Thursday (18 September) they had to overcome a resilient Rossmore side in the final.
Having lost to Spanish Point in last year's semi-finals, the Monaghan men had no shortage of motivation but they came up short for the second year running. Bernard Gilbane and Dermot McMahon fought valiantly to keep ahead in the opening game but Spanish Point were too strong in the middle order – winning games two, three and four for the necessary three points.
For Spanish Point they became the third club to win the AIG Pierce Purcell Shield in successive seasons – bridging a 19-year gap since St Anne's won back-to-back titles in 1995.
“It's beyond our wildest dreams. We'll probably never be here again in Pierce Purcell. Down the line hopefully we might compete in a Bruen,” said Talty.
2014 AIG Pierce Purcell Shield Final, Carton House, O'Meara Course
Spanish Point 4, Rossmore 1 (Spanish Point names first)
- Kevin Hynes & Damian Sexton halved with Bernard Gilbane & Dermot McMahon;
- Evan Talty & Mervin Hehir bt Gerry McMahon & Rory McDonnell 2 holes;
- Fergal Hehir & Martin Glenny bt Padraig Trappe & Brendan Casey 5/4;
- Aiden Sexton & Stephen Guilfoyle bt Adrian Trappe & Alan Finnegan 6/4;
- Eric Murrihy & Niall Heeney halved with John McKenna & Malachy Deery.