The U16 hurlers qualified for the county final for the first time since 2004 with a hard earned 3-8 to 0-9 victory against Clonoulty-Rossmore in Templetuohy. However, it was a bitter sweet victory as Kevin Shinners and Rory McCarthy received straight red cards and will be unavailable for the decider. Both cards seemed very harsh, with most observers considering Kevin‘s misdemeanour, midway through the second half, only warranted a yellow card, while Rory received his marching orders for pulling an opponent off Tom Dooley in a melee just before the finish. It is no consolation that a Clonoulty defender also saw red before the final whistle. On a more positive note James Cleary, who was unavailable for the Clonoulty game, will be back in his usual midfield role for the county final. Although the south championship has yet to be completed it looks like our likely opponents will be Drom-Inch who won the Mid Final by a staggering forty one points. Before a sliotar was struck in this championship they have been touted as certainties to claim the title. MacDonaghs face a huge challenge, so it is anticipated that there will be Clare like pace and intensity to the training sessions over the next few weeks. The selectors will have to burn the midnight oil in rearranging the attack to compensate for the absence of Rory and Kevin. The defence must remain intact with Darragh Peters in the anchor role at number six. James Cleary’s return should bolster midfield, thereby freeing Jerome Cahill to assume an attacking role.
In last Saturday’s game Clonoulty won the toss and played with the stiff breeze. Within twelve seconds the west champions had their first point. MacDonaghs were rather subdued in the opening quarter. Clonoulty enjoyed early mid-field dominance and they deliberately kept the ball away from centre-back Darragh Peters. MacDonaghs conceded four more unanswered points before Kevin Shinners settled nerves with a point after fifteen minutes. The switch of Cian Darcy to centre-forward, with Rory McCarthy going to the wing, helped MacDonaghs get a foothold in the half-forward line. Rory won a lot of primary possession on the left wing. Kevin Shinners crashed home a goal and despite the dominance of Clonoulty MacDonaghs were only a point behind. Clonoulty fired over two points to edge into a three point lead. Coming up to the break Craig Morgan tapped the sliotar to the net after an initial effort had been repulsed. Considering the lethargic performance in the first half, Kilruane were delighted to head to the dressing room on level terms. Half-time score: MacDonaghs 2-1 Clonoulty 0-7. The situation could have much worse as the westerners had hit eleven first half wides.
On the restart the north champions upped the tempo. Two wides were registered before Cian Darcy fired over a point in the fifth minute after taking a pass from Rory McCarthy. Soon after came the decisive score of the game. Darragh Peters floated in a 65, which Declan Elderfield deftly flicked to the net. Darragh added a point from a ninety metre free and the boys in black and white were five ahead. A few minutes later Kevin Shinners got his marching orders after a clumsy pull. Clonoulty cut the deficit to four with a point. Despite the numerical disadvantage, MacDonaghs were now in the ascendancy. Darragh Peters was dominating at centre-back, Kieran Brereton was very prominent at right wing-back and Jerome Cahill was hovering up an amount of ball at mid-field. MacDonaghs began to find their range and hit four unanswered points. Cian Darcy notched the first of these from a free to restore the five point cushion. He added another white flag before Darragh Peters made a searing run from the defence to split the posts with a great strike. Rory McCarthy had MacDonaghs final score. In the last quarter the defence was rock solid with Brendan McAdams a colossus at full-back. Niall Shinners made one great save and an Anthony Nash like effort from a twenty metre was cleared to safety. Clonoulty could only muster one point in that period. Tempers were frayed in the final minutes. Rory McCarthy saw red and Clonoulty also finished short of the quota.
Team: Niall Shinners, Arran Conroy, Brendan McAdams, Paul Guidera, Martin Grace, Darragh Peters (0-2), Kieran Brereton, Tom Dooley, Jerome Cahill, Cian Darcy (0-4), Rory McCarthy (0-1), Declan Elderfield (1-0), Craig Morgan (1-0), Kevin Shinners (1-1) and Conor Lillis. Sub: Cormac Mannion.
Referee: PJ Nolan (Killea)
At their penultimate training session the U8 panel was presented with club polo tops. The club would like to thank Austins Centra, Cloughjordan for their very generous sponsorship of the tops. Donald Austin was on hand to make the presentation to the players. Thanks to Michelle Shinners who recorded the event on camera.
The weekly coaching sessions conducted by Len Gaynor in Ardcroney have been adjourned for the customary winter break. At the final gathering Len presented a hurley to each attendee. Thanks to Len for donating the hurleys and for his ongoing commitment to the promotion of juvenile hurling. A special word of thanks to the club volunteers who assist Len on a regular basis.
Paddy Quinlan Tournament
The finals of the annual Paddy Quinlan U10 hurling tournament will take place in MacDonagh Park on Sunday October 20th. More details next week.
Cloughjordan N.S. lost out to Borrisokane N.S. in the first round of the championship in Gardiner Park.
U21 All Stars
Niall O’Meara is one of three nominees for the left wing forward spot on the inaugural Bord Gáis Energy U21 Team of the Year. The award ceremony will be broadcast live on TG4 on Saturday October 12th at 8.30pm.
Congratulations to Sean O’Meara, Ballycapple who won €500 in the County Draw and Billy Boyle, Ardcroney who won €200.
Congratulations to Liam O’Shea who has been inducted into the PPI Radio Awards Hall of Fame. The awards celebrate the art and skill of making radio and are in their 13th year. Liam is Director of Tipp FM, Clare FM and chairman of Spin South West. The Hall of Fame already includes such luminaries as Michael Ó Muirceartaigh, Gay Byrne and Jimmy Magee. Liam had a very successful career with Kilruane MacDonaghs as a player, selector and manager.
The Cloughjordan Community Development Committee is holding a meeting in the clubroom on Wednesday October 16th at 8.00pm. The meeting will be addressed by Dr Dirk Ahner who is visiting Cloughjordan from the 15th to 17th of October. He is coming over from Brussels to familiarise himself with Cloughjordan and hopefully he can be of assistance in sourcing more EU rural funding. Dr Ahner is now retired, but still sits on many EU committees in Brussels. He will be visiting the Ecovillage, Gurteen College, some local farms and businesses. Anyone from the GAA community, who has a business and is interested in finding out more about EU rural funding, is invited to attend the meeting.
The monthly meeting of the club committee is scheduled for Wednesday October 30th at 8.00pm. Committee members are asked to keep their diary free on that night.