Following on from Ger ‘Sparrow’ O Loughlin’s success in leading Kilmallock to the Limerick Senior Hurling title, his Clare teammate from 1995 and 1997, Ollie Baker was next to prosper as he manged Kilmacud Crokes to the Dublin Senior Hurling title on Friday evening.
The Stillorgan club had four points to spare over St Jude’s after extra time to secure a historic sixth county championship. Experience proved to be crucial for Crokes in getting them over the line, while St Jude’s will certainly learn from their first county final appearance.
It is the first time the two time All-Star has tasted glory during his management career. Following on from his retirement, Baker linked up with former teammate Anthony Daly as a selector in 2006 and stayed on as part of Mike Mc Namrara’s management team until their departure in 2009.
The Doora Barefield man has learned from previous stints with Westmeath and Antrim as trainer along with his recent two year stint as manager of the Offaly senior hurling team. Kilmacud’s never say die attitude was pivotal to their success and this is something that Baker has brought to the fold as he was well known as a die hard midfielder that played a central role in the Clare teams that took the hurling world by storm under Ger Loughnane in the nineties.
Kilmacud’s win adds to the amount of success being achieved by the famed class of 95/97 as it ensures Ollie Baker, Ger O Loughlin and Brian Lohan have been heavily involved in county winning teams in 2014. Next up for Baker’s Kilmacud Crokes is a Leinster quarter-final against Laois champions Rathdowney Errill.