U16A Hurling County Semi-Final 2013

09 Oct 2013 by Gilbert Williams

 Kilruane MacDonaghs 3-8 Clonoulty-Rossmore 0-9
The U16 hurlers qualified for the county final for the first time since 2004 with a hard earned 3-8 to 0-9 victory against Clonoulty-Rossmore in Templetuohy. However, it was a bitter sweet victory as Kevin Shinners and Rory McCarthy received straight red cards and will be unavailable for the decider. Both cards seemed very harsh, with most observers considering Kevin‘s misdemeanour, midway through the second half, only warranted a yellow card, while Rory received his marching orders for pulling an opponent off Tom Dooley in a melee just before the finish. It is no consolation that a Clonoulty defender also saw red before the final whistle. On a more positive note James Cleary, who was unavailable for the Clonoulty game, will be back in his usual midfield role for the county final. Although the south championship has yet to be completed it looks like our likely opponents will be Drom-Inch who won the Mid Final by a staggering forty one points. Before a sliotar was struck in this championship they have been touted as certainties to claim the title. MacDonaghs face a huge challenge, so it is anticipated that there will be Clare like pace and intensity to the training sessions over the next few weeks. The selectors will have to burn the midnight oil in rearranging the attack to compensate for the absence of Rory and Kevin. The defence must remain intact with Darragh Peters in the anchor role at number six. James Cleary’s return should bolster midfield, thereby freeing Jerome Cahill to assume an attacking role.

In last Saturday’s game Clonoulty won the toss and played with the stiff breeze. Within twelve seconds the west champions had their first point. MacDonaghs were rather subdued in the opening quarter. Clonoulty enjoyed early mid-field dominance and they deliberately kept the ball away from centre-back Darragh Peters. MacDonaghs conceded four more unanswered points before Kevin Shinners settled nerves with a point after fifteen minutes. The switch of Cian Darcy to centre-forward, with Rory McCarthy going to the wing, helped MacDonaghs get a foothold in the half-forward line. Rory won a lot of primary possession on the left wing. Kevin Shinners crashed home a goal and despite the dominance of Clonoulty MacDonaghs were only a point behind. Clonoulty fired over two points to edge into a three point lead. Coming up to the break Craig Morgan tapped the sliotar to the net after an initial effort had been repulsed. Considering the lethargic performance in the first half, Kilruane were delighted to head to the dressing room on level terms. Half-time score: MacDonaghs 2-1 Clonoulty 0-7. The situation could have much worse as the westerners had hit eleven first half wides.

On the restart the north champions upped the tempo. Two wides were registered before Cian Darcy fired over a point in the fifth minute after taking a pass from Rory McCarthy. Soon after came the decisive score of the game. Darragh Peters floated in a 65, which Declan Elderfield deftly flicked to the net. Darragh added a point from a ninety metre free and the boys in black and white were five ahead. A few minutes later Kevin Shinners got his marching orders after a clumsy pull. Clonoulty cut the deficit to four with a point. Despite the numerical disadvantage, MacDonaghs were now in the ascendancy. Darragh Peters was dominating at centre- back, Kieran Brereton was very prominent at right wing-back and Jerome Cahill was hovering up an amount of ball at mid-field. MacDonaghs began to find their range and hit four unanswered points. Cian Darcy notched the first of these from a free to restore the five point cushion. He added another white flag before Darragh Peters made a searing run from the defence to split the posts with a great strike. Rory McCarthy had MacDonaghs final score. In the last quarter the defence was rock solid with Brendan McAdams a colossus at full-back. Niall Shinners made one great save and an Anthony Nash like effort from a twenty metre was cleared to safety. Clonoulty could only muster one point in that period. Tempers were frayed in the final minutes. Rory McCarthy saw red and Clonoulty also finished short of the quota.

Team: Niall Shinners, Arran Conroy, Brendan McAdams, Paul Guidera, Martin Grace, Darragh Peters (0-2), Kieran Brereton, Tom Dooley, Jerome Cahill, Cian Darcy (0-4), Rory McCarthy (0-1), Declan Elderfield (1-0), Craig Morgan (1-0), Kevin Shinners (1-1) and Conor Lillis. Sub: Cormac Mannion.

Referee: PJ Nolan (Killea)

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