Clonakenny were beaten by fourteen-man Lorrha-Dorrha in a very exciting Tipperary Water County Hurling League division two final played at Gardiner Park, Borrisokane last Sunday afternoon.
Tipperary Water County Hurling League Division Two Final
Lorrha-Dorrha 3-16 Clonakenny 1-21
In a game of great scores and great goalkeeping Lorrha’s more direct route to goal won the day as the Clonakenny defence had no answer to full-forward Willie Maher whose double whammy in the 47th and 61st minutes proved the difference between the sides in the end.
The defence was not Clonakenny’s only problem. Up front they shot nine wides in the second half to add to the four in the first, but in a game of numbers Clonakenny will ask how they lost despite having numerical advantage for the last thirty-five minutes of the game after Lorrha’s David Fogarty was sent off.
AID OF THE BREEZE
Lorrha had the aid of a stiff diagonal breeze and after scores were level at 0-1 each it was Clonakenny who did best in the opening quarter as Bobby Bergin, Michael John Carroll and Nicky Ryan were on target to give the Mid men a three-point advantage after nine minutes. John Costigan was a constant threat at centre-forward.
Clonakenny’s continued pressure almost created a goal in the sixth minute, but Cian O’Dwyer was denied by Lorrha corner-back Graham Houlihan.
Lorrha had another lucky escape in the tenth minute when O’Dwyer was again denied by Houlihan. Lorrha had chances too, but were off target on three occasions and in the seventh minute Clonakenny goalkeeper Stephen Russell produced a great save to deny Willie Maher from close in.
Bit by bit Lorrha began eat into the lead as Eoin McIntyre was in brilliant form from placed balls - he scored six of Lorrha’s first half points from frees and one from play which eventually cut Clonakenny’s lead to one (0-7 to 0-6) after twenty-one minutes. Clonakenny responded by opening a three-point lead after Carroll and Nicky Ryan scored and when Lorrha lost David Fogarty to a red card in the 26th minute it looked good for the Mid side.
Despite the setback Lorrha still managed to find resolve which led to Willie Maher winning a penalty in the 26th minute - Stephen Russell saved Eoin McIntyre’s shot and Clonakenny conceded a '65 which McIntyre scored.
Lorrha came again with Christopher Fogarty attacking on the right and a well directed cross allowed Cian Hogan to first time to the net. Not happy with a one point lead there was one more attack with Willie Maher forcing an excellent Russell save before the teams went for the break with Lorrha 1-7 to 0-9 in front.
SECOND HALF TEMPO
The tempo of the second half was a vast improvement as the teams went toe-to-toe and the scores level four times in the opening ten minutes.
Points by Michael John Carroll and John Joe Ryan gave Clonakenny a two-point lead by the 41st minute. Eoin McIntyre replied before Cian O’Dwyer gave Clonakenny a 0-17 to 1-12 lead after forty-three minutes.
Willie Ryan was immense at six for Clonakenny, but Lorrha wing-back Ciaran Haugh was just as active at the other end and his lengthy deliveries to the edge of the Clonakenny square caused endless worry for the Mid men, especially when Willie Maher linked up with Noel Hogan and Maher scored Lorrha’s second goal (2-12 to 0-17).
Niall McIntyre extended Lorrha’s lead before John Joe Ryan put Cian O’Dwyer through for a point. Ciaran Haugh ventured up field and scored for Lorrha, but Michael John Carroll hit back with a 100-metre score. Eoin McIntyre’s free was matched by Nicky Ryan’s score from play and then it was the turn of Noel Hogan to score before substitute Jonathon Cody brought Clonakenny to within a point with one minute to play.
Bobby Bergin had Clonakenny’s ninth wide in added time before Lorrha’s Noel Hogan sent a crossfield ball for Maher to win ahead of Pa Ryan before the Lorrha full-forward made most of a one-armed effort to give Russell no chance.
Nicky Ryan scored a freak goal as the bounce deceived Patrick Reddan in the Lorrha goal, but it was not enough to deny a delighted Lorrha team who won their first piece of silverware since the county intermediate final in 2007.
Lorrha-Dorrha: Patrick Reddan, Graham Houlihan, Conor Hogan, Michael Dolan, Ciaran Haugh (0-1), Noel Hogan (0-1), David Sullivan, Eoin McIntyre (0-11, 0-6 frees, 0-1 '65), Niall O’Meara, Niall McIntyre, Cian Hogan (1-0), Kevin Maher (0-1), David Fogarty (0-1), Willie Maher (2-1), Christopher Fogarty. Subs: Alan O’Meara for C Fogarty (44th).
Clonakenny: Stephen Russell, Donal Greed, Pa Ryan, Tom Carroll, Jonathon Cody (0-1), Willie Ryan, Delacy Byrne, Paul Bergin, John Joe Ryan (0-1), Michael John Carroll (0-9, 0-3 frees), John Costigan (0-3), Peadar Byrne, Cian O’Dwyer (0-2, 0-1 frees), Nicky Ryan (1-4), Bobby Bergin (0-1). Subs: Matthew O’Sullivan for Costigan (50th), Liam Mullaly for Byrne (57th).
Referee: Ger Fitzpatrick (Roscrea).