A valiant effort against Thurles Sarsfields in the county quarter-final came unstuck in extra time on a 3-26 to 1-22 scoreline. The final score doesn’t reflect the closeness of the contest and the tremendous performance by the players. MacDonaghs entered this game without the services of four players who had operations Éanna Hogan, Willie Cleary Darragh Peters and Eoin Williams while Ray McLoughney was recovering from injury. In the opening exchanges the Magpies spurned two opportunities to raise white flags before Sarsfields got into their stride and hit 1-3 without reply. A point from Brian O’Meara settled MacDonaghs and by the interval they were well in the match with the score 1-11 to 1-8 in favour of the champions.
Ten minutes into the second half Kilruane had drawn level and Thurles knew that they had a fight on their hands. The champions responded and opened up a four-point gap but MacDonghs refused to go away. A controversial late Thurles free put them a point ahead with time just up. The referee obviously realised that he had made a grave error in penalising Jack Peters and made amends by awarding MacDonaghs a soft 40-metre free. Cian Darcy kept his nerve and slotted over the equaliser. Seamus Hennessy put MacDonaghs ahead by a point in extra time. However, in the third minute a lucky goal from Lar Corbett tilted the balance in favour of Thurles. The injuries now came home to roost and a strong Sarsfields bench helped carry the day as MacDonaghs ran out of steam. It had been a noble effort that won much admiration.
Team: Thomas Williams, Eoin Hogan, Jack Peters, James Cleary, Jerome Cahill (0-1), Kieran Cahill (0-2), Justin Cahill (0-1), Seamus Hennessy (0-3), Craig Morgan, Thomas Cleary (0-1), Conor Cleary (1-1), Niall O’Meara (0-1), James Williams, Brian O’Meara (0-1) and Cian Darcy (0-11). Subs: Ray McLoughney, Declan Barrett, Jonathan Cahill, Caoilainn Conroy and Stephen Cleary.
Thanks to Billy O’Shea (Manager), Shane McGrath (Coach), Kevin O’Brien (Selector), Kevin Quinlan (S & C), June Williams (First Aid), Ger Corcoran (Physio), Damien Franks (Kitman), Sean Kelly (Hurleys) and Carmel Daly (Catering). A special word of thanks to Eamon O’Shea whose expertise and experience greatly enhanced team preparation at various stages during the year. On last Saturday his input was superb. Eamon got the best out of the lads with absolutely inspiring speeches. He hit the right note after the match when he stated that “Kilruane MacDonaghs were beaten but not defeated.” Thanks also to Cormac McGrath who took a number of sessions during the year.
It was a season blighted by injuries and manager Billy O’Shea showed great patience and composure in dealing with one blow after another. Hopefully, 2018 will be kinder to us on the injury front. The players now know they can compete with the best. If every player puts his shoulder to the wheel anything is possible.
The county minor ‘B’ football semi-final against Cappawhite Gaels is expected to take place in Templederry on Saturday at 1.00pm.
In the latest round of the Plate MacDonaghs lost 1-11 to 3-3 against Burgess.
MacDonaghs had mixed fortunes on their visit to Toomevara. MacDonaghs (Bán) came out on top while MacDonaghs (Dubh) had to give second best to the home team.
MacDonaghs travelled to Puckane on Saturday for a blitz involving Kiladangan and Shannon Rovers. We had a panel of thirty divided into three teams. Thanks to Kiladangan for the invitation and the hospitality on the day.
Night at the Dogs
The Camogie club and Lahorna Handball club are organising a “Night at the Dogs” in Thurles Greyhound Stadium on Saturday, 14th October. Tickets cost €10 and are available from committee members of both clubs. The ticket entitles the purchaser to a race card and entry to the Buster Race competition which has a jackpot prize of €500. This promises to be a great night for all the family with free entry for U16s.