A six-point win over Éire Óg Annacarty at Dolla on Sunday afternoon propelled Kilruane MacDonagh’s into the knock-out stage of this year’s Tipperary Water County Senior Hurling Championship on scoring difference. And, Liam O’Shea’s men were good value for this win although if Kilruane’s approach play had been a little neater the issue may have been settled much sooner in this contest.
Tipperary Water County Senior Hurling Championship
Kilruane MacDonagh’s 1-19 Éire Óg Annacarty 0-16
Toomevara walloped a fancied Killenaule team at Templemore on Saturday evening (4-15 to 1-14) to register their third victory and duly wrap up top spot in group two. As a result the Kilruane MacDonagh’s required a four-point win over Éire Óg Annacarty to progress.
The Greyhounds topped the group on six points while Kilruane, Éire Óg Annacarty and Killenaule all finished with two points - Kilruane (-1), however, registered the healthiest scoring difference of that trio; Éire Óg Annacarty (-6) and Killenaule (-7).
Killenaule will now face the relegation play-offs even though they have also qualified for the preliminary quarter-finals of the county championship by virtue of winning the South Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship.
Kilruane MacDonagh’s are through to the final of the Hibernian Inn North Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship (Liam O’Shea’s men await the winner of the semi-final replay between Kiladangan and Nenagh Éire Óg on September 8th).
Cian Darcy and Justin Cahill were excellent for Kilruane while Brian Fox was the outstanding candidate for the man of the match award due to his performance at midfield for Éire Óg Annacarty.
Having played with the wind in the opening half Kilruane led by just three points at the break (0-11 to 0-8) and appeared a little uncomfortable, but to be fair to Liam O’Shea’s men they dominated the second period for the most part. A lack of discipline in the tackle (sixteen frees conceded) and some wild shooting (fourteen wides and five shots dropped short) may well have caught up with Kilruane, but a Cian Darcy goal in the 44th minute left the MacDonagh’s in a very strong position.
After an encouraging opening eight minutes Kilruane led 0-4 to 0-1 thanks to efforts from Conor Cleary, Jerome Cahill, Kieran Cahill and Cian Darcy (free).
A timely hook denied Brian Fox a goal in the ninth minute before Aidan Griffin (one free, one ’65) and Cian Darcy traded points before another Darcy free left three in it. Then came the turn of Justin Cahill and Kieran Cahill to land long-range efforts and help their side toward a 0-8 to 0-3 lead with seventeen minutes played.
Éire Óg Annacarty held their opponents scoreless for a period of the half while notching four points of their own - an Aidan Griffin free preceded strikes from Dinny Crosse and Brian Fox before Griffin landed a cracker off his left (0-8 to 0-7).
Three eye-catching points from Justin Cahill, Cian Darcy and Kieran Cahill opened a four-point gap and when Aidan Griffin (free) reduced the deficit to three Kilruane looked a little uncomfortable heading into the break (0-11 to 0-8).
Efforts from Brian Fox and Aidan Griffin cancelled out two Cian Darcy strikes (one free) during the opening five minutes of the second half (0-13 to 0-10) before this contest reached a vital juncture in the 42nd minute - Éire Óg Annacarty’s Seánie Ryan created a goal-scoring opportunity for Eoin Kennedy, but Kilruane ‘keeper Thomas Williams conjured a sensational save.
Daragh Mooney converted a long-range free to leave two between the sides before Kilruane pieced together the move of the game in the 44th minute - Niall O’Meara won the ball at centre-back and fed Justin Cahill on his right. Kilruane had often lacked composure on the ball in this contest and failed to find their inside line on a regular basis, but on this occasion Cahill drilled a smashing delivery into the hand of Brian O’Meara who, in turn, set up Cian Darcy and the lively inside forward flicked home a goal. Darcy (two, one free) and O’Meara soon added points and Kilruane led 1-16 to 0-11 with eleven minutes of normal time remaining.
To their credit Éire Óg Annacarty refused to get discouraged and converted three consecutive frees to give them a fighting chance. Cian Darcy (free) and Jerome Cahill responded for Kilruane, but efforts from Aidan Griffin (free) and Tom Fox left a tantalising five between them entering injury time (1-18 to 0-16).
A Cian Darcy free three minutes into injury time opened a six-point gap and although Éire Óg Annacarty managed a couple of goalmouth flurries late on as they chased a late reprieve Kilruane were worthy winners.
Kilruane MacDonagh’s: Thomas Williams, Stephen Cleary, Darragh Peters, Eoin Hogan, Justin Cahill (0-2), Niall O’Meara, Craig Morgan, Conor Cleary (0-1), James Cleary, Jerome Cahill (0-2), Kieran Cahill (0-3), Tomás Hogan, Seán McAdams, Thomas Cleary, Cian Darcy (1-9, 0-4 frees). Subs: (27th) Brian O’Meara (0-1) for Tomás Hogan, (47th) Eoin Williams for Seán McAdams, (56th) Séamus Hennessy for James Cleary, (65th) Conor Lillis for Jerome Cahill.
Éire Óg Annacarty: Daragh Mooney (0-3, 0-3 frees), Diarmaid Ryan, Eoin Bradshaw, Kevin Fox, Paul Devlin, Tom Fox (0-1), Conor O’Brien, Brian Fox (0-2), Paidi O’Dwyer, Paul Downey, Dinny Crosse (0-1), Dónal O’Dwyer, Ronan O’Brien, Eoin Kennedy, Aidan Griffin (0-9, 0-6 frees, 0-1 ‘65s). Subs: (HT) Seánie Ryan for Ronan O’Brien, (46th) Stephen O’Brien for Diarmaid Ryan, (59th) Connie Bradshaw for Dinny Crosse.
Referee: Seán Everard (Moyne-Templetuohy).
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