By Brian McDonnell
County Junior A
Cathal Ryan plundered two goals for Moycarkey-Borris as the Mid Tipperary champions surged into the county junior A hurling final thanks to a superb second half display at Boherlahan on Sunday afternoon.
At the break Clonoulty-Rossmore led 0-6 to 1-2, but Moycarkey-Borris exploded into life thereafter and were very good value for this seven-point win.
Liam Devane was outstanding for Clonoulty-Rossmore while uncompromising full-back Stephen Kirwan, centre-back Pat Molloy, Willie Dempsey and man of the match Cathal Ryan shone brightly for Moycarkey-Borris.
Cathal Ryan struck for the opening goal of the game in the fifth minute - Ryan was initially hooked brilliantly by Clonoulty-Rossmore’s Kieran Ryan, but the Moycarkey-Borris corner-forward gathered possession once more and squeezed his effort past goalkeeper Michael Kennedy.
A minute later Clonoulty-Rossmore responded with a smashing Kevin Maher point before a Liam Devane ’65 in the 11th minute left just one between them - 0-2 to 1-0.
Seconds later Clonoulty-Rossmore’s Aidan White looked to be fouled for a penalty. The infraction took place on the blind side of the referee however and Clonoulty-Rossmore had to content themselves with an equalising point from Aidan White in the 15th minute.
Seven minutes later a Willie Dempsey free helped Moycarkey-Borris back into the lead, but Clonoulty-Rossmore were hurling much the better and equalised when Liam Devane converted an awkward free in the 23rd minute.
Four minutes later Clonoulty-Rossmore took a deserved lead thanks to Paul Hayes before a smashing Thomas Lyng effort left two between them - 0-6 to 1-1.
Moycarkey-Borris conjured a cracker of a score in the 33rd minute when Pat Molloy worked a ball short to Willie Dempsey who drove over from miles out and the sides retired with one point between at the break - Clonoulty-Rossmore 0-6 Moycarkey-Borris 1-2.
Despite conceding an early goal Clonoulty-Rossmore looked the better side; that is until Moycarkey-Borris exploded into life.
Clonoulty-Rossmore struck for the opening score of the second period when Thomas Lyng helped himself to a neat point, but Moycarkey-Borris plundered a vital three-pointer in the 33rd minute.
Michael Kennedy, in the Clonoulty-Rossmore goal, did especially well to parry Paudie Doran’s initial shot, but Daniel Kirby was on hand to scramble home a three-pointer which re-claimed the lead for the Moycarkey-Borris men - 2-2 to 0-7.
Kirby’s goal seemed to have a significant psychological effect on Clonoulty-Rossmore while Moycarkey-Borris poured forward in search of further scores.
Indeed, points from Willie Dempsey (free) and Cathal Ryan helped the Mid champions into a 2-4 to 0-7 lead by the 36th minute.
Clonoulty-Rossmore responded with a free in the 38th minute which Liam Devane converted following a foul on Aidan White, but it was telling to note that Clonoulty-Rossmore would only add one more point to their tally. And, that score would not materialise until the 64th minute.
Almost every Moycarkey-Borris attack was now threatening goals and Clonoulty-Rossmore enjoyed a very lucky escape in the 41st minute when Robert Clancy kicked wide following a handling error by the Clonoulty ‘keeper. Three minutes later Clancy laid off expertly to Willie Dempsey who helped his side into a 2-5 to 0-8 lead.
As the Clonoulty-Rossmore wide tally continued to mount Moycarkey-Borris’ Cathal Ryan fired over a cracker of a point to present his side with a four-point lead in the 51st minute.
There was still time for Clonoulty-Rossmore to rescue the situation and the men from the west were presented with a gilt-edged opportunity in the 58th minute - Aidan White worked the ball into the hand of Paul Hayes, but Moycarkey-Borris ‘keeper James Doran pulled off a wonder save to deny Hayes. Then, just to add insult to injury, Moycarkey-Borris scooted down the field and although Michael Kennedy managed to save a Robert Clancy effort Cathal Ryan was on hand to gather the rebound and score his second goal - 3-6 to 0-8. Right on the hour mark Cathal Ryan belted over another point to bring the scoring to an end from a Moycarkey-Borris point of view.
James Doran pulled off another wonderful reaction save to deny Clonoulty-Rossmore’s Paul Hayes a three-pointer in the 64th minute before a Liam Devane point brought this entertaining affair to a close.
Moycarkey-Borris: James Doran, Eamon Ryan, Stephen Kirwan, Jeff Fallon, Gerry McGuire, Pat Molloy, Gary O’Connell, Ger Carey, Paudie Doran, Daniel Kirby (1-0), Willie Dempsey (0-4, 0-2 frees), Jamie Fanning, Cathal Ryan (2-3), Robert Clancy, Rory O’Regan. Subs: (43rd) Aidan Maher for Gary O’Connell, (50th) Michael Roche for Rory O’Regan, (62nd) Joe O’Sullivan for Jamie Fanning.
Clonoulty-Rossmore: Michael Kennedy, Donnacha Ryan, Niall Shanahan, Kieran Ryan, James Horan, Anthony Kearney, Aaron Ryan, Patrick Hennessy, Liam Devane (0-4, 0-2 frees, 0-1 ’65), Michéal Coen, Paul Hayes (0-1), Kevin Maher (0-1), Thomas Lyng (0-2), Aidan White (0-1), Séamus Carew. Subs: (56th) James Ryan for Kevin Maher, (62nd) Michéal Coen for Aidan White.
Referee: Kieran Delaney (Toomevara).