Borrisokane captain Mike Kelly pictured accepting the minor B hurling trophy from County Board vice-chairman John Devane. Photo: Eamonn McGee
Pádraig Hogan’s impressive Borrisokane team were crowned county minor B hurling champions at Dolla on Saturday afternoon when the North men saw off the challenge of Moyne Templetuohy-Thurles Gaels. And, there was a real sense at Dolla that Borrisokane had the Mid Tipperary champions figured out.
Tipperary Water County Minor B
Hurling Championship Final
Moyne Templetuohy-Thurles Gaels 0-11
Borrisokane opted to play two on their inside line for large portions of this encounter while also featuring three across midfield - that structure allowed Stephen Gavin to mark the Gaels’ danger man Gearóid O’Connor and still have a man free to play centre-back. Meanwhile Oisín Larkin and Jack Larkin wreaked havoc in the full-forward line despite being out-numbered inside the Moyne Templetuohy-Thurles Gaels 45-yard line - Borrisokane delivered quality ball down the flanks and negated the opposition’s free man in that manner.
Playing with the wind the Borrisokane lads dominated the opening half and led 1-9 to 0-3 at the interval. Moyne Templetuohy-Thurles Gaels closed the gap to eight early in the second half, but the Mid champions, realistically, never threatened to take control of this encounter.
Borrisokane had heroes in every line - Eddie O’Dwyer was composed at full-back, Roan Murphy neat at half-back, Mike Heenan a dynamo throughout, Liam Cleary excellent, Conor Ryan busy and how Jack Larkin was not on the county minor scene this season is anyone’s guess. For Moyne Templetuohy-Thurles Gaels Jack Taylor and Conor Bowe shone out - Bowe, however, did look hampered by injury.
Borrisokane threatened to score three goals during the opening five minutes of this encounter, but had to content themselves with a three-point lead - Jack Larkin (two, one free) and Liam Cleary accounted for these early strikes.
In the ninth minute Moyne Templetuohy-Thurles Gaels’ Dean Lawlor cracked over a response off his left, but following a second Liam Cleary effort Borrisokane led 0-4 to 0-1 after thirteen minutes. The Mid champions were already struggling to hurl into the wind and deal with their opponents’ system of play. Indeed, Moyne Templetuohy-Thurles Gaels had already fired five wides.
Borrisokane created another goal-scoring opportunity in the 14th minute, but ‘keeper Martin Reilly did especially well to deflect a Cian O’Meara rasper over the bar.
Liam Cleary, who was no doubt profiting from a scenario which saw Borrisokane out-number Moyne Templetuohy-Thurles Gaels in the middle of the field, helped himself to his third point from play in the 17th minute. Jack Larkin (free) and Oisín Larkin soon added to their side’s tally and Borrisokane led 0-8 to 0-1 by the 21st.
A Gearóid O’Connor free in the 22nd brought thirteen scoreless minutes to a conclusion from a Moyne Templetuohy-Thurles Gaels point of view, but Jack Larkin cancelled that effort out soon after before Borrisokane struck for the opening goal of the game in the 27th - Cian O’Meara grabbed a superb ball and was fouled for a penalty which Jack Larkin buried in the bottom left-hand corner (1-9 to 0-2).
A Gearóid O’Connor free in the first minute of injury time brought the opening half to a conclusion. And, it is worth noting that Moyne Templetuohy-Thurles Gaels landed nine wides in the opening half (Borrisokane five).
Conor Ryan opened the second half scoring before Moyne Templetuohy-Thurles Gaels rallied thanks to points from Conor Bowe (free) and Jack Taylor. Just then, however, Borrisokane’s Mike Kelly made a crucial intervention - the team captain took on the Moyne Templetuohy-Thurles Gaels defence in the 35th minute and picked out Oisín Larkin who rifled home his side’s second goal. Incidentally, Larkin did especially well to control Kelly’s cross which came at the corner-forward from an awkward angle (2-10 to 0-5).
To be fair to the Moyne Templetuohy-Thurles Gaels lads they kept plugging away and managed to out-score Borrisokane 0-3 to 0-2 from placed balls between the 40th and 48th minutes - Conor Bowe accounted for all three for his side while Jack Larkin did the needful on behalf of Borrisokane (2-12 to 0-8 in the 48th minute).
Conor Bowe, now re-located to the forwards, cracked over a superb point from play in the 49th minute and Michael Mulcaire added another for Moyne Templetuohy-Thurles Gaels soon after before Jack Larkin drilled over another placed ball.
Conor Bowe’s fifth pointed free materialised in the 58th minute, but it was right and fitting that man of the match Jack Larkin had the final say in the matter - the Borrisokane full-forward shortened beautifully in the 59th minute and landed a point off his left while on the run from an awkward angle to bring the scoring to a smashing conclusion.
Borrisokane: Jack McLoughlin, Jason Quigley, Eddie O’Dwyer, Kevin Cleary, Roan Murphy, Stephen Gavin, Jack Mahoney, Mike Heenan, Liam Cleary (0-3), Dáire Madden, Mike Kelly, Cian O’Meara (0-1), Oisín Larkin (1-1), Jack Larkin (1-8, 0-5 frees, 1-0 penalty), Conor Ryan (0-1). Subs: (60th) Jack Darcy for Cian O’Meara, (61st) Kian Donnelly for Dáire Madden.
Moyne Templetuohy-Thurles Gaels: Martin Reilly, Darragh Taylor, Kieran Larkin, Paudie Gleeson, Shane Lowe, Conor Bowe (0-6, 0-5 frees), Ciarán Lloyd, Seán Hayes, Jack Taylor (0-1), Michael Mulcaire (0-1), Gearóid O’Connor (0-2, 0-2 frees), Chris Munroe, Dean Lawlor (0-1), Shane Ryan, Ben Ryan. Subs: (40th) Bill Hogan for Shane Ryan, (57th) Dylan Molumby for Dean Lawlor, (61st) Barry Ryan for Ben Ryan.
Referee: Noel Cosgrave (Marlfield).