Michael Ryan (the chairman of the West Tipperary GAA Board) pictured presenting the Michael Crowley Cup to Knockavilla-Donaskeigh Kickhams captain Nathan Ryan. Picture: Francis Coughlan
Knockavilla-Donaskeigh Kickhams claimed a fifth McGrath Oil West Tipperary Under-21B Football Championship title and a second in-a-row when they saw off Éire Óg Annacarty-Donohill in Clonoulty on Sunday evening. This final was played in ideal conditions for the time of year and Devon Ryan’s goal proved the difference between the sides at the final whistle.
McGrath Oil West Tipperary
Under-21B Football Championship Final
Knockavilla-Donaskeigh Kickhams 1-7
Éire Óg Annacarty Donohill 0-7
Éire Óg dominated possession early on, but struggled to find the target. At times they cut holes in the Kickhams defence, but just couldn’t make it count on the scoreboard.
Devon Ryan, who finished the game with 1-6, opened the scoring after six minutes with a point from play.
The scores were still slow to come by and Éire Óg eventually got off the mark after eleven minutes of play through Jack Kingston.
The game’s only goal arrived minutes later. Kickhams struggling to break past the Éire Óg defence, but eventually found a gap and Devon Ryan scored the game’s opening goal.
Conor Bradshaw responded with two points in a minute to keep Éire Óg right in the mix. Éire Óg though should have been ahead, but added to their wides tally during another period of dominance.
Devon Ryan pointed to put Kickhams two points up. They too now had chances, but failed to add to their tally. Conor Devlin pointed in injury time for Éire Óg to leave just a point between the sides at the interval - Knockavilla-Donaskeigh Kickhams ahead 1-2 to 0-4.
Aidan Griffin levelled on the resumption, but Devon Ryan quickly pointed Kickhams back into the lead. Devon Ryan and Cian Mooney swapped points to keep the minimum between the sides after ten minutes of the second half.
Devon Ryan pointed from play and Ger Browne pointed from a free (the first of the game) to give Kickhams breathing space. This was quickly followed by a Devon Ryan free and Kickhams looked as if they were in control.
Éire Óg lost Liam Óg O’Dwyer to a black card, but this didn’t deter them. They continued to create chances, but struggled to put them away. Paul Devlin pointed a free in injury time to put three points between the sides, but they failed to find a goal to send the game to extra-time. Knockavilla Donaskeigh Kickhams winners.
Afterwards Michael Ryan, the chairman of the West Tipperary GAA Board, presented the Michael Crowley Cup to Knockavilla-Donaskeigh Kickhams captain Nathan Ryan.
Best for Knockavilla-Donaskeigh Kickhams were Gavin McCormack, Nathan Ryan, Devon Ryan and Turlough Breen when introduced. Meanwhile the outstanding players for Éire Óg Annacarty-Donohill were Eoghan Loughman, Conor Devlin, Conor Bradshaw and Aidan Griffin.
Knockavilla-Donaskeigh Kickhams: Declan Ryan, Shane Farrell, Gavin McCormack, Andrew Ronan, Kevin Fitzgerald, Eoin McCormack, Lorcan Carr, Kieran Breen, Nathan Ryan, Joe Griffey, Michael McCormack, Daniel Lonergan, Padraig Hickey, Devon Ryan (1-6, 0-1 frees), Ger Browne (0-1 free). Subs used: Turlough Breen, Ger O’Dwyer, Ben Ryan.
Éire Óg Annacarty-Donohill: Aaron Tuohy, Ciaran Loughman, Liam Óg O’Dwyer, Eoghan Loughman, Stephen McDonald, Stephen O’Brien, Conor Devlin (0-1), David Fox, Paul Devlin (0-1 free), Conor Bradshaw (0-2), Aidan Griffin (0-1), Jack Kingston (0-1), Paudie Bradshaw, Anthony O’Brien, Cian Mooney (0-1). Subs used: Jordan Hayes, Arnold O’Dwyer.
Referee: Seanie Peters (Aherlow).