U9 Hurling – Dicksboro Tournament04 Sep 2012 by Gilbert Williams
Under 9 Dicksboro Charity Blitz Kilkenny
MacDonaghs 3-6 Naas 4-2
This was a great match from the start, with each team giving their best. Naas drew first blood with a goal but MacDonaghs fought back, with Rory Grace slotting over a few frees to keep the Tipp boys in the hunt. Kilruane started to get a grip at mid-field. In the second half a foul on Fionnan Hurley resulted in a goal for the team in black and white. This score galvanised MacDonaghs. Eoin O’Meara raised a white flag and Barry Shanahan chipped in with a goal. The backs were defending stoutly, with great performances by Eoin Carroll and Padraic Coonan. Kevin Naughnane was outstanding between the sticks. However, as time ticked away Naas held a two point advantage. In the last play of the game Rory Grace finished to the net, after taking a pass from Fionnan Hurley. MacDonaghs were victorious by the minimum of margins. Team: Kevin Naughnane, Padraig Coonan, Eoin Carroll, Barry Shanahan (1-0), Eoin O’Meara (0-1), Fionnan Hurley (1-0), Rory Grace (1-5), Cian White, Darra Hannon, Paul Dwyer, Paul O’Neill and Oisín Williams
Dicksboro 4-6 MacDonaghs 1-0
For this encounter the mentors made a few changes. Paul O’Neill moved to full-back and Darra Hannon went to full-forward. Barry Shanahan and Cian White swopped positions. Dicksboro were a very strong team and an early goal put them in the driving seat. MacDonaghs battled gamely to keep Dicksboro at bay, with Eoin O’Meara and Paul O’Neill to the fore. The host team were worthy winners, but Kilruane made them earn every score.
MacDonaghs 1-3 Loughlin Gaels (Kilkenny) 1-2
The selectors rang the changes again for this Tipperary and Kilkenny clash. Kevin Naughnane moved from the goals to half-back. This was an inspired switch, as Kevin launched attack after attack. He used his craft and skill to pick out his colleagues with quality ball. Darra Hannon and Cian White always looked threatening in the attack This game was nip and tuck and every ball was contested with ferocity. Oisín Williams scored the crucial goal. Late in the second half Paul Dwyer registered the score of the day. He took possession out on the wing, side stepped his opponent and fired the sliotar unerringly between the posts. In a tense finish MacDonaghs held on for a one point victory. It was a great team effort, with Cian White, Paul Dwyer and Kevin Naughnane leading by example. Scorers: Oisín Williams (1-0), Rory Grace (0-2) and Paul Dwyer (0-1).
MacDonaghs 7-1 Tullaroan 2-3
The two wins gave MacDonaghs second place in the group and earned them a spot in the final where they took on Tullaroan, the home club of Tommy Walsh. MacDonaghs got off to a dream start when Darra Hannon, who had recovered from injury, rattled the net. MacDonaghs kept up the intensity all through and never let the Kilkenny team settle. Rory Grace showed his class in this game, even when he was tightly marked. He was a constant danger and took some delightful scores, that wouldn’t have been out of place in a senior game. Darra Hannon chipped in with 1-1 and Barry Shanahan also found the net. Eoin O’Meara and Paul O’Neill kept up a liberal supply of ball to the attack. The day finished on a high when Fionnan Hurley sent a blistering low shot to the net from twenty metres out. This was a great team display, with ever player on their game. Dara Hannon was outstanding and Padraic Coonan gave a Brendan Cummins like performance in the goals. Scorers: Rory Grace (3-0), Darra Hannon (2-1), Fionnan Hurley (1-0) and Barry Shanahan (1-0). After the final they were presented with their well earned medals. Thanks to Dicksboro for the invitation and their hospitality.