St Thomas, the rural amalgamation of Kilchreest, Castledaly and Peterswell, are the 2013 All-Ireland club hurling champions after defeating Kilcormac-Killoughey (Offaly ) on a score-line of 1-11 to 1-09 at Croke Park on Sunday.
And, like many of the great Galway club hurling successes of the past, such as the Connollys and Castlegar, the Cooneys of Sarsfields and the Cannings in Portumna, St Thomas’ draw heavily on one family.
The six Burke brothers, Cathal, Darragh, Sean, David, Kenneth and all-purpose super sub Eanna, all played their parts in the club's famous success last weekend as they became the seventh club from the west to claim the crown.
It was a terrible day in Croke Park last Sunday for hurling. Cold and wet ice-rink conditions, meant this was never going to be a magical hurling spectacle. It was close though and there was never more than the final difference of two points between them at any time throughout the game.
When things looked to be going away from St Thomas, it was their county final scoring hero Richie Murray who came up trumps again with two crucial, game-changing points.
His two points in two minutes as the game entered the final quarter turned the tide for the Galway outfit.
County player Conor Cooney also stepped up with two huge points to seal the deal.
“It’s hard to believe that we’re after winning the All-Ireland,” said Kenneth Burke, oldest brother of the clan.
“It was such a battle. Conditions were bad, a low-scoring game, every score counted. They were harrying all day and we went two points down in the middle of the second half. We probably went behind at the right time in that we had time to come back. The boys got some super scores near the end and the backs were unbelievable in the last 10 minutes, didn’t give them a ball.”
Scorers for St Thomas: Richie Murray 1-2, C Cooney 0-5 (3fs ), J Regan, B Burke, K Burke, A Kelly, 0-1 each.
St Thomas: P Skehill; S Skehill, Robert Murray (c ), C Burke; E Tannian, D Burke, S Burke; D Burke, J Regan; B Burke, S Cooney, C Cooney; K Burke, Richie Murray, A Kelly. Subs, E Burke for Kelly (41 ), G Murray for B Burke (59 ).