Nicky Rackard Cup final
July 3, 2010
Armagh 3-15 London 3-14
Referee: Declan Magee (Down)
EACH of the three lower-tier hurling championships have produced some exciting finales on their big days out at Croke Park during the last decade or so.
Few compare, though, to that which saw Armagh win the Nicky Rackard on this occasion. The Orchard county confirmed their growing hurling prowess by capturing the title and maintaining the momentum of some hard work at grassroots level.
But it took nerves of steel from Paul Breen to do the job for them. He fired over the winning point in injury time to seal the win after an exciting tussle in which the Keady man had starred throughout.
He hit 2-4 in total against a London side which also displayed plenty a lot of skill and determination.
Goals from Paul Breen and Ryan Gaffney gave the Ulster men a strong boost and they lead by seven points at one stage early in the second half.
But from that powerful position, they were made fight back and only secured the title by the narrowest of margins in the closing moments. Goals from Martin Finn and David Maher brought London right back into contention, before a second Paul Breen goal settled Armagh again.
Ultimately, though, it all came down to that last gasp winner to ensure that Armagh took the title and with it all the plaudits of a county making impressive hurling strides.