Scoil Ruáin, Killenaule 1-10
St. Anne’s, Killaloe 1-08
Scoil Ruáin, Killenaule bounced back to prominence on the Munster stage with a thrilling two point win in the Under 16½ “C” hurling final against St. Anne’s of Killaloe at The Ragg on Wednesday last.
Having had a six week break since their semi -final win against St. Declan’s, Kilmacthomas, the South Tipp side were hoping their form had not waned while awaiting the winners from the other side of the draw which had been delayed for different reasons. Killaloe were fresh from a single point victory over Rathkeale in the other semi-final plated only a week ago.
Following heavy overnight rain the underfoot conditions at the mid venue were soft and tricky but did not prevent an excellent display of hurling from two well matched sides. Luckily, the rain stayed away for the duration of the game which was played in calm conditions.
It looked as if St. Anne’s were off to a dream start with the ball in the Killenaule net within a minute, only for the “score” to be disallowed for a small ‘square’ infringement. The Clare school opened the scoring with a point from industrious midfielder, Eoghan Power, in the fourth minute.
Scoil Ruáin responded with a point from co-captain, Padraig Maher, from a free in the fourth minute following a foul on Darragh Fitzgerald and a score from play from Frank Meagher in the seventh minute. Killaloe responded with a point from captain, Dylan McMahon, in the eleventh minute.
Scoil Ruáin full-forward, Michael O’Shea, looked threatening every time the ball came his way and, following a neat delivery from Padraig Maher, found the St. Anne’s net in the fifteenth minute despite the best efforts of Matthew Power in goals. McMahon replied almost immediately with a point from a free but this was to be his last contribution to the cause as he had to leave the field injured shortly afterwards. This was a hammer blow to St. Anne’s as McMahon was their leader and most influential player.
Scoil Ruán capitalized on their opponents’ misfortune adding two points from Padraig Maher, one from play, and another from Frank Meagher in the last ten minutes of the first half. St. Anne’s sole response was a 33rd minute point from Eoghan Power to leave the score 1-05 to 0-04 at the interval.
Scoil Ruáin got the perfect start to the second half with a delightful point from wing-forward, Kyle Shelly, in the first minute. This score was cancelled by a David Broadford free for Killaloe in the fifth minute. Michael O’Shea followed with nice points in the sixth and ninth minutes to stretch the Killenaule lead to six. At this stage the South Tipp boys were firmly in control on the run of play but failed to press home their advantage on the scoreboard.
Gradually, St. Anne’s gained a foothold in the game. Points from another Broadford free and Eoghan Power in the nineteenth minute gave the Shannonsiders hope. Padraig Maher again stretched the Killenaule advantage with a twentieth minute point before Darragh Lynch went on a barnstorming run from midfield and unleashed a rasper that goalkeeper, Matthew Power did exceptionally well to deflect over his crossbar.
This was Killenaule’s final score and seemed to seal victory but the Clare school had other ideas. Referee, Richard Moloney, awarded a twenty metre free to St. Anne’s a minute later which was powerfully dispatched to the net by centre half-back, Conor Bourke. A goal now separated the sides and At. Anne’s threw everything into attack. A dangerous ball was cleared by the Scoil Ruáin defence only for play to be halted by the referee who awarded the Killaloe side a penalty for an indiscretion by corner-back, Danny Gleeson. Bourke again struck a mighty drive that seemed bound for the top corner only to be denied by a magnificent reflex save from Rhys Shelly in the Killenaule goal. The resultant ‘65 was pointed by Bourke but that was to be the last score of this enthralling contest.
Amid scenes of unbridled joy, Munster Council’s Mike Nash, presented the cup to co-captains, Brian Maher of Gortnahoe-Glengoole and Padraig Maher of Ballingarry.
Scoil Ruáin had a well-balanced team on the day in which every player played his part manfully. Rhys Shelly was soundness personified in goal and his lengthy puck outs were a feature of this game. Full-back, Conor Harrington gave a faultless display in a very solid rearguard. Brian Maher really impressed at centre-back and was ably assisted by Hassett and Campion on the wings. Jason McQuail got through an amount of hard graft at midfield with Darragh Lynch providing stylish touches all through. Padraig Maher and Michael O’Shea stole the limelight in attack but Frank Meagher’s points were well taken in an all-action display and Darragh Fitzgerald’s work-rate was noteworthy. A word of praise for team manager, Mr. Paul O’Dwyer, for having his charges in prime physical and mental condition for the fray and to his able assistant, Mr. Michael Guinan.
Killaloe, powered by eight Ballina clubmen, are to be commended for a never-say-die attitude despite losing their captain so early in the game. They could easily have snatched victory in the end but that would have been an injustice to Scoil Ruáin who were the better team on the day. Tigerish full-back, Liam Hart and impressive centre-back, Conour Bourke fought manfully all through as did Eoghan Power at midfield. Their problems stemmed from an attack that got little space from a very well-organised Scoil Ruáin defence.
Scoil Ruáin: Michael O’Shea 1-02; Padraig Maher 0-04 (0-02 f); Frank Meagher 0-02; Kyle Shelly 0-01; Darragh Lynch 0-01.
St. Anne’s: Conor Bourke 1-02 (1-01 f ; 0-01 ’65); E. Power 0-2; D. Boland 0-02 (f); D. McMahon 0-02 (0-01 f)
Scoil Ruáin: Rhys Shelly (Moycarkey-Borris); Danny Gleeson (Killenaule0; Conor Harrington (Fethard); Eoin Walsh Killenaule); Jack Hassett (Killenaule); Brian Maher (Gortnahoe-Glengoole); Padraig Campion (Gortnahoe-Glengoole); Darragh Lynch (Fethard); Jason McQuail (Ballingarry); Kyle Shelly (Moycarkey-Borris); Padraig Maher (Ballingarry); Darragh Fitzgerald (Killenaule); Dillon Butler (Gortnahoe-Glengoole); Michael O’Shea (Mullinahone); Frank Meagher (St. Patrick’s).
Subs: Eoghan O’Brien (Mullinahone) for Butler; Paddy Gaynor (Killenaule); Stephen Crotty (Fethard); Harry Cummins (Killenaule); John Mulcahy (Clerihan); Lorcan Troy (Gortnahoe-Glengoole); James Fitzgerald (St. Patrick’s); Pauric O’Brien (St. Patrick’s); Aidan Lonergan (Moyle Rovers); Ben Purcell (Killenaule); Cillian White (Mullinahone); David Hayes (Killenaule); Robert Gleeson (Gortnahoe-Glengoole); David McCormack (Killenaule).
St. Anne’s: M. Power (Ballina); T. Walsh (Clonlara); L. Hart (Ogonolloe); E. Connolly (Smith O’Briens); S. Loughran (Ballina); C. Bourke (Ballina); Mikey Gough (Smith O’Briens); D. McMahon (Clonlara); E. Power (Ballina); C. O’Donnell (Ballina); E. Power (Smith O’Briens); C. Power (Ballina); D. Boland (Broadford); D. Slevin (Ballina); R. Breen (Ballina).
Subs: J. Power (Ballina); D. King (Ballina); D. Moloney (Smith O’Briens); A. Mason (Broadford); D. Lawlor (Smith O’Briens); N. Helebert (Portroe); D. Nolan (Smith O’Briens).