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Senior

After a very challenging year, we finished on a very positive note with a well-deserved 2-18 to 0-20 victory over Upperchurch Drombane in the relegation semi-final in Dolla. In last year’s semi-final, we had six points to spare over the Mid team. Upperchurch were always going to be a tough nut to crack. They had pushed Thurles all the way in the Mid final, losing by two points, and a better scoring difference would have seen them secure a quarter-final spot in the County Championship. Conditions were ideal with just a light breeze blowing in MacDonaghs favour in the first half. Upperchurch were first off the mark with a pointed free from Pádraig Greene. A minute later, the Magpies were on the scoreboard when excellent combination play from Conor Austion and Seamus Hennessy set up Niall O’Meara for a brilliant point. Seamus Hennessy added another long-range effort after an astute pass from Niall O’Meara. Kian O’Kelly fetched one out of the clouds and offloaded to Aaron Morgan, who split the posts to give Kilruane a two-point lead. Upperchurch replied with a brace of points from play to leave the teams tied on 0-3 each after seven minutes.

 

Willie Cleary was on target from his first free of the day. In the thirteenth minute, Conor Cleary and James Cleary did the spadework to put Cian Darcy inside the Upperchurch defence. His angled shot whizzed over the bar. A flying hurl as Cian was striking probably prevented a certain goal. The guilty party was given a yellow card.  Two points on the spin by Uppperchurch had the teams level on 0-5 each after the first quarter. Niall O’Meara fired over his second point, but this was cancelled out by an Upperchurch point. MacDonaghs hit a purple patch with six points on the trot from Aaron Morgan, Willie Cleary (4 frees) and Kieran Cahill to put MacDonaghs into a comfortable 0-12 to 0-6 lead. However, Upperchurch finished the half strongly to cut the deficit to three points. Deep into injury time came the turning point of the game. A long Páidí Williams delivery inside the twenty-metre line was broken down by Conor Cleary to his brother Willie, who buried it in the net. Psychologically, it was worth more than three points and left the Magpies 1-12 to 0-9 ahead at the break.    

MacDonaghs made the perfect start to the second half. Aaron Morgan set up Kieran Cahill for a well-taken point. With the help of the breeze, Upperchurch began to claw their way back into the game. They reeled off four points in succession to cut the deficit to three. In that period, Kilruane hit three wides. In the forty-second minute, Willie Cleary was on target from a 65 to stem the tide.  A minute later, Upperchurch keeper Ciaran Shortt denied Cian Darcy a goal with a great save. Upperchurch hit four points to leave the teams level with fourteen minutes left. The momentum was now with the Mid men, and it was a real test of character for MacDonaghs. The next score was vital, and it was Aaron Morgan who sent the sliotar over the black spot after a pass from Niall. Seamus Hennessy, now operating at full forward, won a free, which Willie Cleary converted. In the forty-ninth minute, Kian O’Kelly knifed through the Upperchurch defence, passed to Seamus Hennessy, who deftly finished to the net to give the Magpies a five-point advantage. Down the home straight, we kept enough daylight between the sides to chisel out a hard-earned four point victory. It is now time to relax. We can review 2023 and reset for 2024 at a later stage. Thanks to the players, management and backroom team for their effort during the year. They came up trumps when it was most needed. Thanks to our supporters who turned out in droves to get behind the lads.

Team: Páidí Williams, Jack Peters, Craig Morgan, James Cleary, Eoin Hogan, Niall O’Meara (0-2), Conor Austin, Samus Hennessy (1-1), Aaron Morgan (0-3), Jerome Cahill (0-1), Kieran Cahill (0-3), Kian O’Kelly, Conor Cleary, Willie Cleary (1-7, 0-6 frees, 0-1 65), Cian Darcy (0-1). Subs: James Williams, Eanna Hogan.

 

.Junior

Last Saturday’s junior ‘C’ game against V Borris-ileigh fell foul of the atrocious weather. It has been rescheduled for this Sunday, 8th October in MacDonagh Park with time to be confirmed.

 

U19

In the County ‘B’ football semi-final, we play Knockavilla Kickhams this Saturday, 7th October in Templederry at 3.30pm.

 

U15

The ‘A’ Plate final against Silvermines was also a victim of the weather. It is expected to be rescheduled for this week.

 

U7

The annual presentation night was held last Friday. The panel teamed up with their camogie counterparts for this function. Thanks to Lisa Cahill, Mark O’Neill, Cian Moyles and Cathal England who were on hand to make the presentations. Thanks to all the coaches for their commitment during the year and thanks to the parents for their support.

 

Lotto

The jackpot next week will be €4,300. Tickets are available from the usual outlets, or you can play on Club Spot. Thanks for your continued support.

 

Bingo

The weekly Bingo session continues on Saturday night in the Fr. O’Meara Centre, Kilruane at 8.00pm. The jackpot now stands at €1,500.

 

Johnny Keogh RIP

The late Johnny first played juvenile hurling in 1963, and he was on the MacDonaghs team that lost the North U15 final to Borris-Ileigh in a replay. The following year, he was full-back on one of the most successful juvenile teams that ever left the parish, a side that also included his brother Mackey. The 1964 team, captained by Billy O’Shea, won the North Rural & Urban Rural titles, and for good measure, added the County Rural title. They had victories over Borris-Ileigh in the North final and Moyne Templetuohy in the County final. Kilruane had an 8-3 to 6-2 victory over Nenagh in the Urban Rural final and were beaten by a point by Thurles in the County final which  had an attendance of over 1,000 in Nenagh. In 1965, Johnny was corner-back on the minor team that lost the North final against Roscrea. He moved on to play junior in 1971. He was also a member of the senior panel that year. Johnny was one of MacDonaghs most loyal and faithful followers. He supported our  teams in all kinds of weather at venues near and far. Whether we were playing in Lorrha or Littleton, Borrisokane or Boherlahan, you could be sure to see Johnny there. Though domiciled in Nenagh for many years, he was Kilruane through and through. The Kilruane MacDonaghs flag flew defiantly at his home in Benedine, proclaiming to all and sundry that his allegiance lay with his native parish. As a mark of respect the Tricolour in MacDonagh Park flew at half-mast. His coffin was draped in the MacDonaghs colours and club members formed a Guard of Honour at his funeral in Kilruane. Sympathy is extended to Majella, Valerie, Ray, Connie, Bunny, all Johnny’s family and friends.  Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam. 

 

Sympathy

The club extends sympathy to the family of the late George O’Leary, Tucson, Arizona and formerly, Beechwood, Kilruane. George was a great supporter of Kilruane MacDonaghs and Tipperary.