Deep into injury time MacDonaghs are awarded a twenty five metre free. They are three points adrift of Toomevara and championship hopes are hanging by a thread. Unconfirmed reports from Dolla indicate that Moneygall have lost to Nenagh by seven and that a point from the free would ensure qualification. However, the word from Dolla is unofficial, so Eoin Hogan goes for goal with an effort that has plenty of top spin. The shot is deflected out for a 65. Regular free taker Liam Gibson has departed the scene with cramp. Eoin Hogan is in around the goalmouth hoping to pounce for a goal. Substitute Caoilainn Conroy, who was never a regular freetaker on school or underage teams, stands over the sixty five. The plan is to lob the sliotar in the danger area, hope for a green flag and snatch a draw. Selector Brian Gaynor tells Caoilainn “to take his time.” Caoilainn thinks Brian has ordered him “to take his point” and sends the sliotar over the black spot. Final whistle sounds. Toomevara 1-19, MacDonaghs 1-17. A hurried phone call by the PRO to the North secretary confirms that Moneygall have lost by seven points and that MacDonaghs have a better score difference of just one point. A quarter-final spot has been secured in the most dramatic of circumstances. You couldn’t make this up. Never did defeat to Toomevara taste so sweet.
MacDonaghs had the assistance of the stiff breeze in the opening half, but it was Toomevara who were quickly into their stride with a Shane Nolan point, though I am reliably informed that a working Hawk Eye would have deemed this effort a miss. They raised their second white flag, before Liam Gibson got Kilruane off the mark with a point from a free. Toomevara restored the two point cushion and Declan Barrett replied with a white flag. A good strike from Robert Austin had the sides all square. Toomevara hit a purple patch and fired over four unanswered points. MacDonaghs were giving second best in most areas of the field. The defence was being dragged around the place, we couldn’t get a foothold at midfield and the attack lacked penetration. The selectors made a number of positional changes which helped stabilise the situation. Eoin Hogan was moved to centre-back and Stephen Cleary was switched to wing -back. In the fifteenth minute MacDonaghs had a huge slice of luck. A long delivery from Alan Darcy seemed to be heading over the bar, but it deceived Toomevara keeper Mark Grace and ended in the net. Eoin Hogan added a point and the sides were level. Liam Gibson was on target from a free and MacDonaghs hit the front for the first time. Toomevara drew level, but a Liam Gibson free edged MacDonaghs ahead again. Two points in succession gave Toomevara a one point lead. A long delivery broke kindly for corner-forward Seamus O’ Meara and he pulled first time to the net to open a four point gap. Pat Conway brought the scoring to a close with a point to leave the interval score 1-10 to 1-7 in favour of Toomevara.
On the resumption MacDonaghs hit the ground running. In the opening attack Shane Quinlan scythed through the Toomevara defence and saw his shot, which seemed destined for the net, deflected out for a 65 by corner-back Denis Kelly. Liam Gibson was on target from the resultant 65 and added another white flag from a free. Pat Conway exploded into life and hit two points in quick succession to edge MacDonaghs ahead. Momentum was now with Kilruane and a pointed free from Liam Gibson and another from play by Pat Conway opened up a three point gap. Toomevara finally stemmed the tide and opened their second half account with two points to reduce the deficit to one. The unerring Liam Gibson stretched the advantage to two once more with a free. A Pat Conway point put MacDonaghs three clear. Toomevara rallied and fired over five unanswered points to go two ahead. Two further Toomevara points were punctuated by Pat Conway’s sixth point from play. Then came the tension filled finale when Caoilainn Conroy emerged as the unlikely hero.
Team: David Reddan, Colm Williams, Martin Walsh, Stephen Cleary, Cian Williams, Pat Williams, Conor Austin, Alan Darcy (1-0), Liam Gibson (0-7), Eoin Hogan (0-1), Robert Austin (0-1), David Williams, Bob Dooley, Pat Conway (0-6) and Declan Barrett (0-1). Subs: Shane Quinlan, Freddie Williams, Conor Doheny and Caoilainn Conroy (0-1).
On this Saturday MacDonaghs take on Knockshegowna in the quarter-final in Borrisokane at 3.00pm. Support would be appreciated.
In a thrilling semi-final in MacDonagh Park the U14 hurlers were just edged out by Roscrea on a 3-6 to 3-5 scoreline. Although rocked back on their heels by an early Roscrea goal, MacDonaghs played some fantastic hurling to lead by three at the break. They extended the advantage to five in the second half, but Roscrea rallied to book their place in the final in what was one of the best U14 games in the division for a few years.
Team: Luke Dervan, Eoghan Mulcahy, Mark O’Neill, Kian O’Kelly, Oisín O’Meara, Jerome Cahill, Nathan Ryan, Carl Williams, Jake O’Kelly, Devlin Courtney, Ben Healy, Sean McAdams, Tommy Dooley, Craig Morgan and Kevin Oakley. Sub: Dylan Moran. Thanks to the players and management for their efforts during a year which saw them win the North Féile title.
Best wishes to the following teams who line out with Tipperary this weekend: U16 Darragh Peters and James Cleary; U15 Cian Darcy; U14 Jerome Cahill, Craig Morgan and Nathan Ryan.
Under 6 & 8
The U6s travelled to Dolla last week and had two enjoyable games against Silvermines, while the U8s hosted Borrisokane on the same evening.
New York Final
Congratulations to Brian O’Meara who was on the Tipperary hurling team which defeated Galway in the New York final.
Last Sunday MacDonagh Park hosted the All-Ireland junior B and U-16 C camogie finals. Blathnaid Keyes, daughter of David Keyes, formerly of Main Street lined out at corner-back on the Meath team, which defeated Laois in the U16 final.
The juvenile club would like to thank the dedicated and loyal group of parents who helped to make the annual Bag Packing in Dunnes such a resounding success. Without their commitment, the venture would have failed to realise its potential. A number of parents did multiple stints at the checkout, so we are more than grateful to those dependable volunteers. The venture yielded €1,988.30. Thanks to the management and staff of Dunnes for affording us the opportunity to fundraise and for their co-operation and courtesy on both days.
The monthly meeting of the club committee will be held on this Thursday August 29th at 8.30pm. All committee members are requested to attend.
The Munster juvenile handball finals were played in Clonmel at the weekend. Matthew Spain, Sean McAdams and Jerome Cahill all had wins in their respective age groups. Jerome now goes forward to the All-Ireland semi-final which will be held at an Ulster venue in three weeks time.
The Lotto jackpot now stands at a very attractive €7,000. Tickets cost €2 each and three are on offer for €5.