Although they didn’t set the heather blazing, the senior hurlers recorded a vital six point win against Moneygall in Dolla in the first round of the championship on a 2-16 to 1-13 scoreline. This was MacDonaghs fourth win against our neighbours since senior status was regained in 2003. One game was drawn in 2008 and Moneygall took the honours on two other occasions. Considering last year’s dismal defeat in Toomevara, this was a morale boosting victory on a weekend when the championship failed to ignite.
Moneygall had the backing of the breeze, but it was MacDonaghs who opened the scoring inside the first minute when Niall O’Meara lofted an eighty metre fee over the bar after Paddy Fanning had fouled Justin Cahill. A minute later Jody Troy got Moneygall off the mark with an effort from the left wing. Kilruane regained the lead when centre-back Phil Fanning was rather harshly penalised for over carrying and Brian O’Meara made no mistake from the resultant free. Mark O’Leary increased the lead with a well taken point after four minutes. The industrious Willie Greene pointed from play, but he was off target from a free on the left wing after Diarmuid Cahill had fouled Paddy Fanning. However, the sides were soon level when Willie Greene split the posts after Justin Cahill fouled Jody Troy. Moneygall hit the front for the first time when Willie Greene was unerring from a free. Niall O’Meara responded with a white flag after a pass from Eanna Hogan. MacDonaghs edged ahead again when Ray McLoughney set up Eoin Williams for a point. Phil Fanning surged up field, but was fouled by the pursuing Thomas Cleary. Willie Greene punished the indiscretion to leave the sides deadlocked on five points each. Kilruane edged in front again when a slick stick pass from Eoin Williams created the opportunity for Thomas Cleary to fire over MacDonaghs sixth point. Moneygall hit a purple patch with three points in a row. Pajo Troy struck a long range free, with Michel Bergin and Ger Kirwan tacking on two from play. Thomas Cleary reduced the deficit to one when he pointed after a pass from his brother Willie. In the twenty ninth minute MacDonaghs received a huge boost when Eoin Williams found the net. He ghosted in from the left corner to rise above his marker and the goalie to deftly flick a Kieran Cahill delivery to the net. Paddy Fanning had the final flag of the half when he pointed from the stand side to leave the interval score 1-7 to 0-9 in favour of MacDonaghs.
The selectors introduced Mikey Costello into the fray for the second half. Willie Greene brought the sides level with a point from open play. MacDonaghs responded in magnificent fashion, scoring 1-5 without reply. Brian O’Meara put one over the black spot after a foul on Kieran Cahill and he repeated that feat when full-back Sean Ryan was penalised. Niall O’Meara chipped in with a long range point, Brian O’Meara added another from a free and Thomas Cleary raised his third white flag. Things got better for the boys in black and white in the twelfth minute when Mikey Costello took a pass from Kieran Cahill and tucked the sliotar neatly in the net. The scoreboard now read 2-12 to 0-10. A Paddy Fanning point reduced the lead to seven. Brian O’Meara restored the eight point cushion after a foul on Ray McLoughney. A point from Kieran Cahill extended the advantage to nine as MacDonaghs took a firm grip on the game. Willie Greene cut the leeway with a pointed free and then Moneygall were thrown a lifeline when they scored a scrambled goal. Eoin Williams settled nerves with his second point from play. Buggy added a point from a free. before Moneygall had their last point. Willie Cleary who had moved into the attack had the final score of the game with a well taken point.
There were many positives in this six point triumph. MacDonaghs will be very pleased that they exorcised the ghosts of last year’s dreadful disappointment. With Justin Cahill excelling at wing-back, the defence looked very compact and wasn’t dragged all over the place like last year. The forwards moved well at times, crafted some well taken scores and the final tally of 2-16 will win most games. However, the defence will be very disappointed that they conceded a scrambled goal in the final quarter. Support play in the attack has to be dramatically improved and all forwards have to be willing to lay the ball off to a better placed colleague. The tendency for the half forwards to drift out of position, particularly in the first half, was counterproductive. However, the phrase that will reverberate around MacDonagh Park for the next three weeks will be direct hurling. When we played direct ball we looked very threatening, when we over elaborated we literally played into the opposition’s hands. Players and management know they can play better and to beat Nenagh they will have to.
Team: Thomas Williams, Paudie Kelly, Diarmuid Cahill, Jack Peters, Justin Cahill, Niall O’Meara (0-3 incl 0-1 from free), Eanna Hogan, Willie Cleary (0-1), Jonathan Cahill, Kieran Cahill (0-1), Mark O’Leary (0-1), Thomas Cleary (0-3), Ray McLoughney, Brian O’Meara (0-5 frees) and Eoin Williams (1-2). Sub: Mikey Costello (1-0).
The U14 footballers lost out away to Nenagh on a 4-4 to 0-8 scoreline in the first round of the championship. The game was played in blustery conditions in the outside field. MacDonaghs had the benefit of the tricky diagonal wind, but it was the home side who exerted the early pressure. Jack Dunne in the number one jersey was forced to clear his lines on numerous occasions. The outstanding Ben Healy struck the first point of the game, but Nenagh hit back with a fortuitous goal. They took a grip on the game and raced into a seven point lead. Ben Healy was moved to centre-forward and MacDonaghs finished the half strongly, kicking four points in reply to one from Nenagh to leave the interval score 2-4 to 0-6 in favour of the urban outfit. The visitors gave a sterling second half performance, inspired by Jerome Cahill and Ben Healy. Although, MacDonaghs came out the wrong side of the scoreline there was much to admire about their effort. Team: Jack Dunne, Mark O’Neill, Oisín O’Meara, Eoghan Mulcahy, Cian Spillane, Jerome Cahill, Nathan Ryan, Jake O’Kelly, Tommy Dooley, Sean McAdams, Craig Morgan (0-2), Patrick Hayes, Kevin Oakley, Ben Healy (0-6) and Luke Dervan. Subs: Alan Spain, Eoin England, Jack Dwan, Devlin Courtney and Kian O’Kelly. On this Wednesday April 10th they are at home to Inane Rovers at 7.00pm.
Best wishes to Darragh Peters and the Tipperary minor hurling team in their first round match against Waterford.
The minor footballers travelled to Kilcolman for the second round of the championship but came away pointless with the home Burgess prevailing on a 4-3 to 2-4 scoreline. Conor Austin and Cian Darcy raised green flags for MacDonaghs but inaccuracy deprived them of further scores. Team: Cormac Boyle, Mark Tierney, Brendan McAdams, Caolainn Conroy, Ciarán Spillane, Tomás Hogan, Conor Doheny, Conor Cleary, Stephen Cleary, Bob Dooley, Conor Austin, Cian Darcy, Kieran Lillis, Finnian Mannion and John Healy. Subs: Aidan Boyle, Martin Grace and Rory McCarthy.
Both U12 football teams hosted Nenagh in the first round of the championship and despite battling performances from the home sides the visitors were victorious in each game. A team: James Loughnane, David Sullivan, Kieran Spain, Louis Kennedy, Dylan Moran, Kian O’Kelly, Matthew Moyles, Aaron Morgan, Sam Darcy, Matthew Spain and Páidí Williams. Subs: Conor Quinlan and Shane McAteer. B team: Oisín Carroll, Eoin O’Meara, Paul O’Neill, Cormac Doheny, Pádraig Coonan, Colm Cleary, Barry Shanahan, Kevin Naughnane, Kevin McDonald and Ben Cahalan. On this Friday evening they are away to Kildangan at 6.30pm.
Congratulations to Jerome Cahill who partnered James Prentice from Ballina to win the All-Ireland U14 doubles title by overcoming the Galway pairing 15-7 and 15-3 in Crinkle last Saturday. The medals were presented by President Elect of GAA Handball, Willie Roche from Clare, who commended both sets of players for their skill and sportsmanship and he wished them future success.
Congratulations to Raymond Heffernan, Wilton, Cork who won €500 in the April County Draw. Raymond is son of Kevin and Maureen Heffernan Ardcroney.
The monthly meeting of the club committee will be held on Thursday April 25th at 8.30pm.
Sympathy is extended to the Haverty, Kenneally and Brereton families on the death of Elizabeth Haverty, Lisnamoe, Ballymackey.