Senior Hurling Championship
Clonoulty-Rossmore and Kickhams played a draw in their Tipperary Co-Op Super Valu senior hurling championship game at Cashel on Sunday afternoon. It was the second game at the venue and the breeze played an important part in the outcome as it had in the Eire Og-Cappawhite game. The fact that three red cards were issued in the course of the game might suggest an unruly contest but this was far from being the case. Conor Ryan (Clonoulty) received his in the fourteenth minute of the second-half, and John Devane (Clonoulty) and Damian McGrath (Kickhams) received theirs about seven minutes from the end of the game.
Kickhams enjoyed the advantage of the breeze in the first half and, while Fiachra O’Keeffe had the first score for Clonoulty, Kickhams had 1-4 to their credit by the end of the first quarter, Alan Horgan getting the goal from a twenty-metre free in the fourteenth minute.
Clonoulty came more into the game during the second quarter and were, in fact to outscore Kickhams during that period. They scored eight points, three of which were without reply during the final minutes of the half. John O’Neill was responsible for three of them. This left the half-time score at 1-9 to 0-9 at the interval and one wondered if a three-point lead was going to be sufficient for KIckhams against the wind in the light of Eire Óg’s experience in the first game.
Clonoulty lost the services of Thomas Butler during the first quarter, when he appeared to go over on his ankle and had to be removed by ambulance form the field. He was replaced by Jason Forrestal.
Kickhams made the better start against the breeze on the resumption and had two points from Alan Horgan. While O’Neill had a point for Cappawhite, Gerry Horgan, who had replaced Paul Breen, hit a good point for Kickhams.
Kickhams were holding their own and Clonoulty were making little impact at this stage. Then in the eleventh minute O’Neill struck a twenty-five metre free to the Kickhams net and one expected Clonoulty to begin realising their potential but it was Kickhams who came back with a point from Alan Horgan. In the fourteenth minute Conor Ryan received a red card for an off-the-ball incident. So, coming to the end of the third quarter the score was 1-13 to 1-10 in favour of Kickhams and they had the extra man. The game was wide open.
Clonoulty scored two points, Kickhams replied with two and Clonoulty got two more to leave only a point between the sides. In the twenty-seventh minute Kickhams got a huge boost when Niall O’Brien goaled to give them a four-point advantage at a vital stage.
Because of a lot of stoppage time the game was to continue for another eight minutes. Paudie White reduced the deficit for Clonoulty with a point in the twenty-eight minute. Following this there was a flare-up near the Kickhams goal as a result of which John Devane and Damian McGrath got their walking papers.
During four minutes of added time Clonoulty scored four points to go ahead by a point. Almost on the thirty-fifth minute Alan Horgan got a free from around the centre of the field and duly scored for the equaliser, and a score of 1-19 to 2-16 at the final whistle, probably a fitting result in the circumstances.
Clonoulty will be disappointed even though they top the table in the league section. They gave a strangely subdued performance and showed none of the sparkle and brilliance one expects from them. To retain their divisional title and be a contender for further honours they will have to improve a lot. John Devane, Padraig Heffernan, Paudie White, Kev Horan and John O’Neill impressed.
Kickhams have to be disappointed with their campaign even though they performed well on Sunday. They showed some of the old fire but it came a bit late and they find themselves with one point after three games and are at the bottom of their group. Their best on the day were Michael Heelan, Davy Butler, Alan Horgan and Niall O’Brien.
Clonoulty-Rossmore: Declan O’Dwyer, Joey O’Keeffe, Andrew Quirke, Kev Horan, John Devane, Padraig Heffernan, John O’Keeffe, Sean O’Connor, Paduei White, Ciaran Quirke, Conor Ryan ©, Thomas Butler, Fiachra O’Keeffe, Jamie Moloney, John O’Neill. Subs: Jason Forrestal for Thomas Butler.
Kickhams: Paddy Ryan, Johnny Ryan, Nigel Hayes, Paudie hayes, Michael Heelan, Alan Horgan, BrianHorgan, Derek Breen, Damien McGrath, Paul Breen, Eoin Carew, Aiden Heney, Patrick O’Brien, Davy Butler, Niall O’Brien. Subs: Gerry Horgan for Paul Breen, Paudie Slattery for Aiden Heney
Referee: John O’Brien (Arravale Rovers).