Best wishes to the Tipperary team and management in their clash with Cork.
The senior hurlers qualified for the last sixteen of the county championship with a 3-19 to 0-12 victory against Boherlahan-Dualla in the Ragg. The evening had an inauspicious start when Kilruane MacDonaghs travelled to Templemore, the original venue for the match. A communications foul-up meant that the decision to switch the game to the Ragg hadn’t filtered through. Michael Dundon of the Tipperary Star and Walti Maloney from Tipp FM also headed to Templemore. Thanks to Liz Williams who volunteered to remain in Templemore and direct supporters on to the Ragg. To the credit of players and management they kept cool heads and refused to let this mix-up sidetrack them. Worse things happen at sea.
The game was played in an almost surreal atmosphere. There was a small crowd, no scoreboard and no neutral linesmen. MacDonaghs looked like they could score when they wished and they crafted some lovely points. The goals from Thomas Cleary, Shane Quinlan and Mark O’Meara were well worked. However, there was a noticeable slackness in the Kilruane defence which allowed Boherlahan score ten points in the first half. A more lethal forward line would have reaped greater dividends. MacDonaghs retired to the dressing room with the score 3-8 to 0-10 in their favour.
On the resumption MacDonaghs continued to combine well and took some delightful scores. The defence ironed out its difficulties and the opportunities for the Boherlahan forwards were limited. With five minutes to go Kilruane led by 3-19 to 0-12. A Boherlahan player collided with the concrete sideline seating and suffered a back injury. As the player received treatment Boherlahan decided to concede the game and referee John O’Brien brought proceedings to a halt. It was a professional job by MacDonaghs. They did what they had to do. Attention now turns to the North semi-final with Burgess which is scheduled for the weekend of August 24th. Training should be very interesting in the next few weeks as competition for places intensifies.
Team: Thomas Williams, Éanna Hogan, Seamus Hennessy, Jack Peters, Eoin Hogan, Kieran Cahill, Liam Gibson (0-1), Justin Cahill (0-5), Kevin Quinlan (0-1), Mark O’Leary (0-1), Thomas Cleary (1-4), Ray McLoughney (0-5), Kevin Ryan (0-1), Mark O’Meara (1-0) and Shane Quinlan (1-1). Subs: Jonathan Cahill, William Cleary and Páidí Kelly.
Kilruane MacDonaghs secured a place in the semi-final with a 0-14 to 1-9 victory against Borris-Ileigh in Moneygall. MacDonaghs played against the stiff wind in the opening half. Borris-Ileigh took full advantage of the elements and hit the first three points. The hardworking James Cleary got MacDonaghs off the mark with a point in the seventh minute. In the opening quarter Kilruane were guilty of some poor shooting and recorded five wides. At the interval Borris-Ileigh were ahead by 0-8 to 0-5.
Considering the strength of the wind, this was a manageable deficit. However, it was Borris-Ileigh who were quickly into their stride with the first point of the second half. MacDonaghs responded with three points from James Williams (free), Diarmuid Cahill and Darragh Peters to cut the gap to the minimum. It looked like MacDonaghs were going to drive on at this stage but they were rocked back on their heels by a Borris-Ileigh goal.
Although the team was playing without the fluency of previous games, they stuck to their task and point by point they reeled in Borris-Ileigh. In the final ten minutes MacDonaghs fired over six unanswered points to cement their place in the semi-final. It wasn’t an impressive performance but credit to the players for eking out a victory while playing well below par. A tally of eighteen wides made life more difficult than necessary.
Incidentally, this was the thirteenth successive victory by a Kilruane MacDonaghs team in recent weeks. It is quite a few years since we had a winning streak like this.
Team: Niall Shinners, Cian Williams, Freddie Williams, Brendan McAdams, Stephen Cleary, Declan Barrett, Conor Austin, Alan Darcy, Tomás Hogan, Darragh Peters (0-2), James Williams (0-4), Diarmuid Cahill (0-1), Conor Cleary (0-4), Pat Conway (0-1) and James Cleary (0-2). Subs: Caoillainn Conroy, Bob Dooley and Aidan Boyle.
The club sends best wishes to Robert Austin who is recuperating after a stint in hospital. Hopefully, he will be available for the semi-final.
The U14 hurlers qualified for the North final with a hard earned 3-10 to 1-7 victory away to championship favourites Borris-Ileigh. The sides had previously clashed in the group stages with Borris-Ileigh prevailing on a 5-3 to 2-8 scoreline. This time MacDonaghs were determined to upset all prematch predictions. From the start they took the game to the home side. Inside the first minute Devlin Courtney scythed his way through the home defence, ignored the option of a point, and buried the sliotar in the corner of the net. Sean McAdams quickly added a point and MacDonaghs were firing on all cylinders.
Devlin Courtney and Kian O’Kelly were on top at midfield and the half back-line of Cian Spillane, Mark O’Neill and Dylan Moran cut off the supply of ball to the Borris-Ileigh inside line where danger man Ray McCormack was sited. A feature of MacDonaghs play was the hooking, tackling and blocking. They mixed the long and short game effectively and never let their opponents settle. A second goal by Jack Dwan gave MacDonaghs a firm grip on the game.
After fifteen minutes the visitors received a setback when Mark O’Neill was seen to be limping badly. The selectors took remedial action. Devlin Courtney was moved to centre-back, Jack Dwan came to midfield and Mark went to full-forward. Although his mobility was badly affected and was faced by Borris-Ileigh’s best player, Oran Bergin, Mark helped himself to two points and proved to be the ideal target man. At the break the score was 2-5 to 0-3 in favour of Kilruane.
Owen Usman was introduced at wing-forward for the second half and with an industrious display he laid strong claims for a starting place in the final. The expected onslaught came from Borris-Ileigh and they hit three points without reply. However, the MacDonaghs defence was resilient and denied them the green flag which would have sparked their revival. Sean McAdams slotted over a crucial 65 which left six points between the sides. Matthew Spain scored the decisive goal to open a nine point gap. He collected a pinpoint cross from Mark O’Neill to finish to the net with aplomb. Borris-Ileigh began to exert incessant pressure and were rewarded with a goal. However, MacDonaghs finished on a high and fired over three points from Sean McAdams, Mark O’Neill and Luke Morkan to book a place in the decider.
Team: Páidí Williams, Eoin England, Jack Dunne, Conor Quinlan, Dylan Moran (0-1), Mark O’Neill (0-2), Cian Spillane, Devlin Courtney (1-2), Kian O’Kelly, Aaron Morgan, Sean McAdams (0-4), Matthew Moyles, Matthew Spain (1-0), Jack Dwan (1-0) and Louis Kennedy. Subs: Owen Usman and Luke Morkan (0-1).
A remarkable feature of the game was the free count. Borris-Ileigh were awarded 18 frees, while MacDonaghs got none. The club has contacted the Guinness Book of Records with this information.
The final against Shannon Rovers will be played on Saturday, August 23rd. With the surprise departure of Borris-Ileigh, Shannon Rovers have been installed as firm favourites to take the title. It will take a huge effort by the team to cause an upset and massive support from the parish will be needed to push the team over the line. Cancel all other plans for the morning of Saturday, August 23rd.
Kilruane MacDonaghs will play JK Brackens or Drom-Inch in the county semi-final. No details of this fixture are available.