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An old proverb states that “Familiarity breeds contempt.” After last Sunday’s encounter between MacDonaghs and Burgess it appears that there is more than a grain of truth in this. Kilruane recorded their third victory of the season against Burgess when they prevailed on a 1-20 to 1-12 scoreline in the first round of the North championship in Nenagh. MacDonaghs anticipated a very physical challenge from Burgess and they were not to be disappointed. There was plenty of needle in the game from the earliest moments and referee, Johnny McDonnell was very lenient in keeping the red card in his pocket.

After an impressive win over Drom, MacDonaghs entered the game as favourites. Niall O’Meara was an absentee for the Magpies and injury ruled out Donagh Maher for Burgess. Buggy won the toss and MacDonaghs had the wind at their backs in the first half. Burgess adopted a defensive strategy, playing an extra defender. Early in the game a melee, or as Mícheál Ó hEithir would say a shemozzle, broke out in the Burgess goalmouth. The great rubgy commentator, Bill McLaren might have referred to it as a bit of argy bargy. The referee took a long time to sort it out and after consulting with his umpires he brandished a number of yellow cards. There was no flow to the hurling in the first half and this stop-start nature of the game didn’t suit MacDonaghs who had the wind and saw valuable time being wasted with stoppages. At least four minutes was taken up with the initial melee.

Eventually, Ray McLoughney opened the scoring with a point from a free. Kieran Cahill added another from a placed ball after a late tackle on Ray. Conor Cleary was fouled and Ray McLoughney punished the indiscretion. Fifteen minutes had elapsed and the score was 0-3 to 0-0 in favour of MacDonaghs. Stephen Murray pointed two frees and with seventeen minutes gone the lead was down to the minimum. Kieran Cahill extended the advantage with two white flags from placed balls. The large MacDonaghs following heaved a collective sigh of relief when Thomas Williams was blocked down and the ball trickled to the right of the post. Stephen Murray cut the deficit to two when Ray McLoughney was harshly penalised for over carrying.

MacDonaghs engineered a wonderful score when Thomas Williams picked out Jack Peters with a short puckout. Jack transferred the sliotar to Ray McLoughney who sent a magnificent effort between the posts. Kieran Cahill scored his fourth point after Buggy was fouled and was unerring again after he was fouled himself. Ray added a brace of points, one from play (30m) and the other from a free (32m). Buggy brought the scoring to a close in the 36th minute with his first flag of the day to leave MacDonaghs ahead by 0-11 to 0-3 at the break. Considering that MacDonaghs had only led by a point after seventeen minutes, the management were not unhappy with an eight-point cushion. The defence had looked very sound. Thomas Williams had only one shot to save and he dealt capably with this.

Burgess got a dream start to the second half. Inside the first minute, a long delivery from Timmy Hogan ended up in the net and it was game on. Justin was fouled and Kieran Cahill steadied nerves with the resultant free. Stephen Murray chipped in with two more frees and the gap was down to four. Cian Darcy and Brian Hogan swopped points and with thirty-nine minutes gone the score was 0-13 to 1-6. Stephen Murray added another brace of white flags from frees and MacDonaghs had now only a two-point advantage. A Kieran Cahill point from a free put a little more daylight between the teams but an effort from Peter Gill made it a two-point game again. Thomas Cleary and Liam Gibson struck two great points but on each occasion Burgess replied directly from the puckouts. A Stephen Murray point from a free in the 20th minute left the minimum between the sides with the scoreboard reading 0-16 to 1-12.

It was hurl-or-go-home-time for MacDonaghs. To the players’ eternal credit they dug deep when the need was greatest. Thomas Cleary came up trumps with a point and Buggy followed with a similar score in the 28th minute. Tomás Hogan was fouled and Kieran Cahill made no mistake from the free. Justin took a pass from Buggy and he deftly stroked it over the bar in a confined space. In the 31st minute Justin took another pass from Buggy and this time he nearly burst the rigging with a rasper for the final score of the game. It had been a mighty test of both the physical and mental strength of the players. They had passed with flying colours. Not their best performance of the year but undoubtedly their best victory.

Team: Thomas Williams, Éanna Hogan, Seamus Hennessy, Jack Peters, Willie Cleary, Ray McLoughney (0-5), Darragh Peters, Liam Gibson (0-1), Conor Cleary, Kieran Cahill (0-8), Justin Cahill (1-1), Conor Cleary, Thomas Cleary (0-2), Brian O’Meara (0-2) and Cian Darcy (0-1). Subs: Tomás Hogan and Kevin Ryan.

North Championship
On this Saturday, 23rd May, Kilruane MacDonaghs play Ballina in Puckane at 3.00pm in the second round of the North championship. After last Sunday’s bruising tussle, the players are in action for the third successive week. This will test their fitness and mental strength once again. The team had great vocal support in their four games to date. Our supporters are asked to turn out in droves in Puckane. The players have fed off your vocal support. We want to see and HEAR you all on Saturday. Don’t leave the vocal encouragement to others. They might be leaving it to YOU!

Junior League
Kilruane MacDonaghs are at home to Burgess in the junior league on this Sunday, 24th May at 12 noon. Your support would be appreciated. Every team is important in the Kilruane MacDonaghs club.

Minor Hurling
Kilruane MacDonaghs have been drawn against Toomevara in the first round of the championship which will take place after the exams. Kildangan and Burgess are also in the group.

Parish league
The finals of the Parish and Mini Leagues will take place on Saturday, 6th June at 11.00am.

Under 14 Football
Kilruane MacDonaghs play Lorrha/Rovers in the semi-final on this Friday evening, 29th May in MacDonagh Park at 7.00pm.

Congratulations to the U14 camogie team that defeated Ballina in the county final and qualified for the National Féile finals which will be held in Belfast.

County Draw
There has been a great response to the new County Draw with a €500,000 prize fund. The first draw takes place on Friday, 5th June There are two cars to be won every month plus twenty-eight other prizes. Last year Maura Grace came out of the drum for a Skoda Octavia car worth €15,000. The club is hoping that all existing members will rejoin and a forensic trawl of the parish will be undertaken to enlist new subscribers. The County Draw is a major source of revenue for the club. By joining you have an opportunity to win fantastic prizes and also have the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping Kilruane MacDonaghs and Tipperary. There are four payment options available: One payment of € €100; Two payments of €50; Monthly payment of €10; and Direct Debit.

Clothes Collection
The juvenile and camogie clubs are joining forces to organise a clothes collection all this week, up to and including Saturday. The clothes will be collected on Saturday at 11.00am so make sure you get your bags in before the deadline. Clothes may be left in the Thomas MacDonagh Complex. All club members are urged to do a spring clean and donate all clean unwanted clothes, also bed linen, towels, curtains, shoes, belts and soft toys. This is a painless and environmentally-friendly way to provide much-needed funds for the juvenile and camogie clubs.

Kellogs Cúl Camp
The annual Kellogs Cúl Camp is scheduled for 29th June to 3rd July in Thomas MacDonagh Park. The camp will have the usual 10.00am start in the morning and finish at the 2.00pm. The camp is open to all primary school children.

Going to the Dogs
The parish is “Going to the Dogs” on this Saturday, 30th May in support of Lahorna Handball club which is having a fundraising night in Thurles Greyhound Track to help finance the building of a 40 x 20 court. Tickets are €10 each and the club is asking for your support. A fun night is guaranteed with great prizes.