Moycarkey-Borris survived a late JK Bracken’s onslaught at The Ragg on Saturday to qualify for the Séamus Ó Riain Cup final (Tipperary Water County Senior Hurling Championship Roinn II) after an absorbing tussle with their Mid rivals - Moycarkey-Borris will meet Burgess in the decider which will be the curtain-raiser to the county senior hurling final at Semple Stadium, Thurles on Sunday, October 21st.
Tipperary Water County Senior Hurling Championship
Roinn II - Séamus Ó Riain Cup Semi-Final
Moycarkey-Borris 1-18 JK Bracken’s 0-18
“Survived” is the operative word as it took a top drawer save from Moycarkey goalie Rhys Shelly in injury time to deny Paddy Cadell the goal that could have sent the contest to extra time. And, even then as JK Bracken’s piled on the pressure midfielder Christy McCullagh charged down another blast as the Templemore men sought desperately to keep their season alive.
It should be said that justice was done in the end as Moycarkey were marginally the better team over the hour. And, the bonus for Moycarkey is that by reaching the Séamus Ó Riain Cup final they are automatically promoted to Roinn I irrespective of how the final goes.
Both of these sides are going through something of a transition at present with players from their successful under-age teams coming through. In this regard JK Bracken’s might have been considered further advanced and while they will be disappointed at not having gone through to the final they can take a lot of encouragement for this year’s campaign. Indeed, they began as though they were going to do a number on their rivals going 0-5 to 0-1 clear after thirteen minutes. Andrew Ormonde was creating a lot of problems for the Moycarkey defence and Lyndon Fairbrother (who pointed three frees) was also prominent. They might also have had two goals with Shane Scully and Andrew Ormonde both going close.
Gradually Moycarkey settled. Their half-back line of Eoghan Hayes, Pat Molloy and Kevin Moran got a grip on things and with Anthony McKelvey a huge threat they began to reel in their opponents. McKelvey, McCullagh, Kieran Morris, Niall Heffernan, Kevin Moran and Tom Hayes all got on the scoreboard as Moycarkey levelled (0-8 each) with five minutes to go.
Just before the break - after Tom Hayes had nudged Moycarkey ahead - they struck for the decisive score when McKelvey fielded a Pat Molloy delivery, broke a tackle and slapped home a goal. Points by McKelvey and Joe Doran were the icing on the cake and presented Moycarkey with a 1-13 to 0-9 advantage at the interval.
The third quarter was not nearly as exciting as Moycarkey sought to keep JK Bracken’s in check. And, going into the last quarter Moycarkey were still six points to the good, but then came the Templemore resurgence.
Four points in seven minutes from Fairbrother (two), Cadell and Ormonde cut the deficit to two points. A Fairbrother free, which drifted wide, and a Shane Scully shot, which suffered a similar fate, deprived JK Bracken’s of parity and Jack Fallon’s point for Moycarkey-Borris on sixty minutes gave them relief.
But JK Bracken’s were far from finished and when Paddy Cadell worked his way through his rocket of a shot was saved by Rhys Shelly - following this match-winning stop Christy McCullagh charged down the resultant rebound.
This was thrilling stuff and while there was much deserved sympathy for the losers Moycarkey-Borris’ success was well-merited. Anthony McKelvey was the star of the show - he was a constant threat. Joe Doran and Tom Hayes also impressed while Niall Heffernan had a very good second half and Rory Ryan was also to the fore.
For JK Bracken’s Andrew Ormonde was their top player while Paddy Cadell, Lyndon Fairbrother, Keith Kennedy, Aidan Fogarty, Shane Scully, Darren Russell and David O’Shea were others to catch the eye.
Moycarkey-Borris: Rhys Shelly, David Morris, Rory Ryan, James Bourke, Eoghan Hayes, Pat Molloy, Kevin Moran (0-1), Christy McCullagh (0-1), Niall Heffernan (0-2), Pat Carey, Tom Hayes (0-2), John Bergin, Kieran Morris (0-2), Anthony McKelvey (1-6, 0-2 frees), Joe Doran (0-3). Subs: (28th) Jack Fallon (0-1) for Bergin, (45th) Brian Moran for Carey.
JK Bracken’s: Darren Russell, Michael Egan, Jordon Moloney, Martin Delaney, Éanna McBride, Keith Kennedy, Cathal Scully, Aidan Fogarty (0-1), Paddy Cadell (0-1), Shane Doyle (0-1), Lyndon Fairbrother (0-8, 0-7 frees), Shane Scully (0-2), Jack Kennedy, Adrian Bourke, Andrew Ormonde (0-4). Subs: (30th) David O’Shea (0-1) for Bourke, (HT) Brian Kennedy for McBride, (45th) Éanna McBride for Egan.
Referee: Philip Kelly (Ballinahinch).