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Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO Tipperary's two-time football Allstar Declan Browne.
# Dual Stars
'I shed a few tears four years ago, to get back again is a massive achievement'
Tipperary’s only football Allstar, Declan Browne, reflect on the dual success of Moyle Rovers.

YOU MIGHT ASSOCIATE the Moyle Rovers club in Tipperary more with football but there’s been a hurling revolution afoot in the underage ranks.

Last year, the club captured county minor A hurling honours for the very first time and not content with that, the U21s won the B crown.

The Rovers success continued into this year with clubmen Stephen Quirke and Danny Owens named as captains of the Tipperary minor hurling and football teams respectively.

The hurlers fell to Galway in the recent hurling decider but Owens, son of former Tipperary player John, has the chance to lift the Tom Markham Cup next Sunday at Croke Park.

Caelom Mulry and Stephen Quirke Cathal Noonan / INPHO Captain and dual star Stephen Quirke in action for the Tipperary minor hurlers during the All-Ireland final. Cathal Noonan / INPHO / INPHO

Arguably the greatest player in the history of Tipperary football, two-time Allstar Declan Browne, is a proud Moyle Rovers man and reflected upon the club’s dual status in conversation with The42. 

“It’s huge,” Browne smiled. “People are saying, with the hurling side of it, that it was a bit of a shock to have a captain but it was super.

“To reach the All-Ireland hurling final and have the chance to bring the cup home was a super achievement and obviously with Danny, it highlights the football tradition in our club.

“To have the two guys represent the club on a county team is brilliant alone but to have the two of them as captains really caps it off, and shows where the club has gone in the last few years.

Danny Owens dejected Ryan Byrne / INPHO Tipperary minor football captain Danny Owens. Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

“To win a county minor A title was a massive achievement and then to follow up with most of that (minor) bunch with the U21 B a few weeks later was super again.

“You love representation from our club on any county set-up, we had David Roberts on the minor hurling as well. It’s a pity they didn’t cap it off with a win.”

Behind the scenes, Browne pays a rich tribute to the club’s mentors for producing such outstanding young talent.

“It’s the same people, the likes of John McGrath, Eileen Boland, Declan McGrath, and we’re all going in the one direction.

“All the coaches have been there through the years, U12, U14, U16, everyone has a hand and part to play in it but nobody really sees that.”

Owens will lead Tipperary out against Kerry at Croke Park on Sunday and he’ll be joined by clubmates Quirke, Tadhg Fitzgerald and Morgan Irwin at GAA HQ.

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“They’ve been guided by the same people as when I was involved at underage,” says Browne.

“Those guys don’t go away, always there for the better of the club.

Tadhg Fitzgerald and Aidan Buckley Cathal Noonan / INPHO Moyle Rovers player Tadhg Fitzgerald (left), with Aidan Buckley. Cathal Noonan / INPHO / INPHO

“If you can go on to play county minor hurling or football, it makes it all the sweeter for them.

“I shed a few tears when we won the minor four years ago, I thought it might be a token victory but to get back four years later is a massive achievement for Tipp.

“I think they’re being written off big time by Kerry people and people in general.

“The Munster final didn’t go our way, we conceded two sloppy enough goals and we were missing Stephen that day.

Declan Browne 4/9/2005 INPHO Declan Browne lifts the Tommy Murphy Cup in 2005. INPHO

“It’s a great way to be going into an All-Ireland final, similar to Dublin in 2011 when we were given no hope.

“With the group of lads we have, I don’t think they care who they’re playing but Jack O’Connor is involved with Kerry and he’s a wily old fox.

“Still, I do think we’re going into this final in the best possible way. We’re being written off but I think we’re as good as any of them.

“We’ll need the bit of luck – our minor hurlers didn’t get the rub of the green.”

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