MacDonaghs qualified for the quarter-final of the championship with a well deserved 0-17 to 1-11 triumph against Toomevara in Moneygall. This was the fourth championship victory against our great rivals in 2014. The U12s, U16s and juniors also came out on top in their respective matches, while Toomevara prevailed in the minor. The clubs didn’t clash in senior or U14. I’m not sure if we ever had a 4-1 count in our favour against our neighbours. When these sides clashed at U14 in 2007 Toomevara had twenty nine points to spare. At U16, in 2009, the gap had narrowed to three points while in 2011 six points separated the sides in the minor championship. The wheel has now turned full circle.
This latest victory was the result of a spirited performance against a fancied Toomevara outfit that contained two county minors, a county U21 and a liberal sprinkling of their senior team.
MacDonaghs played with greater vim and vigour than in their defeat to Nenagh. Conor Austin was an absentee with an injury and David Williams had to depart the scene at the interval due to a shoulder injury.
MacDonaghs had the aid of the breeze in the first half and hit the ground running with points from James Cleary, Aidan Boyle (free) and Kieran Cahill (free). Shane Nolan opened Toomevara’s account with a point and MacDonaghs had a narrow escape when a ground shot hit the butt of the post and went wide. A point from James Cleary put Kilruane three ahead. Toomevara cut the gap with a point from Colm Canning and another from a Mark McCarthy free. Kieran Cahill from a 65 and Mark Harty traded points. MacDonaghs took control with five points in a row from Darragh Peters, Kieran Cahill (3) and Bob Dooley. Toomevara broke the sequence with a pointed free from Mark McCarthy. Kieran Cahill and Colm Canning swopped points from placed balls to leave MacDonaghs ahead by 0-11 to 0-6. Mark McCarthy, who was well policed by Jack Peters, put over a point to cut to gap to four. MacDonaghs finished the half on a high with a brace of white flags from James Cleary and an Aidan Boyle (free) to leave the score 0-13 to 0-6.
Kilruane received a setback at the interval when David Williams was forced to retire with an injured shoulder. David had been very prominent at number seven in the first half and his withdrawal was a body blow. The selectors were forced to reshuffle their forces. Finnian Mannion, who had entered the fray just before the interval, was deployed as an emergency wing back and Tom Dooley was called into action at corner forward. Darragh Peters played very deep at midfield in support of his half-backline and his presence there helped blunt the attacking threat from Toomevara. James Cleary and Tom Dooley operated as a two man full forward line and they worked extremely hard to keep the Toomevara defenders busy.
On the resumption, Toomevara went on the attack and missed a chance to cut the deficit. This reprieve seemed to galvanise MacDonaghs. A point from James Cleary and another from a free by Kieran Cahill gave MacDonaghs an eight point cushion. Toomevara chipped away at the lead with three points, a brace from Mark McCarthy (one from play and one from a free) and another from Colm Canning. Conor Doheny made a great save after Mark McCarthy evaded the clutches of Jack Peters. Kieran Cahill broke the momentum with a crucial score from a free to leave MacDonaghs six ahead. Another free by Mark McCarthy left five points between the teams. A misdirected clearance was returned to the Kilruane goalmouth and the sliotar was whipped to the net. With less than five minutes left there were just two points between the sides and the momentum was now with Toomevara. However, the MacDonaghs defence remained firm and denied Toomevara another score. In added time Kieran Cahill won a crucial free which he converted to leave MacDonaghs winners by three points.
MacDonaghs now face Burgess in the quarter-final in Puckane on this Sunday, November 9th at 2.30pm. The memory of the disappointing defeat to the same opposition in the senior championship should act as extra motivation for MacDonaghs to reach the semi-final for the ninth time in ten years.
Team: Conor Doheny, Jack Peters, Brendan McAdams, Stephen Cleary, Caoilainn Conroy, Tomás Hogan, David Williams, Alan Darcy, Darragh Peters (0-1), Aidan Boyle (0-2), Kieran Cahill (0-9), Conor Cleary (0-1), Paddy Ryan, James Cleary (0-3) and Bob Dooley (0-1). Subs: Finnian Mannion and Tom Dooley.
The monthly meeting of the club committee will be held on this Wednesday, November 5th at 8.00pm. There are some very important items on the agenda so every committee member is asked to make a special effort to attend.
The Kilruane MacDonaghs U14 camogie team play Holycross in the county final in the Ragg on next Sunday, November 9th at 11.00am. Support for this team would be very much appreciated.