Cashel King Cormacs again find themselves in relegation trouble following a seven points defeat by Moneygall, 1-14 to 0-10, in the Clean Ireland county senior hurling relegation semi-final at The Ragg on Sunday evening.
Cashel escaped the drop to intermediate last year but have some anxious days ahead of them as they prepared for their last ditch effort to avoid the drop which will be their lot if they lose their next outing, the relegation final.
Moneygall will feel they should never have found themselves in a relegation play-off situation but a couple of close calls which went against them left them in jeopardy. However, though they were always kept to the task by a committed Cashel outfit, Moneygall looked the likely winners from an early stage.
Cashel’s problem was a lack of scoring power as underlined by the fact that they scored only four points from play over the hour. Jonathan Grogan shot five points from frees for them in the first half at the end of which they trailed by 0-6 to 1-8.
Moneygall, faster and more assured in their approach, had match-winners in Willie Greene and Ger Kirwan who picked off their scores confidently. Kirwan got their goal in the 8th minute when set up by Eamon McCormack. Cashel were not helped either by some slack finishing, registering eight wides in the first half when they had the aid of the light breeze.
The ball was firmly in the Moneygall court facing into the second half, and they extended their advantage to nine points with four points in a rather pedestrian third quarter through Greene(2), Kirwan and Eoin Ryan.
Cashel did not score until Adrian Cummins pointed a free in the 49th minute but by then the game was gone from them. To their credit they finished well, and as they face into a last throw of the dice to preserve their senior status, they will take heart from what was not a bad performance, even if it was not good enough on this day.
Relief was the uppermost emotion in the Moneygall camp after the game. They had sailed close to the wind and , no doubt, chastened by this experience, will work even harder next year. For the present, they have the Hogan Cup competition to look forward to, games they can enjoy without the pressure of possible relegation.
Willie Green and Ger Kirwan were the big threat in a lively attack which might have had a couple of more goals but for the excellence of Cashel goalie Owen Quirke Brendan Toohey had a good outing at midfield, and the halfback line of Jody Troy, Phil fanning and Pajo Troy was the platform from which much of their best work stemmed.
Cashel were disappointed. They were without Dylan Fitzelle and his return will strengthen them. In John Darmody, Lee Bourke Simon Delaney Turlough Bonnar and excellent goalkeeper Owen Quirke, they had players who do not deserve to be caught up in a relegation dog-fight.
Moneygall – C Quinlan; M Ryan, S Ryan, G Ryan; J Troy, P Fanning, P Troy; M Bergin, B Toohey(0-1); W Greene(0-9), C Ryan, B Teehan; G Kirwan(1-3), E McCormack, E Ryan(0-1); Sub- E Greene for Teehan;
Cashel King Cormacs – O Quirke; T Hewitt, R Doyle, B Minogue; S Delaney, L Bourke, J Darmody; R Anglim(0-1), E O Dwyer; G Slattery, J Grogan(0-5), A Cummins(0-3); M Coleman, T Bonnar(0-1), J Cummins; Subs- E Ryan for Slattery; P Taylor for J Cummins;
Ref- J O Brien;