On Saturday April 12th our hurling season opened with the staging of the U 16 Interdivisional Garda Cup Hurling tournament.
The U15 Tournament had to be called off due to a bereavement in Toomevara and a re fixture will be announced within the coming week.
Dr Morris Park hosted all four U 16 games with the opening action being the semi finals. The mid took on the north and commenced with the assistance of the breeze .The contest produced an exciting opening period with the mid boys cracking the northern defence to record the opening goal and went off at the interval with a four point margin on a score of 1-07 to 0-06. In the second period the north added 1-04 to produce a total of 1-10 but the mid were in goal scoring mode adding a further 2-02 to put their final tally at 3-09 and thereby clinched their participation in the final with a five point winning margin.
In the other contest the south was up against the west.
In this game the south was the side with the upper hand. Within the opening two minutes Dylan Walsh pointed a free followed by another three minutes later .The next opportunities that went to the west tailed off target, but on the seventh minute Cian O’Connell pointed from a free thirty meters out to reduce the difference to a single point. However the south response was swift when Captain Ben Hyland had the west net shaking for the opening goal of this contest. Pat Carey pointed for the west and Mark Kehoe did likewise for the south to put the score line reading South 1-03 West 0-02 after twelve minutes. The game became alive with a goal from a Shane Neville free to reduce the deficit to a single point. On the fifteenth minute mark the sides were all square when Eoghan Ryan pointed for the west for a reading of 1-03 apiece. Over the next five minutes the south added three points courtesy of Michael Whelan, Ben Hyland and Eoin Barry while the west added two points courtesy of Colm Hayde and Eoghan Ryan to put the interval score at South 1-06 West 1-05.
It was a half in which the sheer physical superiority of the south was becoming obvious. Upon the resumption the south was once again first to record on the scoreboard with a goal from Eoin Barry. To add more misery upon the west their net had barely stopped shaking when another Barry goal struck to put the score at 3-06 to 1-05. Ger Browne pointed for the west but this addition was cancelled out with another point for the south from marksman Dylan Walsh. Shane Neville and Eoghan Ryan both added points for the west to put the score at 3-06 to 1-07..However the two quick fired opening goals had the west on the back foot for the rest of the contest. .Eoghan Ryan pointed a free for the last west addition to the score board while the south had points from both Eoin Barry and Dylan Walsh for a final score line of South 3-09 West 1-08.The west never gave up despite coming from behind during the contest and the south must be complemented on being so powerful throughout the park.
As this south side had been victorious from U14 upwards they really meant business this year.
In the cup final however scores were hard to come by from both contestants. Both the south and mid were very strong defensively. The south had the opening point from a free by Dylan Walsh in the third minute and over the next five minutes has numerous wides as enjoying the assistance of the breeze seemed to pose problems for them The mid opening score came in the seventh minute from James O’Sullivan.. Dylan Walsh pointed another free for the south and repeated this exercise on both the tenth and sixteenth minute to put the south ahead -04 to -01. With two minutes remaining Conor Stakelum had the south net rattled for a mid goal. The response was quick from the south with another pointed free from Dylan Walsh for a halftime score of South 0-05 Mid 1-01. Upon the restart the south had opportunities missed until on the seventh minute Dylan Walsh added a point quickly replied too with a point from the mid courtesy of Brian McGrath free to put the score at 1-02 to -07 in favour of the south. The south was now beginning to dominate proceedings but was heavily relying on Dylan Walsh to get the scores. On the fifteenth minute mark Walsh had the mid net shaking to put the score at south 1-07 ,the final score line read South 1-07 Mid 1-03. This victory for the south bridged a wait of fourteen years as they last held this title with the assistance of a man called Eoin Kelly back in 1997. Let’s hope that some of the south boys can emulate some of the great achievements of Eoin Kelly and make Tipperary hurling the richer for it. Garda Mark Conway representing An Garda Siochanna presented the cup to victorious captain Ben Hyland. He also presented the shield trophy to North captain Jake Ryan whose side defeated the west on a score of 1-14 to 2-09.
Ssouth panel: Ciarán Barrett, Killian O’Dwyer, Paudi Feehan, Dean O’Connor, Gavin Ryan, Kyle Peters, Aaron Dunne, Colin English, Michael Whelan, Dylan Walsh,Ben Hylan (captain), Michael Barlow, Mark Kehoe, Conor Cashman, Eoin Barry, Enda Keane, Liam Meagher, Colin Shelly, Luke Faulkner, John Lyons, James Conway, Kevin Grace,Daire Kelly, Jamie Houilhan.