Community Games Co Final01 Jun 2009 by Gilbert Williams
Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-7 Ballingarry 0-3
Kilruane MacDonaghs won the community games county hurling final for the first time when they overcame the challenge of Ballingarry in a sun drenched Semple Stadium on Bank Holiday Monday. They had qualified for the final with narrow victories against Thurles, Moneygall and Killenaule. Conor Lillis was still an absentee but Tommy Dooley and Mark O Neill, who were both forced to retire injured in the semi-final, were able to take their places. MacDonaghs played with the aid of a slight breeze in the first half but it was Ballingarry who exerted the early the early pressure. However, the south champions failed to translate possession into scores and Kilruane began to settle. The outstanding Jerome Cahill struck the first point in the fourth minute and Craig Morgan added another from a free in the seventh minute. MacDonaghs began to get a grip on the game with Jerome Cahill and Martin Grace beginning to rule the roost in midfield and wing forward Craig Morgan was causing all kinds of headaches for the Ballingarry defence. Centre back Luke Dervan lofted a sixty five over the bar in the twelfth minute and captain Martin Grace got in on the scoring act when he raised another white flag. From the resulting puckout Ben Healy hit another point to extend the advantage. Kilruane had a number of goal chances but failed to breach the Ballingarry defence, leaving the score 0-5 to 0-0 in their favour at the break.
Craig Morgan opened the second half scoring when he pointed a free in the fifth minute. Ballingarry replied with their first point as they began to take the game to Kilruane. However, the boys in black and white responded to the challenge and in the thirteenth minute Craig Morgan scythed through the Ballingarry defence to rifle the ball to roof of the net for a great goal. This put MacDonaghs in the driving seat and Craig put further daylight between the sides with another point from a free. To Ballingarry’s credit they never gave up and were rewarded with two points. They needed a goal to get back in the contest but with Jerome Cahill sweeping deep behind his half back line they had few opportunities. This was a great team performance by MacDonaghs with every player making an important contribution to victory. Jerome Cahill ranged all over the pitch and supplied the forwards with quality ball. The elusive Craig Morgan finished top scorer and was a constant threat. Luke Dervan was rock solid at centre-back while captain Martin Grace led by example. Ben Healy, Jake O Kelly, Tommy Dooley and Karl Williams were also prominent. Kilruane MacDonaghs now go on to represent Tipperary in the Munster championship.
Team: Seamus O Meara, Christopher Moyles, Tommy Dooley, Eoghan Mulcahy, Oisin O Meara, Luke Dervan (0-1), Karl Williams, Jerome Cahill (0-1), Martin Grace (0-1), Craig Morgan (1-3), Jake O Kelly, Ben Healy (0-1), Kevin Oakley, Alan Spain and Mark O Neill. Referee: Ger FitzPatrick (Roscrea)