Junior C Hurling Championship Round 1

18 Jul 2010 by Gilbert Williams

MacDonagh Park Cloughjordan Friday July 16th

Kilruane MacDonaghs 2-16 Burgess 1-9

In their maiden outing in this championship Kilruane MacDonaghs recorded a good victory against Burgess in MacDonagh Park. The sides had clashed in the league semi-final in Portroe with Burgess claiming victory with a point to spare before going on to take the title. Two very different sides took to the field in Cloughjordan. MacDonaghs had lost Denis Cahill, Cormac Williams, Eoin Williams, Pat Conway, James Williams and David Williams to the Junior A team. It was a similar story with Burgess who were forced to play the first quarter of this game with only fourteen players.

Following a trim by Paddy Spain earlier in the day, the pitch was in immaculate condition for this encounter. The evening was dry and sunny with a stiff breeze blowing into the village end. Captain David Slattery won the toss and elected to take advantage of the elements. With Burgess short a man Cian Williams was deployed as sweeper in behind the halfback line where he mopped up an amount of ball. MacDonaghs dominated possession but were slow in translating this superiority into scores. Morgan Conway was on target from play and placed balls and MacDonaghs began to put daylight between the sides. Robert Austin’s direct and aggressive running was causing all kinds of problems for the Burgess defence and he won a number of valuable frees. Kilruane spurned a number of goal chances before Sean Hayes raised a green flag. Burgess attacks were sporadic but fruitful with all their first half scores coming from placed balls. Some of their frees would have fallen into the very soft category. They were also awarded a penalty but keeper Robert Ward parried the ball out for a sixty five. At the break the Kilruane led on a scoreline of 1-9 to 0-4.

Garry Prout was introduced for the second half and he helped to give the attack a more cutting edge. Backed by the breeze Burgess began to nibble away at the lead. Some very debatable frees helped them reduce the deficit. A brace of points by Garry Prout gave MacDonaghs some breathing space. Burgess began to take a grip at midfield and Garry Prout was dispatched there to stabilize the situation. Burgess received a big boost when a long delivery deceived the defence and ended up in the net. The pendulum seemed to swinging the way of the visitors but MacDonaghs responded in admirable fashion. Bawney Hayes raced through the defence to smash home a goal, a score that helped tilt the balance in favour of the home side. Finishing strongly, MacDonaghs had a ten point advantage at the final whistle.

This was a satisfactory start to the campaign. Robert Ward is maturing into a very competent goalkeeper and gave another assured performance. The England brothers Colin and Fergus provided experience and durability in the inside backline. Cian Williams tidy and economical striking in the left corner relieved many a situation. At number six veteran David Slattery was an ideal anchor in the centre of the defence. On his left Timmy Walsh gave his usual industrious performance while on the left flank Niall Murphy continues to show improvement. Alan Darcy and Scott Hodgins foraged gamely at mifdfield. Scott was hampered by a hand injury and should be restored to full fitness for the second round. At centre forward Kevin Prout was always in the thick of the action and took his two points well. Robert Austin turned in a man of the match performance on the left wing where his appetite for work and his determination were an inspiration to his colleagues. On the left wing Morgan Conway took the scoring honours hitting three points from play and slotting over seven points from placed balls. Sean ‘Bawney’ Hayes never shirked a challenge and bagged the two crucial goals. Mark Spain was always a threat a full forward and was unlucky on at least two occasions not to find the net. Finbarr McLoughney gave his all while on the field and was unfortunate not to figure on the scoresheet. Substitute Garry Prout made a huge impact when introduced while Eoin Burns, Stephen McCarthy and Ian O Brien did not let the side down when called into action. Next on the agenda is a home game against Nenagh Eire Og when it is rumoured some old warhorses may answer the call to arms.

Team: Robert Ward, Fergus England, Colin England, Cian Williams, Niall Murphy, David Slattery (capt), Timmy Walsh, Alan Darcy, Scott Hodgins, Robert Austin (0-1), Kevin Prout (0-2), Morgan Conway (0-10), Sean Hayes (2-0), Mark Spain (0-1) and Finbarr McLoughney.

Subs: Garry Prout (0-2), Eoin Burns, Stephen McCarthy and Ian O Brien

Referee: Eddie Kennedy (Borrisokane)

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