North U12 Hurling Champions 201018 Aug 2010 by Gilbert Williams
North U-12 A Hurling Final 2010
August 7th in Dolla
Kilruane MacDonaghs 8-2 Roscrea 3-5
Making a seventh final appearance Kilruane MacDonaghs retained their North title when they overcame Roscrea in Dolla. This was the club’s fourth title in this grade. They were champions in 1978, 1979 and 2009. In the semi-final MacDonaghs had accounted for Nenagh on a 1-10 to 1-0 scoreline while a late goal saw Roscrea pip Moneygall to earn their place in the decider. This is the last year of the U-12 competition so the North Board made a special effort to make it a memorable occasion for all teams. P.R.O. Liam Hogan produced a souvenir programme while piper Joe Barry from the Thomas MacDonagh Pipe Band in Templemore paraded the teams on to the splendidly prepared field. With three finals down for decision a large crowd had descended on the picturesque Silvermines venue. Excitement mounted as piper Joe Barry belted out Amhran na bhFiann and referee Niall McGrath threw in the sliotar to begin this historic final.
Roscrea began brightly and a 65 from Shane Fletcher almost sneaked into the net. MacDonaghs soon settled and Jerome Cahill and Rory McCarthy combined to set up Craig Morgan who blasted to the net. Almost immediately Cormac Mannion from Moanfin latched on to a Cian Darcy delivery to steer the ball home and the champions were six points clear with just over two minutes gone on the clock. Thirty seconds later Cormac Mannion was on hand to raise his second green flag and Craig Morgan slotted over a point from a free. The pressure from MacDonaghs was relentless at this stage. Jerome Cahill was sweeping all before him at centreback and the tactic of playing Craig Morgan at centre-forward and Rory McCarthy in the corner was causing all kinds of problems for the Roscrea defence. Things were to get worse for the Reds when a lob from Cian Darcy deceived keeper Dylan McDonald and ended up in the net. Incredibly the boys in black and white had 4-1 on the scoreboard inside the first five minutes and Roscrea had yet to register a score. It was the type of dream start that manager Christy Morgan could only have dreamed of. Roscrea began to find their feet after the whirlwind start by MacDonaghs and Liam Seacy was unlucky not to score. After fifteen minutes Fionn Ryan opened their account with a point and two minutes later he took a pass from Daniel Ryan inside the Kilruane defence before crashing the ball past Mark O Neill. MacDonaghs replied almost immediately when Kevin Shinners whipped a ground ball to the net for goal number five and Craig Morgan soon added a point from a free. Shane Fletcher had the final score of the half when he pointed a 65 for Roscrea to leave the interval score 5-2 to 1-2 in favour of MacDonaghs.
On the restart Kilruane went on the offensive and Cian Darcy was unlucky to see his effort for a point shave the post. MacDonaghs then forced a 65 and Cian Darcy’s effort went all the way to the net to leave Roscrea with a mountain to climb. To Roscrea’s credit they still continued to battle and had points from close in frees courtesy of Chloe Kirwan and Daniel Ryan. However, any lingering hopes of victory entertained by Roscrea were dashed when Cormac Mannion swooped for his third goal. Roscrea reduced the deficit with a point from a thirty metre free by Jordan Donovan. Eventually they breached the impressive Kilruane defence when Chloe Kirwan and Shane Fletcher linked up with Daniel Ryan who scored Roscrea’s third goal. Kilruane’s response was immediate and decisive. Rory McCarthy raced though the defence and the captain from Behamore crashed the sliotar to the net to seal victory. Roscrea never gave up trying and Chloe Kirwan had the last score of the final when she found the net with a twenty metre free to leave MacDonaghs champions on an 8-2 to 3-5 scoreline.
Amid great scenes of joy and jubilation John Heffernan presented the Michael Geaney Cup to Rory McCarthy. John was representing his brother Brian who captained Nenagh to win the first North U-12 championship in 1972. John’s father, the late Mick Heffernan won North senior medals with MacDonaghs in 1940 and 1944. After the game the panel and supporters headed to Cloughjordan for their customary tour of the village. Horns were blown and vuvuzelas blared to greet the champions of North Tipperary. Players and mentors then retired to the Gourmet Gallery to sample the sumptuous meal.
This was a great team victory with every player making a handsome contribution. Mark O Neill was very impressive in goals and his puckouts were always well placed. Arran Conroy was rock solid on the edge of the square and he got great support from Eoghan Mulcahy and the teak tough Liam Hannon in the corners. At number six Jerome Cahill was simply superb. He curbed Roscrea’s most dangerous forward Chloe Kirwan and he hovered up an amount of ball in the process. The speedy Tommy Dooley was very effective on his left while Luke Dervan was coolness personified on the right. In the middle of the field Cian Darcy and Martin Grace held their own. Cian finished with two goals to his name but unfortunately had to retire injured in the second half with a fractured jaw. Centre forward Craig Morgan was outstanding in attack and later shone in defence in the last few minutes. On the wings Ben Healy and Sean Quinlan kept the ball moving sweetly to the inside line. Kevin Shinners was a constant threat at full forward and took his goal well. Captain Rory McCarthy had a great game and scored a smashing goal. Cormac Mannion took the scoring honours and had a game he will never forget. Sean McAdams, Oisin O Meara, Rob Banaghan, Karl Williams, Kevin Oakley and Devlin Courtney all sampled action.
Scorers: Cormac Mannion 3-0, Cian Darcy 2-0 (1-0 65), Craig Morgan 1-2 (0-2 frees), Kevin Shinners 1-0 and Rory McCarthy 1-0.
Team: Mark O Neill, Eoghan Mulcahy, Arran Conroy, Liam Hannon, Luke Dervan, Jerome Cahill, Tommy Dooley, Martin Grace, Cian Darcy, Ben Healy, Craig Morgan, Sean Quinlan, Cormac Mannion, Kevin Shinners and Rory McCarthy (Capt).
Subs: Sean McAdams (blood), Oisin O Meara, Rob Banaghan, Karl Williams, Kevin Oakley, Sean McAdams, Alan Spain, Seamus O Meara, Christopher Moyles and Nathan Ryan.
Selectors: Christy Morgan (Manager), Ned Darcy, Niall O Meara, Brian O Meara and Mark O Meara
Roscrea: Dylan McDonald, Darryl Ryan, Jamie O Meara, Jamie Moloney, Jason Gilmartin, Jordan Donovan (Capt), Graham Hogan, Shane Fletcher, Joshua Neville, Darragh Loughnane, Chloe Kirwan, Daniel Ryan, Fionn Ryan, Cian O Meara and Liam Seacy.
Subs: Jack Pyne, Darragh Heffernan and Liam Doran
Scorers: Daniel Ryan 1-1 (0-1 free), Chloe Kirwan 1-1 (frees), Liam Seacy 1-0, Jordan Donovan 0-1 (free)
Referee: Niall McGrath Burgess