Holycross-Ballycahill survived a nervy finish to win the Sign On Templemore Mid Tipperary Junior Hurling League Division One final at Drombane on Saturday - for the majority of the contest Holycross-Ballycahill appeared the superior side, but JK Bracken’s rallied late on and may well have turned this game on its head had Ewan Bourke not been so sharp between the sticks.
Sign On Templemore Mid Tipperary
Junior Hurling League Division One Final
Holycross-Ballycahill 1-15 JK Bracken's 0-15
Donnacha Duggan was the key ball winner for Holycross-Ballycahill up front while Éanna Ryan was the star of the show in terms of scoring. Kieran O’Dwyer had a fine outing in the middle of the field while Michael Harty was excellent at corner-back. Meanwhile JK Bracken’s found stars in goalkeeper Nick Keane, Tadhg Nolan, Jack Fogarty and Jack Kennedy once the corner-forward was introduced as a substitute at the break.
After a reasonably even opening quarter JK Bracken’s led 0-3 to 0-2. The sides had traded efforts initially before a terrific solo run from Patrick Delaney, which featured an off-the-hurl finish, forced his side one clear with fifteen minutes played.
Holycross-Ballycahill, however, were much improved thereafter and out-scored their opponents 1-5 to 0-2 during the remaining minutes of the opening half and led 1-7 to 0-5 at the break.
Éanna Ryan (two) and Jack Dwan landed points from play before Ryan converted a free in the 25th minute to present his side with a three-point lead. Dylan Moloney responded with a converted placed ball for JK Bracken’s, but Holycross-Ballycahill were hurling much the better and added a terrific Stephen Ryan point from play before plundering the only goal of the game in the 28th minute. Éanna Ryan created an opportunity for Stephen Flanagan and although Nick Keane managed to parry the wing-forward’s close-range effort Jack Dwan was on hand to bury the rebound.
In the fourth minute of first half injury time Jordan Moloney had a goal disallowed for JK Bracken’s (square ball) after Dylan Moloney’s long-range free dropped short while ‘keeper Nick Keane did especially well to save an effort from Éanna Ryan at the opposite end of the field. A Dylan Moloney free left five between them at the break (1-7 to 0-5).
During the opening minute of the second half Jack Kennedy landed a mighty score off his right for JK Bracken’s, but Holycross-Ballycahill then proceeded to hit four points without reply to leave eight between them (1-11 to 0-6) with just thirty-seven minutes on the clock. Éanna Ryan (two, one free) and Kieran O’Dwyer (two) were responsible for this surge. Indeed, O’Dwyer converted both of his opportunities off his left while Jack Dwan’s effort was saved by an alert Nick Keane in the 32nd minute.
A couple of Dylan Moloney frees steadied JK Bracken’s while the Templemore supporters sighed with relief in the 41st minute when Kieran O’Dwyer was hooked with Nick Keane’s goal at his mercy.
With ten minutes to play there was seven between the sides (1-12 to 0-8) when Jack Kennedy landed a free from well inside his own 65-yard line. Although Tom Quinlan fired over an outstanding effort from a narrow angle soon after JK Bracken’s were hurling much better now and thanks three consecutive placed balls (all converted by Jack Kennedy) the deficit was down to four. And, JK Bracken’s almost conjured three-pointers in the 53rd, 56th and 57th minutes, but Holycross-Ballycahill ‘keeper Ewan Bourke saved superbly from Adrian Bourke and then David O'Mahoney (twice).
Bourke’s third stop was at an expense of a ’65 which Jack Kennedy converted and following a superb effort from Lorcan Roche the Holycross-Ballycahill lead was down to two (1-13 to 0-14) in the first minute of second half injury time.
In response Donnacha Duggan won a vital free for Holycross-Ballycahill which Éanna Ryan drilled over and although Patrick Delaney hit back for JK Bracken’s Tom Quinlan had the final say in the matter from a scoring point of view.
Holycross-Ballycahill: Ewan Bourke, Patrick O’Dwyer, Pierce Stakelum, Michael Harty, Brian Barrett, Patrick Stakelum, Conor Ryan, Jack Ryan, Kieran O’Dwyer (0-2), John Paul Butler, Stephen Ryan (0-2), Stephen Flanagan, Jack Dwan (1-1), Donnacha Duggan, Éanna Ryan (0-8, 0-5 frees). Subs: (32nd) Tomás Comerford for Conor Ryan, (46th) Tom Quinlan (0-2) for John Paul Butler, (46th) Mathew Stakelum for Jack Dwan.
JK Bracken’s: Nick Keane, Tadhg Nolan, James Bergin, Ian Delaney, Jack Fogarty, Tommy Kennedy, Radek Natkaniec, Shane Cashman, Dylan Moloney (0-6, 0-6 frees), Patrick Delaney (0-2), Jordan Moloney, Adrian Bourke, Martin Bergin, Joe Bergin, Lorcan Roche (0-1). Subs: (14th) Ciarán Byrne for Jack Fogarty (blood, reversed in the 18th minute), (HT) Jack Kennedy (0-6, 0-4 frees, 0-1 ‘65) for Martin Bergin, (HT) David O'Mahoney for Jordan Moloney, (46th) Ciarán Byrne for Dylan Moloney.
Referee: Johnny Butler (Upperchurch-Drombane).
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