MacDonaghs made a tremendous second half rally against Thurles Sarsfields in the county semi-final in Semple Stadium and just came up short on a 2-20 to 1-17 scoreline. Appearing at this stage of the competition for the first time since 1994, MacDonaghs entered the game as total outsiders against a star-studded Thurles outfit. However, MacDonaghs were undaunted by the challenge and relished the opportunity to take on the county champions in their own backyard. With fifty–nine minutes gone on the clock MacDonaghs had cut a seven-point deficit to the minimum. The momentum was with the challengers and a major upset looked on the cards. To the credit of Thurles their experience came to the fore and as Kilruane poured forward in search of the winning scores the champions struck 1-2 to book their passage to the county final.
Thurles remained on track to win the Dan Breen Cup for the fifth time in seven years but this was far from plain sailing for the defending champions as the Magpies put in a stirring second half performance to push Thurles all the way in this entertaining semi-final.
Favourites, Thurles got in to their stride from the off as Conor Lanigan’s goal chance was saved by Kilruane goalie Thomas Williams only to see Denis Maher open the scoring with a Thurles point soon afterwards. Niall O’Meara and Pa Bourke traded points in the next minute before the first goal of the game arrived in the second minute when Brian O’Meara set up Cian Darcy for a MacDonaghs green flag.
The response from Thurles was immediate when points from Pa Bourke and Aidan McCormack were followed by a Thurles goal by Pa Bourke when picked out by a cross-field ball by Denis Maher. Kilruane had the chance to equalise moments later but Cian Darcy saw his attempt at goal hit the side net.
Thurles were dominating possession at this stage but good work by MacDonaghs resulted in a number of turnovers as the teams shared the next 12 points as Thurles led by 1-10 to 1-7 after 23 minutes. The final stages of the first half proved decisive in the final analysis as unanswered Sarsfields points by Lar Corbett, Pa Bourke (2 frees) and Aidan McCormack helped Thurles in to a commanding seven point lead at the interval, 1-14 to 1-7.
The second half was a different story as MacDonaghs stormed in to the game and the Thurles scoring machine slowed down dramatically. The first 12 minutes of the second half saw MacDonaghs outscore Thurles by 0-7 to 0-2, the Kilruane points coming from Seamus Hennessy (free), Kieran Cahill (3), Niall O’Meara, Thomas Cleary and Brian O’Meara.
Thurles were relying greatly on Aidan McCormack for scores at this stage and he scored two points from play to double their advantage to four points heading in to the final ten minutes. Lar Corbett also had a goal chance in this period only to see his close range shot excellently saved by Thomas Williams.
Kilruane continued to pile on the pressure however as points from play by Kevin Quinlan and Seamus Hennessy reduced the deficit to just two points. In the 57th minute, Brian O’Meara rounded Michael Cahill and looked to bear down on goal only to be tripped by Cahill who received his marching orders for his second yellow card of the day. When Ray McLoughney pointed the resultant free, fourteen- man Thurles now led by just a point with all the momentum resting with the North side.
Thurles managed to get the next score, a pointed free by Pa Bourke. With MacDonaghs out on their feet at this stage and trying in vain to secure at least a draw, a long clearance found man of the match Aidan McCormack who dispatched the ball to the net as the game entered injury time. There was still time for Pa Bourke to add a point from a free and at the final whistle Thurles ran out winners by a flattering six points.
Score by Score Round-up
1m – Conor Lanigan goal chance – Thurles Sarsfields 0-0 Kilruane MacDonaghs 0-0
1m – Denis Maher point – Thurles Sarsfields 0-1 Kilruane MacDonaghs 0-0
1m – Niall O’Meara point – Thurles Sarsfields 0-1 Kilruane MacDonaghs 0-1
2m – Pa Bourke point – Thurles Sarsfields 0-2 Kilruane MacDonaghs 0-1
2m – Cian Darcy goal, Brian O’Meara pass – Thurles Sarsfields 0-2 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-1
3m – Pa Bourke point – Thurles Sarsfields 0-3 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-1
4m – Aidan McCormack point – Thurles Sarsfields 0-4 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-1
5m – Pa Bourke goal, Denis Maher pass – Thurles Sarsfields 1-4 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-1
7m – Cian Darcy goal chance hits side net – Thurles Sarsfields 1-4 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-1
8m – Kieran Cahill point – Thurles Sarsfields 1-4 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-2
9m – Pa Bourke point – Thurles Sarsfields 1-5 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-2
10m – Pa Bourke free – Thurles Sarsfields 1-6 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-2
12m – Kieran Cahill free – Thurles Sarsfields 1-6 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-3
14m – Denis Maher point – Thurles Sarsfields 1-7 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-3
14m – Seamus Hennessy point – Thurles Sarsfields 1-7 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-4
16m – Stephen Cahill point – Thurles Sarsfields 1-8 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-4
18m – Ray McLoughney point- Thurles Sarsfields 1-8 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-5
20m – Kieran Cahill point-Thurles Sarsfields 1-8 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-6
21m – Stephen Cahill point- Thurles Sarsfields 1-9 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-6
21m – Aidan McCormack point-Thurles Sarsfields 1-10 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-6
23m – Kieran Cahill free-Thurles Sarsfields 1-10 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-7
24m – Lar Corbett point – Thurles Sarsfields 1-11 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-7
26m – Pa Bourke free – Thurles Sarsfields 1-12 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-7
30m – Pa Bourke free – Thurles Sarsfields 1-13 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-7
31m – Aidan McCormack point – Thurles Sarsfields 1-14 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-7
HT Score – Thurles Sarsfields 1-14 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-7
31m – Seamus Hennessy free – Thurles Sarsfields 1-14 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-8
35m – Kieran Cahill free – Thurles Sarsfields 1-14 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-9
35m – Aidan McCormack point – Thurles Sarsfields 1-15 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-9
36m – Niall O’Meara point – Thurles Sarsfields 1-15 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-10
38m – Thomas Cleary point – Thurles Sarsfields 1-15 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-11
39m – Denis Maher point – Thurles Sarsfields 1-16 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-11
40m – Kieran Cahill point – Thurles Sarsfields 1-16 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-12
41m – Kieran Cahill free – Thurles Sarsfields 1-16 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-13
42m – Brian O’Meara point – Thurles Sarsfields 1-16 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-14
44m – Aidan McCormack point – Thurles Sarsfields 1-17 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-14
47m – Lar Corbett goal chance saved by Kilruane goalie Thomas Williams – Thurles Sarsfields 1-17 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-14
49m – Aidan McCormack point – Thurles Sarsfields 1-18 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-14
52m – Kevin Quinlan point – Thurles Sarsfields 1-18 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-15
54m – Seamus Hennessy point – Thurles Sarsfields 1-18 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-16
57m – Michael Cahill red card (2 yellows)
58m – Ray McLoughney free – Thurles Sarsfields 1-18 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-17
59m – Pa Bourke free – Thurles Sarsfields 1-19 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-17
60m – Aidan McCormack goal – Thurles Sarsfields 2-19 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-17
63m – Pa Bourke free – Thurles Sarsfields 2-20 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-17
Thurles Sarsfields: Patrick McCormack; Michael Cahill, Stephen Maher, Kevin O’Gorman; David Kennedy, Padraic Maher, Ronan Maher; Stephen Cahill (0-2), Billy McCarthy; John Maher, Pa Bourke, (1-8, 0-5 frees), Aidan McCormack (1-6); Conor Lanigan, Lar Corbett (0-1), Denis Maher (0-3)
Subs: Richie Ruth for Conor Lanigan (32m), Tommy Doyle for Billy McCarthy (53m), Billy McCarthy for John Maher (61m), Conor Lanigan for Richie Ruth (63m)
Kilruane MacDonaghs: Thomas Williams Éanna Hogan, Jack Peters, Ray McLoughney (0-2, 0-1 free), Darragh Peters, Niall O’Meara (0-2), Eoin Hogan, Willie Cleary, Seamus Hennessy (0-3, 0-1 free), Kiieran Cahill (0-7, 0-4 from frees), Justin Cahill,, Kevin Quinlan (0-1), Thomas Cleary (0-1), Brian O’Meara (0-1), Cian Darcy (1-0)
Subs: Kevin Ryan for Willie Cleary (HT), James Williams for Kieran Cahill (52m),
Thanks to the panel of players, manager Billy O’Shea, coach/selector Noel Larkin, selector Mick Ryan, fitness trainer Mark Gleeson, physio John Casey, First Aid/Masseur June Whelan, kitman Tom Quinlisk and all the backroom team for a tremendous effort during the year.
For the second year in a row the team has chalked up six championship victories and is now contesting the business-end of the championships. This year MacDonaghs were back on the big stage in Semple Stadium. Progress has been made. Pride has been restored. It will take a monumental effort to take the next step. Every team will start at the bottom rung of the ladder at the beginning of the year. We have the players— hopefully some of our emigrants will return to the fold in 2016 — and we have the management set-up to deliver the goods. Everybody is naturally disappointed after Sunday’s defeat but when the dust settles our thoughts will turn to the season ahead. Nobody said it was going to be easy. If it was easy the championship wouldn’t be worth winning. Everybody should keep the faith and stick together. The Magpies WILL soar again.
MacDonaghs will play Kildangan in the first round of the championship. No date has been finalised. Last weekend Ballina conceded the scheduled preliminary round game.
Cumann na mBunscol
Cloughjordan N.S. overcame Toomevara N.S. by 5-2 to 2-5 in MacDonagh Park in the first round of the championship. Team: Zack Dervan, Cillian O’Neill, Ross Austin, Abigail Quinlivan, Jake Adler (1-0), Tom Larke (1-0), Andrew Hayes, Oisín Williams (2-1), Kevin Naughnane (1-1) and Tom Austin. Subs: Jade Burriss, Donncha Spaight Burns. Kilruane N.S. made their exit from the championship after losing to Ballina N.S. and Scoil Eoin, Roscrea in a blitz which took place in Toomevara.
Cloughjordan N.S. lost out to Moneygall N.S. in the second round of the football championship on a 7-4 to 5-6 scoreline. Team: Zack Dervan, Cillian O’Neill, Ross Austin (0-1), Jake Adler, Tom Larke (0-1), Kevin Naughnane, Oisín Williams (5-3) and Andew Hayes (0-1). Subs: Hugo Ó hAnluain, Tom Austin, Abigail Quinlivan, Trent Deane, John Hannan, Donncha Spaight Burns and Luke Donnelly.
On Monday, 5th October the players had their last training session. Thanks to the coaches, Éanna Hogan, John Mulcahy, Mark O’Leary, John O’Meara and Justin Cahill for all their hard work during the year. Thanks also to Jimmy Cahill who did some sessions. Thanks to the players: Simon Austin, Tom Austin, Danny Cahalan, Zack Clarke, Eamon Coonan, Conal Daly, Cathal England, Peter Flannery, Liam Foley, Jack Gleeson, John Hannan, Andrew Hayes, Alfonso Galero Kleboe, Diego Galero Kleboe, Tristan Madden, Colm McAteer, Cian Moyles, Jack Mulcahy, Eoin O’Neill, Brian O’Meara, David Persse, John Quinlisk and Darragh Spillane for putting in a great effort throughout the year.
On last Saturday two U8 teams travelled to Coolderry to take part in a blitz with the host club, Drumcullen and Ballyskenagh/Killavilla. Each team played three games. Thanks to Coolderry for the invitation.
The juvenile club is organising a major fundraising raffle. Tickets are now on sale and we hope that all our supporters will row in behind this venture. The draw will take place at a Table Quiz in Bomber’s Bar on Friday, 30th October. There will be an auction after the Table Quiz. Thanks to all who have already donated items for the auction. If you have any item, big or small, which can be put under the hammer contact Michael O’Meara 087-2474768, John O’Meara 087-2749187, Gilbert Williams 087-2176452 or any member of the juvenile committee.
The All-Ireland 60x30 juvenile handball semi-finals were played on Sunday in Lahorna and Ballina. Jerome Cahill had a good win against his Galway opponent on a 21-7 and 21-8 scoreline. Sean McAdams teamed up with James Prentice, Ballina for a comfortable victory over Roscommon in the U16 doubles. The All-Ireland finals will be played on Sunday, 1st November at venues in Connacht. Best of luck to Cormac Doheny, James Loughnane and Rory Grace who play in the All Ireland U12/13 team of six against Wexford on Saturday in Thurles at 12 noon.
The club extends sympathy Paddy Mulrooney on the death of his sister Bridie Hogan Gortlandroe and to Danny Grace on the death of his mother, Kathleen Grace, Knigh.