A little piece of history was made at Pairc Ui Mhuire in Dunleer on Sunday afternoon when the senior hurlers of St Fechins captured their first ever Louth adult hurling trophy with a well earned victory over Mattock Rangers in this final of the Special Hurling Championship.
In the process they were denying Mattock a ‘Special’ (without county players) competition double this season after they had captured the Special League in early May.
It was the Collon outfit who made the brighter start to this match when Johnny Matthews fired over an early free followed soon after by one from play by corner forward Niall McEneaney.
David Stephenson struck over the eventual winners first point before Jason Condon restored his sides two points advantage with a good point on 12 minutes.
That score would turn out to be Mattocks last score of the half as the Fechins went on to score seven points in a row.
The first of these was scored by midfielder Peter Doran followed by further scores from Wayne Treacy, Cathal Ryan (2) and Barry Devlin to leave them in front by double scores 0-6 to 0-3 on 18 minutes.
A further brace of points from the sticks of Donal Ryan and Brian Stephenson had the Fechins
leading by 0-8 to 0-3 at the break.
They extended their lead with the first two points on the resumption, firstly from play by Doran and a free from David Stephenson.
Mattock to their credit responded with good points from Niall McEneaney and Johnny Matthews to keep themselves within touching distance of their opponents on 38 minutes.
A minute later the Fechins sensed that this might be their day when a ball in from the left wing by Cathal Ryan was misjudged by keeper Ruairi O Reilly ending up in the back of his net.
On 43 minutes a terrific close range volley from Brian Carter revived Mattocks hopes as they now trailed by 1-10 to 1-5.
The Termonfeckin outfit however continued to create to better scoring opportunities and were rewarded with points from Barry Devlin and David Stephenson (free).
The sides shared the next two points before points from veteran Tony Corcoran and Declan Madden (free) left still five points between the sides 1-13 to 1-8 with under five minutes remaining.
Mattock had to play out the last few minutes with fourteen men when Johnny Matthews was sent of by the referee for a dangerous pull.
The Fechins wrapped up the victory and their first ever adult title in the county with late points from David Stephenson (free) and Donal Ryan as the final whistle was greeted with delight by
players and supporters alike.
Afterwards the Maurice Murphy Cup was presented to the St Fechins captain Cathal Ryan by Co Board Chairman Padraic O Connor alongside members of the family of the late Maurice Murphy, his son Maurice Murphy and grandson Alex Murphy.
ST FECHINS: Stephen Hackett; Darren McDonnell, Cormac McAuley, Barry Duggan; Donal Ryan (0-2), Paddy McCormack, Oisin Byrne; Peter Doran (0-2), Brian Stephenson (0-1); Barry Devlin (0-2), Seaghan Conneely, Cathal Ryan (1-2); Michael Byrne, Wayne Treacy (0-1), David Stephenson (0-5). Sub - Vincent Hynes for M Byrne.
MATTOCK RANGERS: Ruairi O Reilly; Mark Kirwan, Kevin Conway, Ciaran Maguire; Eoin McKeon, Declan Madden, Brain Carter (1-0); Johnny Matthews (0-3), Jason Condon (0-2); Darren Reid, Michael Callan, Paddy Coyle; Niall McEneaney (0-2), Tony Corcoran (0-1), Edward Condon. Sub - Graham Condon for D Reid.
REFEREE: Brian Brady (Naomh Moninne).