Ardmore’s Declan Prendergast and Seamus Prendergast lift the trophy after their AIB GAA All-Ireland Junior Hurling Championship Final win over St. Mogues of Wexford in Croke Park on Sunday. Photo: INPHO/Gary Carr.
All-Ireland Club JHC Final – Ardmore’s Declan & Seamus Prendergast
Declan Prendergast didn’t let that All Ireland trophy out of his sight. He was still beaming when he emerged with the small canister from the Ardmore dressing room under the Cusack Stand.
“You dream of these things but you don’t ever think that it will come true. Dreams actually come true when you win an All Ireland with the club and lift the cup. It’s an unbelievable feeling.”
It was a day where they showed the mettle of champions. “The hardest game we had all year,” the skipper admitted. A five-point swing in the second half left them chasing an equaliser. “We were keeping them in the game on frees alone. I always knew that we’d get back there and we weren’t going to lose today. It was a feeling that I had. Once we made a draw of it, I knew we were going to win it after that because we had the momentum going with us and we had the work done. In the Munster final, we were down to twelve men so we knew that we were able to come back from the eyes of defeat.”
Older brother Seamus won four Munster championships and a National League in Waterford colours but this surpassed all of that. “It has to be at the top. I dreamt about this as a young fella and I tried a long, long time with Waterford to win one and we just weren’t lucky enough. To do it with your club in Croke Park, you can’t get better than that.”
The 38 year old forward concurred that this was the toughest game of the lot. “We probably made hard work of it. I don’t think we performed to the level that we expect. We had some terrible wides and missed a lot of chances. Look, we fought to the end and that’s all that matters. If you keep fighting and fighting, you’ll get the rewards.”
He was in the right place at the right time to poke home Seamus Keating’s free. Straight from the playbook. “The lads had done a bit of work and they knew the goalie was more of a batter than a catcher. I knew it was coming in over my head so I just turned and it came down at my feet.”
‘I’ll be retired long enough’
Soft fouls in scoreable zones allowed Mogues a route back into this final. “We probably had the game almost won and we gave away a few silly frees to keep them in it. Fair dues to David, he came up with a mighty score. Normally, the team that draws it gets a bit of momentum coming into extra time. We went three points up before they scored.”
After devoting twenty years to the club cause at adult level, Declan will savour every moment that this glory day brings. “It will probably be our last one so we’ll celebrate in style!”
When the celebrations eventually subside, Seamus plans to hang around for the intermediate championship. “Sure I’ll be retired long enough! If I can keep playing, I’ll try my best anyway.”