U12 Victory over Nenagh12 Jun 2009 by Gilbert Williams
Kilruane MacDonaghs 5-10 Nenagh Eire Og 3-3
Kilruane MacDonaghs began their campaign with a home victory against Nenagh. The final margin of victory looked unlikely at the interval when MacDonaghs trailed by two points. Nenagh had first use of the breeze, playing into the scoreboard end, and they opened the scoring with a point from their most impressive player Shane Hennessy. Willie Ryan brought the sides level and corner forward Craig Morgan whipped a ground ball to the net to put the home side in front. Shane Hennessy got his second point for the visitors before Cian Darcy pointed a free. Kieran Brereton raised a white flag but Nenagh responded with their first goal. Cian Darcy was again on target from a placed ball to leave two points between the sides. Nenagh hit the front when a lob deceived the MacDonaghs defence and ended in the net. There was more than a strong hint of suspicion that this was a square ball but the goal stood. The town team tacked on a point to give them a two point cushion at the break with the score 2-3 to 1-4. MacDonaghs had enjoyed the greater share of possession but bunching on the forward line had cost them dearly and the full back line looked jittery.
The selectors rang the changes at the break. Kieran Brereton moved to full back and Rory McCarthy was dispatched to the forty. Darragh Peters moved to midfield to shadow Shane Hennessy. Kevin Shinners was introduced to the edge of the square and he made an immediate impact. The tireless Jerome Cahill began to dominate at centre back. Willie Ryan got the half off to a great start when he hit his second point to reduce the deficit to the minimum. Kevin Shinners shaved the right hand post with two efforts but it was third time lucky for him when he whipped a ground shot to the net to put MacDonaghs ahead. He soon raised his second green flag to put the boys in black and white in the driving seat. Darragh Peters struck a great point and Cian Darcy extended the advantage with a pointed free. Darragh notched his second point and Cian Darcy struck a delightful point after a clever pass from James Cleary. MacDonaghs were shaken out of their complacency when Nenagh scored their third goal. A long range free lobbed into the MacDonaghs square. It was batted down but the defence was slow to react and the sliotar ended up in the net.
This reverse seemed to ignite the home team and they responded positively. James Cleary won a ball on the right wing, made ground before sending an angled delivery into the edge of the square where Craig Morgan pounced for his second goal. Darragh Peters sent a long range free sailing between the posts before Cian Darcy soloed through to fire the ball to the net to leave the final score 5-10 to 3-3 in favour of MacDonaghs.
This was a satisfactory beginning to the championship and gives the team a good opportunity of making the knockout stages. However, neither players nor management will be lulled into any false sense of security by the result, as the reality is that there is precious little between both sides. Darragh Peters was outstanding and did a fine job of curbing Shane Hennessy. Jerome Cahill improved as the game progressed and was inspirational in the second half. Craig Morgan always looked a scoring threat while Kevin Shinners made a big claim for a starting place the next day. Willie Ryan gave a committed performance, took his two points well, but is probably needed in defence. Cian Darcy was industrious midfield with Roisin Cahill and Brendan McAdams quietly effective in defence. James Cleary finished well but was quiet for most of the game. Kieran Brereton steadied the full back line in the second half and may the solution to that position. There are a number of positions up for grabs on this team so the next game should answer a few more questions.
Team: Niall Shinners, Arran Conroy, Rory McCarthy, Brendan McAdams, Paul Guidera, Darragh Peters (0-3), Roisin Cahill, Cian Darcy (1-4), Jerome Cahill, James Cleary, Willie Ryan (0-2), Kieran Brereton (0-1) Craig Morgan (2-0), Declan Elderfield and Sean Quinlan. Subs: Kevin Shinners (2-0), Martin Grace and Ethan Hayes.
Referee: Kieran Delaney (Toomevara)