Can Tipperary bring a seven-year under-16 All-Ireland title drought to an end?

Brian McDonnell

Reporter:

Brian McDonnell

Email:

bmcdonnell@tipperarystar.ie

Can Tipperary bring a seven-year under-16 All-Ireland title drought to an end?

Arrabawn Co-Op CEO Conor Ryan is pictured presenting a sponsorship cheque to Anne McGrath (treasurer County Tipperary Coiste na nÓg) and John Sheehy (secretary County Tipperary Coiste na nÓg).

The annual Arrabawn Co-Op Under-16 Inter-County Hurling Tournament takes place on Saturday, August 26th and will be hosted this year by the South Tipperary division - in recent seasons Tipperary have endured a slight drought in this prestigious underage competition having not won the All-Ireland title at the grade since 2010.

In 2017 the All-Ireland Under-16 Hurling Tournament celebrates its 30th birthday - the competition, which is organised by the Bord na nÓg here in Tipp, has been won eleven times by the Premier County while Galway have won seven titles, Kilkenny (four), Cork (three), Clare (one), Wexford (one), Limerick (one) and Dublin (one).

The Arrabawn Cup is presented to the under-16B champions while the John Doyle Cup is presented to the winners of the A competition - the John Doyle Cup was first presented to the victors in 2011 meaning that, ironically, Tipperary have yet to get their hands on the prestigious trophy.

At underage inter-county level the under-16A and under-14A (Tony Forristal) competitions are the most prestigious All-Ireland titles to win - since 1982 when the Tony Forristal was first inaugurated Tipperary have won eleven titles and collected their last under-14A title in 2011. Tipperary have also won the under-16A title eleven times and last collected the All-Ireland title at the grade in 2010 (incidentally that victory marked Tipp’s fourth success in five years - 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010).

Tipperary won the under-16B All-Ireland title in 2016, but Cork have utterly dominated the underage All-Ireland competitions in recent seasons. Traditionally the Rebels neglected their development squad programme, but Cork represent a very different prospect now. Cork, for example, were crowned under-17 Munster and All-Ireland champions already this season and have also qualified for the All-Ireland minor final having also collected the provincial crown.

At under-14A level Cork are chasing a three in-a-row and at the under-14B grade a four in-a-row. Cork, who only won their first under-16 All-Ireland title in 2011, are now chasing three successive under-16A All-Ireland titles and won all seven underage All-Ireland titles in 2015.

Tipperary defeated Clare in the very first All-Ireland under-16 final in 1988 at Borrisokane (1-10 to 2-5) with Toomevara’s Tommy Dunne the star of the show. Tipperary also won the title in 1989 and 1990.

And, the Tipperary under-16A panel which beat Galway 2-20 to 0-9 in the 2010 All-Ireland final makes for interesting reading: James Maher (Clonoulty-Rossmore), Michael Cussen (Moycarkey-Borris), John Ryan (Upperchurch-Drombane), Jack Peters (Kilruane MacDonagh’s), Joseph Nyland (Loughmore-Castleiney), Thomas Hamill (JK Bracken’s), Bill Maher (Kilsheelan-Kilcash), Philip Hogan (Lorrha), Dylan Fitzell (Cashel King Cormacs), Dylan Burke (Durlas Óg), Paul Hayes (Clonoulty-Rossmore), John McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney), Stephen Cahill (Durlas Óg), Kevin Slattery (Gortnahoe-Glengoole), Seán Maher (Clonoulty-Rossmore), Paul Maher (Moyne-Templetuohy), Eddie Hynes (Templederry Kenyons), Michael Breen (Ballina), Tadhg Gallagher (Kiladangan), Darragh O'Brien (Cahir), Dylan Fitzgerald (Fethard), Jason Lonergan (St Mary's Clonmel), Seán Nally (Holycross-Ballycahill), Stephen O’Brien (Ballina), Jack Loughnane (Kiladangan), Pádraig Fogarty (Silvermines), Seán Ryan (Cappawhite) and Lorcan Egan (Loughmore-Castleiney).

This year the Tipperary under-16A management team features Darragh Egan (Kiladangan), Paul Collins (Drom & Inch), Tony Shelley (Killenaule) and Ger Ryan (Cappawhite). Meanwhile the under-16B management team consists of Declan Fitzpatrick (Drom & Inch), Michael McNamara (Nenagh Éire Óg) and Mark Russell (Lattin-Cullen).

At the A grade Tipperary find themselves in group one and play their three group stage games in the Moyle Rovers grounds at Monroe and will be joined by Offaly, Clare and Dublin with the games starting at 10am. At 3.45pm in Kilsheelan the group one runners up will play the group four winner (Limerick, Kilkenny or Wexford) in a cup semi-final while at the same time in Monroe in the other cup semi-final the group one winner will play the group three winner (Waterford, Cork or Galway). The finals will be held at the Clonmel Sportsfield with the shield final (3.45pm) between both semi-final losers and the cup final following at 6.30pm.

In the under-16 B competition Tipperary are in group three alongside Carlow, Westmeath and Clare with their base being the Fr Sheehy's GAA grounds in Clogheen - the action starts here at 10.30am. The semi-finals are scheduled to throw in at 3.15pm with the group three winners playing the group two winners (Galway, Kilkenny, Waterford or Cork) in Ballylooby while the other semi-final takes place in Cahir between the group one winner (Limerick, Kerry, Meath or Laois) and the first runner-up. The final will also be played in Clonmel Sportsfield with a 5pm throw-in.

All games are twenty minutes per half.

TIPPERARY PANELS

The Tipperary under-16A inter-county hurling panel: Aaron Browne (Knockavilla-Donaskeigh Kickhams), Kevin Hayes (Moycarkey-Borris), Conor Whelan (Mullinahone), Johnny Ryan (Arravale Rovers), Fintan Purcell (Drom & Inch), Darren Flood (Moycarkey-Borris), Seán Phelan (Nenagh Éire Óg), Kevin Maher (Borris-Ileigh), Jack Morrissey (Moycarkey-Borris), JD Devaney (Borris-Ileigh), Devon Ryan (Knockavilla-Donaskeigh Kickhams), Seán Hayes (Kiladangan), Max Hackett (Moycarkey-Borris), Mikey O’Shea (Mullinahone), Jack Lanigan Durlas Óg), Ryan Renehan (Cappawhite-Solohead), Rory O'Donavan (Nenagh Éire Óg), Kieran Larkin (Moyne-Templetuohy), David Fox (Éire Óg Annacarty), Oisín Larkin (Borrisokane), Cian O’Farrell (Nenagh Éire Óg), Eoin Purcell (Durlas Óg), Kian O’Kelly (Kilruane MacDonagh's) & James Synott (Roscrea).

The Tipperary under-16B inter-county hurling panel: Enda Dunphy (St Mary's Clonmel), Shane Lowe (Moyne-Templetuohy), Tommy McDonagh (Cahir), Philip Gantley (Cappawhite-Solohead), Conor Vaughan (Ballingarry), Séamus Burns (Solohead-Cappawhite), Liam Heffernan ( Nenagh Éire Óg), Oisín Murphy (Silvermines), Jack Ryan-Casey (Clonoulty-Rossmore), Gavin Meagher (Roscrea), Dara O’Brien (Mullinahone), Roan Murphy (Borrisokane), Conor McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney), Conor Anderson (Clonmel Óg), Keith Ryan (Upperchurch-Drombane), Aidan O’Heaney (Emly), Darragh Fitzgerald (Killenaule), Dara McCarthy (Cappawhite-Solohead), Brian Maher (Gortnahoe-Glengoole), Fearghaill O’Donaghue (Cashel King Cormacs), Charlie Ward (Templederry Kenyons), Jack Lee (Roscrea), Aidan Ryan (Ballingarry), Frank Hannifin (Holycross-Ballycahill), Darragh Spillane (Toomevara), Peter Melbourne (Moycarkey-Borris), Oisin Brennan (Skeheenarinky) & Chris Geraghty (Rosegreen-Rockwell).

UNDER-16 INTER-COUNTY FIXTURES

The fixtures for the 2017 Arrabawn Co-Op Under-16 Inter-County Hurling Tournament are as follows on Saturday, August 26th:-

UNDER-16A COMPETITION

Group One
Tipperary v Offaly in Moyle Rovers @ 10am
Dublin v Clare in Clonmel Óg @ 10am
Tipperary v Clare in Moyle Rovers @ 11.45am
Dublin v Offaly in Clonmel Óg @ 11.45am
Tipperary v Dublin in Moyle Rovers @ 1.30pm
Offaly v Clare in Clonmel Óg @ 1.30pm

Group Three
Galway v Cork in Kilsheelan @ 10.30am
Cork v Waterford in Kilsheelan @ 12 noon
Galway v Waterford in Kilsheelan @ 1.30pm

Group Four
Limerick v Kilkenny in Grangemockler @ 10.30am
Kilkenny v Wexford in Grangemockler @ 12 noon
Limerick v Wexford in Grangemockler @ 1.30pm

Cup Semi-Finals
Group 1 Runners-Up v Group 4 Winner in Kilsheelan @ 3.45pm
Group 1 Winner v Group 3 Winner in Moyle Rovers @ 3.45pm

Shield Final
1st Runner Up v 2nd Runner Up in Clonmel Sportsfield @ 3.45pm

Cup Final
Semi-Final Winners in Clonmel Sportsfield @ 6.30pm

UNDER-16B COMPETITION

Group One
Limerick v Kerry in Cahir @ 10.30am
Meath v Laois in Dunesk @ 10.30am
Limerick v Laois in Cahir @ 12 noon
Meath v Kerry in Dunesk @ 12 noon
Limerick v Meath in Cahir @ 1.30pm
Kerry v Laois in Dunesk @ 1.30pm

Group Two
Galway v Kilkenny in Ballylooby @ 10.30am
Waterford v Cork in Ballylooby @ 10.30am
Galway v Waterford in Ballylooby @ 12 noon
Cork v Kilkenny in Ballylooby @ 12 noon
Cork v Galway in Ballylooby @ 1.30pm
Kilkenny v Waterford in Ballylooby @ 1.30pm

Group Three
Tipperary v Carlow in Fr Sheehy’s @ 10.30am
Westmeath v Clare in Fr Sheehy’s @ 10.30am
Tipperary v Westmeath in Fr Sheehy’s @ 12 noon
Carlow v Clare in Fr Sheehy’s @ 12 noon
Tipperary v Clare in Fr Sheehy’s @ 1.30pm
Carlow v Westmeath in Fr Sheehy’s @ 1.30pm

Semi-Finals
Group 2 Winner v Group 3 Winner in Ballylooby @ 3.15pm
Group 1 Winner v 1st Runner Up in Cahir @ 3.15pm

Cup Final
Semi-Finals winners in Clonmel Sports Field @ 5pm