Grangemockler ------------------------- 1-15
Moyle Rovers ------------------------- 1-14
The outpouring of joy among Grangemockler players, mentors and supporters when the final whistle went to signal the end of an absolute thriller of a contest against Moyle Rovers was something very special to witness in Cahir last Wednesday evening.
Grangemockler had a set of new sporting heroes to behold after they emerged victorious by a solitary score in a tension packed climax to a contest that decided the destination of the coveted south U/21 football title.
The scenes of relief and joy led to wild celebrations as the Grangemockler players celebrated their achievement with their supporters.
It was a massive sporting achievement, the most hard earned triumph possible, and for it to arrive in a most special year for the club made this victory one that will be cherished more than most.
The significance of the occasion and the incredible sense of pride that surged through the Grangemockler supporters was palpable.
The club could not have wished for a more appropriate way to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Grangemockler's Michael Hogan when the twenty four year old who lined out for Tipperary wearing the famous Grangemockler colours was shot when the Black and Tans invaded Croke Park on Bloody Sunday.
The people of Grangemockler and Tipperary were denied an opportunity to properly mark the 100th anniversary this year because of Covid. However the on field exploits of a new generation of Grangemockler footballers last Wedensday night more than compensated for the curtailment of the off field anniversary ceremonies.
The triumph over Moyle Rovers achieved in the most dramatic fashion was the perfect outcome for Grangemockler in this historic year and it will have meant the world to everybody associated with the club.
The silverware was secured after an epic battle against great rivals Moyle Rovers in a game that could have gone in either direction as the outcome was in doubt right up to the final whistle made
Both sets of supporters went through a roller coaster of emotions in the last quarter as the battle unfolded.
Captain Manus McFadden had edged Grangemockler ahead midway through the second half with an excellent score that arrived after a trademark super fast transition out of defence.Moyle Rovers substitute Callum Meagher equalised a minute later and that pattern was repeated several times in the last quarter with Grangemockler edging ahead and Moyle Rovers pulling them back.
Mikey Lyons put Grangemockler a point clear only for Darrah Bolger, with one of the points of the game, to equalise. Lyons stepped up again with another free to give Grangemockler a slender advantage with twenty eight minutes gone only for the outstanding Riain Quigley to equalise with a minute left.
Grangemockler however made the crucial breakthrough to seal the victory punishing Moyle Rovers yet again with a devastating counter attack which had the Moyle Rovers defence in trouble.The move was swift and direct and resulted in Tom Brett getting the final touch to send the ball to the net in injury time.
There was still time for Moyle Rovers to try and salvage something from the game but points from the hard working Jack Harney and another from a Callum Meagher free was just not enough as Moyle Rovers ran out of time.
For Moyle Rovers their best spell came at the very start of the game when they should have put more scores on the board.They scored the first three points of the game without reply from Grangemockler in the opening ten minutes with scores from Darragh Bolger and two points from Riain Quigley who showed great leadership on the night as he took the game to Grangemoclker.
It was the most dominant period Moyle Rovers enjoyed on the night before Grangemockler started to come into the game.
The Moyle Rovers lead could have been wiped out in an instant but for the heroics of Rovers goalie Brian Quirke who dived to his left to keep out a penalty from Manus McFadden. He had pulled off the same feat in the semi final when he saved a Stephen Grogan penalty against Cahir in the same goal.
That setback did not deter Grangemockler and they continued to apply pressure which yielded five scores from frees to just one free from Rian Quigley for Moyle Rovers which gave Grangemockler a one point advantage.Quigley, this time from play after being set up by Diarmuid Mulcahy, levelled matters at five points apiece. Before the half time whistle Grangemockler twice took the lead with scores from Manus McFadden and Denis Hanrahan only to be pulled back by Riain Quigley again and Ben Owens to leave the teams level at seven apiece at the break.
Moyle Rovers did waste a glorious chance to put some daylight between the teams when a dangerous ball from Riain Quigly was sent across the goal but no attacker could get the finishing touch to it as the defenders closed in to close it out in the dying moments of the first half.
As it happened Moyle Rovers could have done with a goal at that stage as Grangemockler came out after the interval and immediately went about setting the tone for the second half.
Just like Moyle Rovers did in the first half , Grangemockler scored the first three points of the second half.A Mikey Lyons free, a point from Michael Meaney and a great strike from the excellent Mark O' Meara put Grangemockler in a strong position.
Riain Quigley managed to get Moyle Rovers back on track with another quality score f rom play before Moyle Rovers took the lead again with a superbly crafted goal that hauled them back into the game and gave them a one point lead after the two McKeown brothers Brian and Cathal combined, Brian with a powerful solo through a number of defenders and Cathal with a calm finish to the net.
A minute later Grangemockler full forward Mikey Lyons equalised with a free w ith the teams tied at 1-8 to 0-11 points.
Diarmuid Mulcahy gave Rovers the lead for the last time in the game before Denis Hanrahan equalised as the teams entered the last quarter of the match as Manus McFadden pointed for Grangemockler to give his team the lead and they were never behind again in a match that provided wonderful entertainment.
Grangemockler will now play Thurles Sarsfields in the semi final on Saturday night at 8pm in New Inn.
David Power, Jake Daly,Ian Brett, Evan Hanrahan, leon Kennedy, mark O Meara, Sean Daly , Joey Lyons, Michael Meaney, Ben Comerford, Manus McFadden, Denis Hanrahan, Tom Parle, Mikey Lyons Tom Brett.
Scorers - Mark O'Meara 0-8f's,Tom Brett 1-0,Denis Hanrahan,Mark O'Meara and Manus McFadden 0-2 each, Michael Meaney 0-1
Subs Jack Lyons for Denis Hanrahan
Brian Quirke, Anthony Phelan, Cillian Crowe, Jack Holohan, Brian Lacey, Jack Harney, Darragh Bolger, Ben Owens, Luke Fogarty, Brian McKeown, Riain Quigley, Cathal McKeown, Sean Cotter, Diarmuid Mulcahy, Brian O'Sullivan.
Scorers- Riain Quigley 0-7,2f's,Cathal McKeown 1-0,Darragh Bolger and Callum Meagher 0-2 each, Diarmuid Mulcahy Ben Owens and Jack Harney 0-1 each.
Subs - Callum Meagher for Anthony Phelan, Brian O Dea for Brian O Sullivan, Luke Delahunty for Brian O'Dea.