County U16 A Champions 201318 Nov 2013 by Gilbert Williams
At last our competitive field action has come to a conclusion with the staging of the U 16 A Hurling final between Kilruane MacDonaghs from the north and Carrick Swan from the south which took place in Littleton on Saturday November 16th. This final was one month behind the original schedule which had been delayed due to difficulty down south.
At the offset full credit has to be accorded to everyone involved in the Moycarkey Borris club for their super organisation that ensured everything went off well for their hosting of the final. As the clock registered 2pm referee Fergal Horgan with his full team of officials got matters under way. Despite the damp and drizzly conditions the contest was the complete opposite with both teams fully on fire. Kilruane shot off target within thirty seconds. From the resulting puck out The Swan had a missed opportunity also.
Carrick Swan registered the opening score with a point from Dean Walsh on the third minute. One minute later MacDonaghs wing forward Cian Darcy saw his free drop short to be connected on by Jerome Cahill to put the Swan net shaking for the only goal of the game. The Swan response was swift with a pointed free from Jack Cooke. On the seventh minute he had the sides’ level with a well taken opportunity from play 1-00 to 0-03. Both sets of defence were in top flight guarding the lines with tenacity
As the ninth minute was approaching Cian Darcy put Kilruane a point up while his opposite number Jack Cooke decided to pass the ball rather than take his chance at the long range free and things failed to materialise. Carrick Swan attackers were coming under pressure from the Kilruane defence which resulted in opportunities going amiss. They appeared to have a certain goal but for the sharpness Niall Shiners the Kilruane keeper prevented a green flag being raised. Nine minutes had elapsed before Carrick Swan got their fourth point courtesy of Tommy McGrath to put the sides all square for the second time 1-01 to 0-04. They had also had four missed opportunities thus far in a very tight contest and the goal they conceded appeared to make its impact.
Cian Darcy pointed a thirty five metre free to put the north men in front, but it was quickly cancelled out when Dean Walsh converted a fee to put the sides on equal terms for the third time 1-02 to 0-05.
Moments later Swan keeper Scott Murphy made a point blank save. Four more attacks by MacDonaghs failed to yield addition to their tally. However within the last five minutes of the opening period Cian Darcy pointed a free to give Kilruane a one point advantage 1-03 to 0-05. The first half had been a very intense affair with a pattern emerging that the Kilruane defence were exerting enough pressure on their opposition source of attack thus forcing Carrick Swan in taking difficult shots at target which unfortunately for them failed to count on the board.
In the second half of the game it was Kilruane that were first to make a change to the score board with Cian Darcy pointing a free. Two minute later Jack Cooke did likewise for the Swan to put the score reading Kilruane 1-04 Carrick Swan 0-06. By the sixth minute Cian Darcy had added two more points for MacDonaghs both from a free and from play to put the score at 1-06 to 0-06 giving them a three point advantage. A neutral would have thought that Kilruane were going to move further in front as they were enjoying the best of the section. However Carrick Swan bounced right when Jack Cooke pointed a free which was quickly followed by a point from play by Dean Walsh to reduce the Swan deficit to a single point 1-06 to 0-08.
Once again Kilruane marksman Cian Darcy was missing nothing as he pointed two more frees and another point from play by James Cleary to get a four point advantage 1-09 to 0-8. On the seventeenth minute Dean Walsh scored a point for Carrick Swan to put a goal between the sides 1-09 to 0-09. One minute later Rory McCarthy added another point to the Kilruane tally and was responded to with a pointed free from Dean Walsh for Carrick to put the score reading Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-10 Carrick Swan 0-10. For the remaining five minutes of the game it was amazing that no further addition was made to the score reading. During this time both goal keepers made great saves and both sides had an equal number of wide, three apiece. Carrick were intent on going for goal when taking other options could have been the better thing to do.
Both sides have to be highly praised for a very entertaining, hard fought competitive game. Throughout the entire game it was top quality hurling with no nasty scenes. The referee had issued a number of yellow cards for some small misbehaviours. At the final whistle Kilruane supporters were in celebratory mood as their team had won their first ever title in this grade.
Kilruane were particularly served well by their captain Darragh Peters, sharpshooter Cian Darcy, Jerome Cahill, Rory McCarthy. Their entire defence were superb while their mid field pairing of James Cleary and Tom Dooley commanded their area. For Carrick Swan Dean Walsh was their target man ably assisted by Jack Cooke, Tommy McGrath, Shane Torpey, Eric O’Halloran, Aron Dunne, Dean Walsh to mention but a few. Prior to the presentation of the Colm Phelan Cup county chairman thanked both teams for a wonderful final and to referee Fergal Horgan and his full team of officials for a job well done. He was full praise to the Moycarkey Borris club for having everything in order. Making the presentation of the cup to victorious captain Darragh Peters were the parents of the late Colm Phelan, Michael and Marie along with their grandchildren Conor Phelan and Jean McEvoy.
Kilruane MacDonaghs victorious panel: Niall Shinners, Aaron Conroy, Brendan McAdams, Conor Lillis, Martin Grace, Darragh Peters (Captain), Kieran Brereton, James Cleary, Tom Dooley, Rory McCarthy, Cian Darcy, Declan Elderfield, Craig Morgan, Kevin Shinners, Jerome Cahill, Paul Guidera, Cormac Mannion, Sean Quinlan, John Blagdon, Nathan Ryan, Oisin O’Meara, Mark O’Neill, Sean McAdams, Kevin Oakley, Jack Dunne, Eoghan Mulcahy.
Mentors: – Sean Ward, Ned Darcy, Johnny Peters, John Hyland.
First Aid :- Jimmy Cahill