Entering the final quarter, MacDonaghs trailed by nine points and hopes of victory looked slim. However, they staged a remarkable recovery, outscoring Nenagh by 2-5 to 0-1 in the closing stages to chisel out a great 2-20 to 3-16 victory in Puckane. Nenagh hit the ground running in the opening half and had 1-1 on the board inside four minutes. They got a further boost in the thirteenth minute when David Cleary finished to the net to leave them 2-3 to 0-3 ahead. MacDonaghs settled as the half wore on — Eoin Hogan was outstanding in the number six jersey — and they were well in touch at half-time with the score 2-10 to 0-10 in favour of Éire Óg.
MacDonaghs started the second half in earnest and reduced the deficit to three. Nenagh responded to the challenge and hit 1-3 without reply. The goal by David Cleary in the forty fourth minute looked to be the killer blow. Nenagh now had a nine-point cushion as they entered the home straight. A goal by Mark O’Meara helped galvanise the Magpies. MacDonaghs tacked on four points in a row and the gap was down to two. In the sixtieth minute a point from Seanie Geaney put Nenagh three ahead. The game was now in injury time and all eyes were on the referee, Mike Murphy. Pat Conway got in behind the defence and coolly slotted to the net. On the call of time Pat intercepted a short puck out and fired over the winning point. It had been a victory in the best traditions of the MacDonaghs club. In the final quarter heart, desire and determination were there in abundance.
Team: Conor Doheny, Páidí Kelly, Brendan McAdams, David Mooney, Caolainn Conroy, Eoin Hogan (0-2), Martin Grace, Alan Darcy, Pat Conway (1-4), David Williams (0-1), Robert Austin (0-1), Jonathan Cahill (0-3), Finnian Mannion, Mark O’Meara (1-0) and James Cleary (0-8). Subs: Bob Dooley (0-1), Cian Williams and Tom Dooley. The next game will go ahead this weekend against Sillvermines. Check twitter for details.
In the final group game MacDonaghs lost out to a very impressive Toomevara side by 2-16 to 1-14 in Moneygall. Toomevara led by six points at the break and although MacDonaghs cut the gap to one point early in the second half, victory went to the better side. Team: Niall Shinners, Arran Conroy, Brendan McAdams, Conor Lillis, Martin Grace, Darragh Peters, Oisín O’Meara, Jerome Cahill (0-3), Tom Dooley, Craig Morgan (0-2), Cian Darcy (0-6), Sean McAdams (0-1), Nathan Ryan, James Cleary (1-2) and Cormac Mannion. MacDonaghs have qualified for the quarter-final. Our opponents won’t be known until the other group is completed.
MacDonaghs kept in contention for a semi-final place with a 2-16 to 1-5 victory against Roscrea in St. Cronan’s Park. The visitors led by 1-6 to 0-5 at the interval further daylight between the sides in the second half. Nathan Ryan, Devlin Courtney (0-1), Jake O’Kelly, Luke Dervan (0-2), Sean McAdams (0-1), Tommy Dooley (1-0), Alan Spain, Craig Morgan (0-11) and Kevin Oakley (1-0). Subs: Seamus O’Meara, Patrick Hayes, Jack Dwan and Cian Spillane. MacDonaghs have two group games left against Borris-Ileigh and Toomevara.
MacDonaghs qualified for the quarter-final when they travelled to Gardiner Park and overcame Borrisokane on a 6-6 to 2-8 scoreline. Team: Páidí Williams, Conor Quinlan, Shane McAteer, Kieran Spain, Colm Cleary (0-1), Dylan Moran, Louis Kennedy, Matthew Spain (0-1), Matthew Moyles, Rory Grace, James Loughnane, Paul O’Neill, Aaron Morgan (1-0), Kian O’Kelly (2-4) and Cormac Doheny (2-0). Subs: Ben Cahalan, Fionnan Hurley, Pádraig Coonan, Oisín Carroll and Kevin McDonald (1-0). They are now away to Roscrea on Wednesday, 12th August.
In the final group game MacDonaghs lost out to Templederry in MacDonagh Park on a 1-4 to 1-2 scoreline. In the quarter-final they travelled to Newport for the second time this season and lost to a strong home side on a 2-6 to 1-2 scoreline. Despite this defeat, the team gave a very good account of themselves with all seventeen players seeing action in the game. Team: Oisín Williams, Cillian O’Neill, Cian White, Kevin Naughnane (0-1), Adam Cleere, Rory Grace (0-1), Tom Larke, Eoin Carroll, Georgie O’Leary. Zack Dervan and Sean Hayes. Subs: Jack Ryan, Ciarán Coffey, Ross Austin, Sean Williams, Thomas Coonan and Danny Cahalan. Thanks to all the players and coaches for their work during the championship. After a two-week break the team management plan to play a number of challenge matches and in early September it is hoped to play the Dan O’Meara tournament. Parents will be informed by text.
The club extends sympathy to Josie Killackey on the death of her brother, Dinny Duggan, Nenagh and to the Tanner family, Rathnaleen on the death of Martina Tanner.