Kildangan make semis on the narrowest of margins

Hibernian Inn North Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship Quarter-Final

Hibernian Inn North Tipperary Senior

Hurling Championship Quarter-Final

Kildangan 3-17 Templederry 2-19

Kildangan gained a place in this year’s North Tipperary SHC semi-final with the narrowest of wins over Templederry Kenyons at Dolla. In a match that went down to the wire, Templederry will ultimately look to some slack early first-half defending and three late wides as the reasons for their exit from this year’s championship.

Kildangan opted to play with the breeze in the first-half and reaped the benefit of Darragh Eagn’s long poc outs with two goals inside the first eight minutes.

Egan caused panic in the Templederry defence everytime he pucked out, dropping balls on to his full forward line with ease as Kenyons failed to deal with them. With the half-backs being sidelined by remaining too far up the field, Kildangan’s forward line made hay, with first Dan Hackett goaling after four minutes. Two minutes later it was Tadgh Gallagher’s turn. At that stage, Kenyons back line looked very porous.

In the meantime, Ruairi Gleeson had opened the scoring with a point in the first minute, with Adrian Ryan drawing the sides level immediately after. Kenyons took the lead going into the fourth minute with a point from a free by John Kennedy. It lasted all too briefly as from the restart Hackett lashed the ball past Paul Murray after Ruairi Gleeson had cut inside the Templederry defence as if they didn’t exist. Templederry would not regain the lead again until the 43rd minute.

Kenyons were relying on the free-taking of John Kennedy to keep them in the game as Kildangan literally launched attack after attack through the long ball and Templederry could have seen the third goal go in after 10 minutes with Timmy Minogue failing to move back to protect the line.

Templederry were kept scoreless from the quarter mark until the 25th minute, when ironically, Eanna Murray goaled off a long, dropping ball. It was just what they needed with the half-back and back lines eventually getting to grips with the Kildnagan threat as Thomas Stapleton began to impose himself on the match and marshall the backs.

By the end of the half, Kenyons had clawed the difference back to just three points and with the wind at their backs must have felt they could go on and reach the semi-final.

That was given added momentum with a goal after four minutes of the restart by Tom Ryan to leave the narrowest of margins between the sides following Joe Gallagher’s early second-half point.

And Templederry’s their cause was helped with Kildangan giving away easy frees that John Kennedy was only too happy to put over the bar, with his eight from a free in the 40th minute putting the teams level.

Templederry put their noses in front with Padraig O’Leary’s point, with the sides going level twice more before Kenyons opened up a two-point gap with 11 minutes to go. Tommy Connors brought it back to a single point before a moment of magic from Kildangan saw them score their third goal on 52 minutes.

With Templederry on the attack, Ger Slattery, a stawart in the Kildangan defence throughout, broke the attack down and played a superb pass to Tadgh Gallagher on the right. Gallagher literally pinged it to Willie Connors who let a quick ball back in to Tommy Connors. Murray’s job was to pick the sliothar out of the net.

With the two-point magrin now back in Kildangan’s favour, Padraig O’Leary and Kildangan goalkeeper traded points before Adrian Ryan brought it to just one point after 62 minutes. Over those last few tense minutes, Kenyons notched up three wides, any one of which might have seen the game go to extra time, and may have prevented Templederry from losing their 10th match on the trot on the Dolla pitch.

Kildangan: Darragh Egan, David Sweeney, Martin Minihan, Fergal Hayes; Brian Kelly, Tommy Connors; Ruairi Gleeson, Joe Gallagher, Eoin Kelly; Willie Connors, Dan Hackett, Tadgh Gallagher. Subs: Eoin Gleeson for Eoin Kelly; Paraic Kelly for Hugh Flannery; Stephen James Gleeson for Brian Kelly

Scorers: Tadgh Gallagher (1-2); Tommy Connors (1-1); Dan Hackett (1-1); Ruairi Gleeson (0-7); Joe Gallagher (0-3); Willie Connors (0-1); David Sweeney (0-1); Darragh Egan (0-1).

Templederry Kenyons: Paul Murray; John Harkin, Tadgh McLoughlin, Padraig Ryan; Timmy Minogue, Thomas Stapleton, Christy Coughlan; Adrian Ryan, Tom Ryan; Gearoid Ryan, Brian Stapleton, John Kennedy; Padraig Ryan (Cool), Padraig O’Leary, Eanna Murray. Subs: Matthew Hogan for Tom Ryan. Scorers: Tom Ryan (1-9); Eanna Murray (1-0); John Kennedy (0-10); Adrian Ryan (0-8); Padraig O’Leary (0-3); Brian Stapleton (0-1); Padraig Ryan (Cool) (0-1).

Referee: Johnny Ryan.