John O'Dwyer whose seven points for Killenaule couldn't prevent an opening round defeat against Kilruane MacDonagh in the Tipperary SHC last weekend.
COUNTY SENIOR HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP
KILRUANE MacDONAGHS 2-17 KILLENAULE 1-8
Kilruane MacDonaghs survived a late rally from Killenaule to win by two points in this Tipperary Water County Senior Hurling Championship tie played in Templemore on Sunday.
In a game which was not that free-flowing, the Kilruane MacDonaghs men held an interval lead of 1-8 to 0-7, their goal coming from Cian Darcy in the 27th minute - Darcy had accounted for 1-5 of their first half total, to put alongside scores from the impressive Niall O’Meara, Darragh Peters and Conor Cleary.
Killenaule were slow from the traps but they did manage to put scores on the board through John O’Dwyer (three frees), a fine point from Joe O’Dwyer, Michael Doyle and Thomas Keaveney.
They were disappointed to have given away the goal but the deficit was not insurmountable if they could get into the game.
The south men were struggling to find their flow in the first half but it arrived in the second half and they were to bring parity to the game by the end of the third quarter when centre forward Thomas Keaveney goaled with a ground stroke.
John O’Dwyer (with three), the excellent Joe O’Dwyer and Tom Stakelum had pointed for them in the interim, while Niall O’Meara, Kian O’Kelly, Sean McAdams and Cian Darcy (two) had been on target for Kilruane MacDonaghs.
second kiruane goal proves a bridge too far for killenaule
However, no sooner had Keaveney goaled than Kilruane MacDonaghs responded with a goal of their own, through Kian O’Kelly.
It was the score which broke the south men’s hearts and Kilruane MacDonaghs were to open up a six-point lead again with five to go – Mark O’Neill, Cian Darcy (2) and O’Neill again obliging for them.
But Killenaule showed great spirit and heart as they hit back with Michael Doyle, Tom Stakelum and Daniel Guinan scores to leave two in it deep into injury time.
They came in search of a winning goal, but it wasn’t to come and Kilruane MacDonaghs held out to avenge last year’s defeat to the same opposition at the same stage.
The north men were better on the day and they will question how it was that they were left to hang on at the end – food for thought for them no doubt over the next few weeks.
Of course they could come to the conclusion that Killenaule proved a gritty side which they just could not shake off – perhaps their predicament was a combination of both scenarios.
Cian Darcy had a huge game for Kilruane MacDonaghs, as he accounted for 1-9 of their total. Others to impress were Darragh Peters, Justin Cahill, Niall O’Meara, Thomas Cleary and Conor Cleary.
For Killenaule, more was expected of John O’Dwyer, although his sublime sideline cut early in the second half illustrated his class. Daniel Guinan, Michael Doyle, Joe O'Dwyer, Thomas Keaveney and Tom Stakelum were best for them while Tony Doyle made a big impact when introduced near the end.
Kilruane MacDonaghs: Thomas Williams, Eoin Hogan, James Cleary, Jack Peters, Craig Morgan, Seamus Hennessy, Ray McLoughney, Justin Cahill, Darragh Peters 0-1, Kieran Cahill, Thomas Cleary, Niall O’Meara 0-2, Cian Darcy 1-9, Kian O’Kelly 1-1, Conor Cleary 0-1.
Substitutes: Sean McAdam 0-1 for Cleary; Mark O’Neill 0-2 for K Cahill.
Killenaule: Jonathan Gleeson, Stephen Browne, Jimmy Feehan, Paddy Codd, Killian O’Dwyer, Daniel Guinan 0-1, Joe O’Dwyer 0-2, Michael Doyle 0-2, Eoin O’Connell, Eoin Barry 0-1, Thomas Keaveney 1-2, Tom Stakelum 0-3, John O’Dwyer 0-7, Liam Meagher, Dean O'Connor.
Substitute: Tony Doyle for O'Connor.
Referee: Sean Everard (Moyne Templetuohy).