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'Poor Cork won't have him for January or February now, thanks be to God!' - Rossiter

Oulart-the-Ballagh boss Frank Flannery will be a busy man in the New Year.

Joy for Keith Rossiter and Oulart-the-Ballagh at the final whistle.
Joy for Keith Rossiter and Oulart-the-Ballagh at the final whistle.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

OULART-THE-BALLAGH’S breakthrough victory in Sunday’s AIB Leinster senior club hurling final has presented new Cork boss Kieran Kingston with a headache for the New Year.

Kingston’s recently-appointed coach with the Rebels, Frank Flannery, masterminded Oulart’s success over Dublin outfit Cuala at Netwatch Cullen Park in Carlow.

Flannery will have his hands full after Christmas when he settles into his new role with Cork, while at the same time plotting an assault on Limerick and Munster champions Na Piarsaigh in February’s All-Ireland club semi-final.

And Oulart’s experienced former Wexford defender Keith Rossiter paid tribute to Flannery’s work after Sunday’s game, with a heavy emphasis on retaining possession against the elements in the second half key to victory.

“Any of the coaches that came up with over the last ten years won county finals and got to Leinster finals, they were just very unlucky really,” Rossiter reflected on Newstalk’s Rewind podcast.

Frank Flannery Oulart boss Frank Flannery will have his hands full in the New Year. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

“We had a lot of guys, we had (current Wexford manager) Liam Dunne and Martin Storey over us, Pat Herbert and Brendan O’Connor, we had a lot of good men and just couldn’t make the breakthrough.

“Frank brought a different outlook to it, lads give out about the Cork style, the short passing, but it worked for us in the second half.

“We’re delighted to have Frank and poor Cork won’t have him for January or February now, thanks be to God. Mr. Kingston has another little battle on his hands there!”

Kieran Kingston New Cork senior hurling team manager Kieran Kingston. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

After losing four Leinster finals in a row from 2010-2013, the overriding emotion was one of relief for Rossiter and Oulart.

“It’s a feeling I’ve been waiting for for a long time.

“We got beat in four Leinster finals but that team showed a lot of bottle to come back here today, back to a Leinster final and to win it.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the boys, absolutely brilliant.

“Mentally it’s been a tough couple of years, six tough years. We got to ten county finals in a row, won eight, never got a Leinster.

“We tried to look beyond the Leinster final thing, it was an All-Ireland quarter-final, just another game.

“Maybe there was too much emphasis on Leinster finals the last couple of years, we were favourites before, favourites don’t always win, the favourites tag didn’t work any good for us but we turned over the underdogs today, it worked well for us and we’re delighted.”

Keith Rossiter The long wait is finally over for Keith Rossiter and Oulart-the-Ballagh. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Oulart’s meeting with Na Piarsaigh in February is viewed by many as an All-Ireland decider, with the two favourites for the title clashing at the semi-final stage.

And Rossiter said: “The motivation is that we’re from a small club, two parishes, hurling mad. We don’t kick any football in the club at all, it’s all about hurling.

“And it’s what the club deserves to be honest with you. We have camogie women at home after doing two All-Irelands, they’re putting us to shame really.

“We’re trying to catch up to the girls but it’s what the club deserves as a whole, it’s great for the parishes.”

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