GAA Clean Ireland Recycling County Under-21A Hurling Semi-Final
Kilruane MacDonagh’s 2-19 Carrick Swans 0-6
Kilruane MacDonagh’s booked their place in the county under-21A hurling final against Thurles Sarsfields with the minimum of fuss at Templemore on Sunday afternoon.
Carrick Swans started in enthusiastic mood, but Kilruane swatted the challenge of the south champions aside scoring 2-5 without reply in devastating thirteen-minute period during the opening half.
The MacDonagh’s led 2-9 to 0-4 at the break and didn’t permit Carrick to score during the concluding twenty-one minutes of this disappointing clash.
Niall O’Meara (’65) and Mikey Loughman (free) traded points in the opening three minutes before Kilruane MacDonagh’s took off.
A Niall O’Meara free presented his side with the lead in the seventh minute before David Williams and Robert Austin added to the tally.
Another Niall O’Meara free preceded Kilruane’s opening goal in the 12th minute - wing-back Tomás Hogan picked out David Williams with a smashing clearance; Williams fed Conor Cleary and the wing-forward smacked in a left-handed shot (1-5 to 0-1).
Two minutes later Kilruane added a second goal.
This time team captain Eoin Williams found the unmarked Thomas Cleary with a brilliant cross-field ball and Cleary absolutely buried a right-handed shot in the top left-hand corner.
Niall O’Meara converted yet another free before a Declan White point in the 20th minute doubled the Carrick tally (2-6 to 0-2).
A rare Carrick highlight materialised in the 22nd minute when Jack Walsh swung over a sideline ball, but Kilruane responded with three Justin Cahill frees to lead 2-9 to 0-4 at the break.
Incidentally Bill Walsh scored a neat point in the 29th minute - that was the only time during the entire game when one of the starting Carrick forwards managed to score from play.
The sides traded points during the opening minutes of the second half before Kilruane ‘keeper David Reddan deflected over a Mikey Loughman effort from the 21-yard line in the 39th minute (2-10 to 0-6).
Sadly, Carrick failed to score thereafter while efforts from Niall O’Meara (three), Thomas Cleary, Justin Cahill (two), Kieran Cahill, Eoin Williams and Robert Austin propelled Kilruane MacDonagh’s to a fully-deserved nineteen-point win.
Justin Cahill, Niall O’Meara, Conor Cleary, Kieran Cahill and Thomas Cleary were all very influential for Kilruane MacDonagh’s, but it was their sense of purpose which really impressed.
It was interesting to note in the 55th minute, for instance, that despite leading 2-16 to 0-6 at the time corner-forward Robert Austin and second half substitute Bob Dooley worked hard to turn the ball over inside their own 45-yard line - both players were notionally operating in the full-forward line at the time.
Once that ball was won possession was cleaned up before being carefully played to captain Eoin Williams who fired over at full-forward.
It is on such a foundation that the glorious is built.
Kilruane MacDonagh’s: David Reddan, Stephen Cleary, Éanna Hogan, Jack Peters, Tomás Hogan, Kieran Cahill (0-1, 0-1 free), Conor Austin, Justin Cahill (0-6, 0-3 frees, 0-1 ’65), Alan Darcy, Thomas Cleary (1-1), Niall O’Meara (0-7, 0-4 frees, 0-1 ’65), Conor Cleary (1-0), Robert Austin (0-2), Eoin Williams (0-1), David Williams (0-1). Subs: (47th) Aidan Doyle for Tomás Hogan, (52nd) Bob Dooley for Conor Cleary, (56th) Caoilainn Conroy for Eoin Williams, (58th) David Mooney for Conor Austin, (58th) Paddy Ryan for Niall O’Meara.
Carrick Swans: Kieran Lonergan, Gavin O’Halloran, James Barrett, Jamie Torpey, Colin Loughman, Colin Waters, Dale O’Hanlon, Jack Walsh (0-1, 0-1 sideline), Declan White (0-1), Mikey Loughman (0-3, 0-3 frees), Bill Walsh (0-1), Lee Wall, Luke Gahan, Dean Murphy, Martin Griffin. Subs: (HT) Seán Dunphy for Gavin O’Halloran, (46th) Bill Barrett for Luke Gahan, (46th) Evan Hogan for Lee Wall, (52nd) Dean Waters for Martin Griffin.
Referee: Phil Ryan (Knockavilla Kickhams).