A brave Tipperary effort came up just short in the All-Ireland Under-15A Hurling Championship final (Arrabawn Cup) at Leahy Park in Cashel on Saturday. The Premier County fought terrifically hard against a talented Clare team, but in the end having to face into the final quarter with just fourteen players proved too significant a challenge to overcome. The following report and round-up of all the action includes the details of how the under-14 and under-16 Tipperary teams performed in their respective tournaments.
All-Ireland Under-15A Inter-County
Hurling Championship Final
Tipperary 0-16 Clare 1-14
Tipperary fell five points behind in the opening half (0-2 to 1-4), but fought back brilliantly to tie the game by the break. The home side then took the lead and appeared to be hurling reasonably well. A sending off did check their progress in the 46th minute, but the Premier County worked themselves into a two-point lead with time fast running out. Unfortunately, a late five-point surge from the Banner proved too much to overcome for this resilient bunch of Tipperary players.
Prior to the tournament taking place Cork were installed as favourites, but Clare proved too strong for the Rebels in the semi-finals while Tipperary saw off the challenge of Galway (2-12 to 1-14) at Cappawhite.
Jack Leamy, Darragh Stakelum and Conor McKelvey were outstanding in the final for Tipperary.
This tournament was first inaugurated in 1988 and was played on an under-16 basis until this year - between 1988 and 2017 the Premier County claimed eleven of the titles on offer; in keeping with the inter-county minor grade switching to under-17 this year the Arrabawn Cup was changed to under-15.
Tipperary coach Damien Ryan (Portroe) opted to employ captain Jack Leamy as a sweeper from the off, but the home side found themselves trailing 0-2 to 1-4 after eighteen minutes. The Premier County started quite well with points from Darragh Stakelum and Stephen Ferncombe (free) establishing an early two-point advantage, but with Clare centre-back Oisín O’Donnell mopping up the Banner hit back in devastating fashion. Adam Hogan buried a superb goal in the 17th minute and Tipperary appeared in deep trouble.
The Tipp lads, however, fought back brilliantly when they went man-for-man during the closing minutes of the opening half. Indeed, thanks to five successive points, which arrived courtesy of Eoin Grace, Stephen Ferncombe (two frees, one ’65) and Darragh Stakelum, the sides were level at the break (0-7 to 1-4).
Tipperary took the lead thanks to a Conor McKelvey strike four minutes into the second half and although Stephen Ferncombe (free) and Conor McKelvey (two more brilliant efforts) added to the home side’s tally Clare managed to respond in kind and the sides were level entering the final quarter (0-11 to 1-8).
The Premier County, however, shipped a significant blow in the 46th minute when Paul Seymour was dismissed for a second bookable offence. Tipperary were still hurling well though and surged two points clear thanks to efforts from Liam McCormack and Stephen Ferncombe (free) - the home side led 0-13 to 1-8 with ten minutes to play.
Clare were far from finished, however, and hit 0-5 without reply to take a 1-13 to 0-13 lead by the 58th minute. Three of those scores came from placed balls while Fionn McInerney and Luke O’Halloran landed superb points.
Eddie Ryan managed a response for Tipp, but entering injury time, thanks to Keith Smyth’s third point from play, the Premier County trailed by three. To be fair Tipperary refused to panic and following a Stephen Ferncombe free a terrific Edward Meagher point in the 63rd minute cut the deficit to one.
Sadly time ran out for this brave bunch of Tipperary players.
Tipperary: Jason O'Dwyer (Clonoulty-Rossmore), Conor Horgan (Knockavilla-Donaskeigh Kickhams), DJ McGrath (Kiladangan), Luke Galvin (Holycross-Ballycahill), Jamie Duncan (Knockavilla-Donaskeigh Kickhams), Jack Leamy (Golden-Kilfeacle, captain), Edward Meagher (Loughmore-Castleiney, 0-1), Eddie Ryan (Borris-Ileigh, 0-1), Paul Seymour (Kiladangan), Luke Shanahan (Upperchurch-Drombane), Conor McKelvey (Silvermines, 0-2), Eoin Grace (Burgess, 0-1), Stephen Ferncombe (Clonoulty-Rossmore, 0-8, 0-7 frees, 0-1 ‘65), Tony Cahill (Drom & Inch), Darragh Stakelum (Durlas Óg, 0-2). Subs used: Emmet Butler (Kilsheelan-Kilcash), David Fogarty (Holycross-Ballycahill), Liam McCormack (Durlas Óg, 0-1), Micheál Ryan (Burgess), Danny Slattery (Clonoulty-Rossmore), Darragh Ryan (Kiladangan), Kian Donnelly (Ballina). Remaining panel members: Ciarán McCormack (Loughmore-Castleiney) & Robert Doyle (Clonoulty-Rossmore).
Clare: Christopher Ryan, Aaron Shanahan, Mathew Reidy, Darragh Keogh, Eoin Guilfoyle, Oisín O’Donnell (0-1, 0-1 frees), Fionn McInerney (0-1), Josh Guyler, Keith Barry, Keith Smyth (0-3), Adam Hogan (1-1), Oisín Clune, Tiernan Slattery (0-6, 0-5 frees, 0-1 ‘65), Evan Murphy, Luke O’Halloran (0-1). Subs used: Cillian McGroary (0-1), Killian O’Connor, Patrick Crotty, Jarlath Collins.
Referee: Mike Sexton (Limerick).
The under-15B panel competed for the John Doyle Cup in tier two of the Arrabawn Cup and beat Clare in the semi-finals after extra-time (2-18 to 2-11) at Cappawhite. In the final, however, Tipperary lost out to Cork on a 1-6 to 3-15 scoreline at Golden.
The Tipperary under-15B hurling panel read as follows: James Finn (Portroe), Eoin O’Dwyer (CJ Kickhams Mullinahone), Callum Lawrence (Cashel King Cormacs), Oisín Treacy (Upperchurch-Drombane), Mikey Carmody (Cappawhite), Conor O'Brien (CJ Kickhams Mullinahone), Eoghan Lonergan (Arravale Rovers), Colm Boyle (Borris-Ileigh), Riain O'Halloran (Moyle Rovers), Pat Ryan (Upperchurch-Drombane), Tom Downey (Rockwell Rovers), Conor Dooley (Roscrea, captain), Peter McGarry (Moyle Rovers), Rory Collins (Moyle Rovers), Cathal Quinn (Cashel King Cormacs), Cathal Greene (Moneygall), Ciarán Condon (Moyle Rovers), Emmet Fogarty (Durlas Óg), Michael Hayes (Templederry Kenyons), Jamie Kennedy (Nenagh Éire Óg), Kyle Burke (Rockwell Rovers), Cian Ryan (Éire Óg Annacarty-Donohill), Seán Kenneally (Moneygall) & Maidhc Fitzpatrick (Drom & Inch).
The Tipperary under-14A panel competed in the prestigious Tony Forristal Cup in Waterford on Saturday and lost to both Kilkenny (0-6 to 4-6) and Waterford (1-6 to 2-15). Cork won the final 2-15 to 3-6 when the Rebels proved too strong for Kilkenny.
The under-14B Premier County squad beat Limerick (0-11 to 2-4) and Dublin (3-3 to 2-5) to progress to the semi-finals against Offaly. Tipperary won that contest (0-10 to 2-2) to qualify for the final against Cork at Walsh Park. The decider finished all square (2-7 apiece) and Tipperary, unfortunately, lost out on penalties.
The Tipperary under-14A hurling panel read as follows: Cormac Hogan (Toomevara), Jack Cleere (St Patrick's, Drangan), Tauri Shayanewako (Nenagh Éire Óg), Johnny Gleeson (Killenaule), James Quinlan (Cappawhite), Oran Donaghy (Durlas Óg), Ciarán Woodlock (Durlas Óg), Tadgh Gould (Holycross-Ballycahill), Owen Dunne Hannigan (Carrick Swans), Philip Hayes (Durlas Óg), Darragh Minogue (Durlas Óg), Eoin Carroll (Kilruane MacDonagh's), Dáire Luttrell (Moyle Rovers), Darragh Guinan (Lorrha-Dorrha), Liam O'Meara (Moycarkey-Borris), Stephan Walsh (Moycarkey-Borris), Jack Collins (Ballina), Eoin Craddock (Holycross-Ballycahill), Oisín Maher (Cahir), Ben Currivan (Golden-Kilfeacle), Sam Carmody (Cappawhite), Orin Jones (Knockavilla Kickhams), Tommy Maher (Durlas Óg) & JP Anglim (Rosegreen).
The Tipperary under-14B hurling panel read as follows: Adam Brannigan (St Mary's, Clonmel), Conor Wall (Durlas Óg), Ted Evans (Toomevara), Jack McGrath (Kiladangan), Stephan Dee (Solohead), Brian Marnane (Golden-Kilfeacle), Diarmuid Kinnane (Knockavilla Kickhams), James Cody (CJ Kickhams Mullinahone), Michael Freaney (Kilsheelan-Kilcash), Ben Ryan (Arravale Rovers), Joe Maher (Moycarkey-Borris), Ronan Connolly (Cashel King Cormacs), Vanston Worrell (Moneygall), Oisín Williams (Kilruane MacDonagh's), Francis McDonagh (Cahir), Colin Geraghty (Rosegreen), David Ryan (Silvermines), Cormac Deegan (Moyne-Templetuohy), Cian O'Carroll (Cappawhite), Seán Collier (JK Bracken's), Brian Gleeson (Loughmore-Castleiney), Fabian Ryan (Cashel King Cormacs), Jamie Carroll (Emly) & Sean Ryan (Upperchurch-Drombane).
The under-16 panel made the trip to Wexford to compete for the Michael Foley Cup. Tipp beat Wexford (1-9 to 0-7) and Waterford (0-13 to 1-6) before meeting the home side once more in the final. After normal time the sides were level (Tipperary 0-14 Wexford 2-8), but Wexford, ultimately, edged this contest in extra-time (2-12 to 0-17).
The Tipperary under-16 hurling panel read as follows: Paidí Williams (Kilruane MacDonagh's), Paul Mcloughlin (Nenagh Éire Óg), Conor Stapleton (Durlas Óg), Henry Fogarty (Durlas Óg), Ryan Walsh (Fethard), Eoin Murnane (Golden-Kilfeacle), Ciarán Lloyd (Moyne-Templetuohy, captain), Gearóid Ryan (Cappawhite), Kenny Ryan (Toomevara), John Campion (Drom & Inch), Conor O'Dwyer (Cashel King Cormacs), Jack McGrath (Cashel King Cormacs), Leon Kennedy (Grangemockler-Ballyneale), Michael Tierney (Shannon Rovers), Jamie Holloway (Carrick Swans), Conor Ryan (Borrisokane), Darragh Brennan (Skeheenarinky), Paddy Creedon (Durlas Óg), Kyle Shelly (Moycarkey Borris), Colm Fogarty (Lorrha-Dorrha), Kieran Lyons (Ballingarry), Paudie Kinane (Drom & Inch), Francie Delaney (Cahir), Luke Seacy (Roscrea), Christy McDonagh (Cahir), Conor Cadell (JK Bracken's), Stephen Brown (Knockavilla-Donaskeigh Kickhams), Mikey Ryan (Templederry Kenyons), Dave Harold Barry (Galtee Rovers), Shane Gleeson (Kiladangan), John O'Meara (Kiladangan), Sam Madden (Portroe), Sam Loughran (Ballina), Calin Byrne (Roscrea), Cathal Deely (St Mary's Clonmel), Jack Hassett (Killenaule), Brian Óg O'Dwyer (Rosegreen), Kyle Ryan (Moycarkey-Borris), Declan Hayes (Ballingarry), Robert Gleeson (Gortnahoe-Glengoole) & Martin Paul O'Dwyer (Boherlahan-Dualla).
To keep up to date with all the sporting news in Tipperary please click here - to follow the Tipperary Star sports team on twitter please click here - to follow sports editor Brian McDonnell on Twitter please click here. Alternatively, you can also like the Tipperary Star on Facebook.