Still it was a ding-dong struggle all the way and at one stage in the final half it seemed Culleens might snatch victory.
Mind you for fifty-five minutes of this ding-dong battle it looked to be ‘touch and go’ but hats off to the lads for what they produced in the final fifteen minutes.
He said: ‘It was a ding-dong battle and a game that had just about everything - everything that is good and everything that is bad.’
An incredible ding-dong match - the lead changed hands seven times - played out in front of full, noisy stands showed that rugby league was back in York with a bang louder than the fireworks that greeted the players.
Indeed, the advantage had swung one way and then the other and the lead had changed hands four times between two well matched sides during the ding-dong battle.
Three hundred and ten riders, representing 31 nations, are entered across the three disciplines, with cross country arguably offering spectators the best prospect of a ding-dong battle among the leaders.
Meanwhile the drivers kept on staring but remained remarkably patient in the downpour and the ding-dong battle of wills in the middle of the bridge that was preventing progress of traffic in either direction.
But it came only after a ding-dong struggle that was finally settled at the 40th hole, equalling the longest match in the championship's history.
It was a ding-dong encounter with Claremorris coming through on a 4-5 to 3-5 scoreline.
The first half was a ding-dong affair with both sides trying to tease out an opening and Villa were eventually rewarded on the stroke of half-time.