A sixty-third minute point by man of the match Conor Bowe earned Moyne Templetuohy-Thurles Gaels a place in this year’s Tipperary Water County Under-21B Hurling Championship final and ended Newport’s journey at Dolla on Saturday afternoon.
Tipperary Water County Under-21B Hurling Championship Semi-Final
Moyne Templetuohy-Thurles Gaels 0-17 Newport 2-10
In a very entertaining and well-contested encounter, where the scores were level seven times, it was the more determined Mid champions that were that bit too good for Newport who were many people’s fancy after their impressive North final win over Borrisokane two weeks ago.
Helped by a strong line up the middle where Eoin O’Gorman, Diarmuid Leahy, Seán Moloney, Jack Taylor formed a cohesive defence the Moyne Templetuohy-Thurles Gaels had two jewels in the crown in Conor Bowe and Gearóid O’Connor.
Seldom has Cian Flanagan received such a tough time as he did on Saturday as Bowe controlled the entire middle third of the field. Flanagan redeemed himself somewhat in the second half, but he needed a better return from his attack which played on one wing where Colin Floyd fought a lone battle.
PLAYED WITH THE BREEZE
The Mid champions played with the breeze in the first half, but still found themselves two in arrears at half-time (2-3 to 0-7) but could have led - Gearóid O’Connor missed four frees in the first half, but atoned in the second with an excellent display from placed balls.
Moyne took an early three-point lead with Conor Bowe leading the way with a brace and O’Connor adding a third on ten minutes. Newport needed respite and Aaron O’Neill made a great run in from the left to send a rocket inches past the Moyne goal and wide in the 11th minute. Two minutes later their brilliant corner-forward Colin Floyd had Newport’s first score after he caught a high delivery from Michael Gorman out on the left.
Meanwhile Gearóid O’Connor needed a second chance to gain possession before scoring a point to extend Moyne’s lead and had he collected first time there was a possible goal there for the taking. O’Connor was a constant threat and he posted his second point from play in the 16th minute.
But four minutes later the tables were turned when Newport had their first goal. Cian Flanagan won possession around half way and he sent a great ball towards the on-running Colin Floyd who collected in flight, rounded his marker and gave Lee Tierney no chance in goal. The Mid champs responded very quickly and from the puck-out corner-forward Dean Lawlor found the target.
A foul on Michael Gorman won a free for Newport and Darragh Carroll converted before Gearóid O’Connor struck his fourth wide from a free. Moyne would manage eight wides in the first half.
Meanwhile Colin Floyd levelled the game for Newport with three minutes to the break. Newport were showing steady signs of improving and just on the verge of half-time they secured their second goal, albeit with a bit of luck when Aaron O’Neill met a rebound from a Lee Tierney save before first-timing the ball to the net.
There was almost two minutes of injury time to be played and Moyne used the time to secure another free when O’Connor landed his fourth of the half.
Half-time: Newport 2-3 Moyne Templetuohy-Thurles Gaels 0-7.
Newport’s revival in the last ten minutes of the first half was timely and with the aid of the breeze in the second they made a positive start when Darragh Carroll pointed his second free in the 31st minute. However Moyne Templetuohy had other ideas and three points from Gearóid O’Connor, the third from play after Conor Bowe delivered the crucial pass from the right.
Darragh Carroll gave Newport the lead, but O’Connor matched him to bring the teams level for the third time in the 38th minute. Colin Floyd renewed Newport’s lead, but O’Connor levelled with a free in the 44th minute.
Another Colin Floyd score edged the North champions in front, but O’Connor levelled after Bowe was fouled. And, Newport’s tendency to foul would haunt them in the end. In the 51st minute it was O’Connor himself who earned a free and he had no bother in directing the ball between the posts. It was Moyne’s first time to take the lead in twenty minutes. However the lead only lasted a minute when Darragh Carroll moved on to a well-timed hand pass by Cian Flanagan for the former to level matters for the sixth time.
The action was end-to-end and Moyne continued to attack before Damian Cantwell gave Moyne the lead. A foul on Ben Ryan enabled O’Connor, but Newport hit back with a Kealan Floyd score four minutes from time and seconds later Darragh Carroll had the teams level with a free.
Extra-time loomed as both sides searched for scores before Conor Bowe found the room to squeeze over a winning point.
Moyne Templetuohy-Thurles Gaels: Lee Tierney, Shane Lowe, Eoin O’Gorman, Chris Lawlor, Kieran Larkin, Diarmuid Leahy, Seán Moloney, Mark Ryan, Jack Taylor, Gearóid O’Connor (0-12, 0-8 frees), Conor Bowe (0-3), Curtis Ryan, Dean Hayes, Damien Cantwell (0-1), Dean Lawlor (0-1). Subs: (17th) Ben Ryan for Seán Hayes, (37th) Chris Munroe for Curtis Ryan.
Newport: Paul Hogan, Cathal Floyd, Conor Hickey, Jordon Young, Ben Wixted, Cian Flanagan, Kevin Connolly, Jack Delahunty, Darragh Carroll (0-5, 0-4 frees), Connie Mooney, Aaron O’Neill (1-0), Keelan Floyd (0-1), Thomas Floyd, Michael Gorman, Colin Floyd (1-4). Subs: (39th) Daniel Carew for Thomas Floyd, (62nd) Brendan Coffey for Mooney.
Referee: Mark Jordan (Golden-Kilfeacle).