*Our Senior hurling final coverage is in association with Clement Herron Real Estate
After suffering disappointing championship campaigns in 2017 and 2018, Borris-Kilcotton appointed Eoin Brislane as their new senior hurling manager this season in hope that he could steer them back to the county final, and the Tipperary man has done exactly that.
“This is my second county final as a manager. We won one with Ballybrown, which was Senior B. That was four years ago. Trevor Galvin and I have been together for the last nine years as a coaching set-up, and this is the biggest game of our coaching managerial career.”
Borris-Kilcotton’s first Senior title came three years ago, but since then they have fallen short.
“When Borris-Kilcotton won the final in 2016 with such a young team, you could feel that this will happen every year. But it’s not as easy as that, especially not in Laois when it’s a very competitive championship. There’s nothing between the top four really.”
Borris-Kilcotton defeated Clough-Ballacolla in the semi-finals, despite losing to them in the group stages.
“We learnt a lot. We bet Camross in the first round and that was a big win for Borris-Kilcotton because they had never beaten them in their history in the championship.
“I suppose we put a lot of effort into that, and then we went in a couple of weeks later playing Clough-Ballacolla, not taking them for granted, but Borris-Kilcotton had beaten them in the last couple of seasons and beaten them comprehensively.
“You’re subconsciously thinking we’ll handle these boys. They beat us in the league as well, so they beat us about four or five weeks previous to the championship. I knew from that league match they were well organised and were playing a defensive system, leaving one inside.
“We knew the way they set up, we knew we were going to have to grind them down, and if we stayed with them that it would start to open up for us towards the end of the game.”
The outstanding form of sharpshooter PJ Scully hasn’t gone unnoticed, and he amassed a remarkable haul of eighteen points the last day. Brislane recognises the importance of Scully to Borris-Kilcotton’s chances of winning on Sunday.
“PJ (Scully) is Mr. Consistent really to be honest with you. I worked with PJ inside in UL for the Fitzgibbon team, and even back then PJ could hold his own in the best of company.
“In the current game, your goalkeeper and your free taker are so important in the way the game is played now, so to have PJ on our side is great because he’s just so consistent.”
Rathdowney-Errill may not have hurled that well against Camross, but Brislane knows the quality at their disposal and the challenge Borris-Kilcotton face.
“Rathdowney-Errill are unbeaten this year and are the form team. They’re obviously favourites for this game. When you have the likes of Paddy Purcell, Ross King, Mark Kavanagh, Jack Kelly, these are top players in Laois, and these are all players that Liam Sheedy would’ve been looking to curtail against Tipp, never mind Borris-Kilcotton against Rathdowney-Errill.”