South Senior hurling Final
Carrick Swans 2-16
Fourteen points from Tipperary star John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer steered Killenaule to success in the South senior hurling final in Clonmel on Saturday evening last, but it was former Tipp man Pat Kerwick who stole the headlines with the game sealing goal with two minutes to go.
A superb game of hurling played out in front of a very sizeable attendance, a draw would certainly have been an unargued outcome and it was very hard on the Swans to see their great showing count for nothing in the final analysis. That they contributed hugely to the best South final in years is scant consolation to them.
Indeed, the Swans made most of the running in this game and buoyed by two first half goals from James Waters in the 21st minute and Dwayne Fogarty four minutes later, they carried the game to Killenaule for whom John O’Dwyer, operating at centre forward, was the key man. Dwyer was unerring and he shot five from play in the half - eight in total, to emphasise his importance to the eventual champs.
The Swans were full of energy and industry and their pilfering of the two goals highlighted frailties in the Killenaule inside line. But, in the half back line Killenaule had the platform from which they launched their title challenge with Kieran Bergin, Declan Fanning and Joe Dwyer proving almost impregnable.
The Swans held a 2-7 to 0-12 lead at the break with Danny O’Hanlon getting 0-6 of their total - he had a fine game as well- but it was noticable that Killenaule were more adept at creating and taking their chances. They were more economical and clinical and this was to prove crucial at the end.
This was a rip roaring contest and the exchanges continued with as much intensity in the second half. They were level on six occasions in the second half as the initiative swayed this way and that. But, one of the main taling points was the decision of referee Keith Delahunty (Moyle Rovers) not to give a second yellow card to John O’Dwyer in the 12th minute following a swipe down on Danny O’Hanlon. Dwyer should have been off - no question about it - Killenaule were off the hook.
By that stage Swans were a point in front thanks to an O’Hanlon score and as the game entered the final straight it was still nip and tuck. Tom Waters men went three up but Killenaule reeled them in again - Michael Doyle, O’Dwyer and Tony Doyle coming good for them. Swans had a brace from O’Hanlon who then added a third after Joe Caesar chipped in with one for Killenaule.
But, the crucial score came from Pat Kerwick in the 28th when he got on to the end of a Dominic Blake pass to bury the ball past Tom Kennedy in the Swans goal.
Defeat was a cruel blow to Swans who saw O’Dwyer point the last score to secure the three point win. They felt they had done enough to at least see another day, but it wasn’t to be.
Swans had expended a lot of energy on this one - they were well organised, played to a relatively successful game plan, and with a little bit of luck they could have left the Sportsfield with the silverware. Unfortunately for them, the outing was to represent another hard luck story.
Killenaule would seem to have a little bit more class about them and with key players throughout the field they can make an impact on the county championship. They need to play with more confidence though and while they showed flashes of what they can do in the heat of battle, they need to be more consistent throughout the hour if they are to make progress.
Interesting times ahead.
Teams and Scorers:
Killenaule: G Kennedy, P O’Connor, P Codd, S Browne, K Bergin, D Fanning, J O’Dwyer, N O’Dwyer, J Caesar 0-1, K Prendergast, J O’Dwyer 0-14, D McCormack 0-1, P Kerwick 1-3, T Doyle 0-1, M Doyle 0-2. Subs used: D Guinan, D Blake, S Hannigan.
Carrick Swans: T Kennedy, D Murphy, A O’Sullivan, D Fahey, M Russell, K Lanigan 0-1, J Grace, G Walsh, S Hahessy, Danny O’Hanlon 0-10, J Waters 1-1, Dale O’Hanlon 0-1, D Fogarty 1-3, B Walsh, A O’Donnell. Subs used: A Walsh, L Wall, A Ryan, J Walsh.
Referee: K Delahnunty (Moyle Rovers)