O’Dwyer Steel Ltd West Tipperary Under-21A Hurling Championship Final - Clonoulty-Rossmore are O’Dwyer Steel Ltd under-21 hurling championship A winners following a comprehensive victory over Cashel King Cormacs by 3-12 to 2-4 in the final at Golden on Sunday afternoon.
There was never a doubt about the outcome of this game. From the beginning the winners were in a winning frame of mind, moving purposely around the field, focused on the job in hand and having a great spread of talent right through the team.
Any reservations one might have had about them, especially following their faltering victory over Arravale Rovers in their final group game, were quickly dissipated in the face of an impressive performance.
On a misty, greasy day scores were slow a-coming but it was Clonoulty who had the fire power. Conor Hammersley opened proceedings with a pointed free and almost immediately Aaron Ryan added a second. Hammersley had a third before Cashel got their first from Dylan Fitzell in the twelfth minute.
Then, just at the end of the first quarter Ryan had a goal following a pass from Paul Hayes. It was a well-finished score but the ball should have been cleared by the Cashel centreback seconds before.
Hammersley added two more points before half-time and Jonathan Grogan tagged on a free for Cashel to leave the score 1-6 to 0-2 at the interval.
Already the signs were ominous for Cashel. Two points was a miserable return from a forward line that was making no headway against a well-organised Clonoulty defence. Also, Clonoulty had struck eight wides during the half.
Clonoulty added to their scores on the resumption with two Hammersley points. The latter was a fine effort following a pass from Sean Maher.
What followed then was the brightest period of the game from a Cashel perspective.
Simon Delaney pointed in the fifth minute.
The same player was fouled going through and Jonathan Grogan buried the resultant free. Grogan added a point to leave the score 1-8 to 1-4 after nine minutes.
However, it was to be only a brief respite. Cashel did not build on it.
Two minutes later Clonoulty struck back when a long ball by Martin Sadlier dropped from the hand of the Cashel goalkeeper over the line. Paul Hayes added a point and the danger, if danger existed, passed for the winners and they were 2-9 to 1-4 entering the final quarter.
During the final period Clonoulty tagged on three points while Cashel got a consolation goal when Dylan Fitzell finished off a scrambled effort to the Clonoulty net for a final score of 3-12 to 2-4. A couple of minutes previously a Cashel penalty by Grogan was saved.
Clonoulty looked good on the day and they mastered the difficult conditions much better than Cashel. They were stronger physically and had much better strikers of the ball.
They also had the forwards to pick off scores. Conor Hammersley stood out, as did James Horan, Shaun Coffey, Kevin Maher, Sean Maher, Aaron Ryan and Paul Hayes.
For Cashel it was a disappointing day. They never really got going and didn’t appear to have the focus of their opponents. Their forwards had no penetration. Michael Killian O’Dwyer,, Shane Murphy, Jonathan Grogan and Simon Delaney tried hard.
After the game The Tony Brennan Cup was presented to Clonoulty-Rossmore captain, Padraig Heffernan, by board chairman, Roger Kennedy, who wished the team well in the county championship. It was the last presentation for 2012 in the division and it as also Roger Kennedy’s last as chairman of the board.
Clonoulty-Rossmore: Jimmy Maher, Shaun Coffey, Niall Shanahan, Kieran Ryan, Kieran Quirke, Padraig Heffernan (capt.), James Horan, Martin Sadlier (1-0), Kieran Maher, Sean Maher, Aaron Ryan (1-2), Aidan White (0-2), Conor Hammersley (1-6), Paul Hayes (0-2), Patrick Hennessy. Subs: James Ryan for Niall Shanahan, Niall Shanahan for James Ryan, James Ryan W for James Horan, Seamus Carew for Aidan White, Philip Quirke for Patrick Hennessy.
Cashel King Cormacs: Eoin Quirke, Paddy Morrissey, Kevin O’Leary, Alan Cummins, Shane Murphy, Michael Killian O’Dwyer, Cathal Minogue, Jonathan Grogan (1-2), Seamus Reade, Simon Delaney (0-1), Dylan Fitzell (1-1), Gearóid Slattery, Eoghan Ryan, Alan Coughlan, Robert Anglim (capt.) Subs: Niall Fitzgerald for Alan Coughlan, Thomas Grogan for Fionnain Ryan, Brian Laffan for Seamus Reade.
Referee: John McCormack (Kickhams).