South Tipperary U21 B Hurling Final
Determined Grangemockler take Under 21B Title
Grangemockler-Ballyneale 1-17 Mullinahone C J K 1-13
Coming into this final both sides had won their four lead up matches and each had beaten Carrick Davins and Ballybacon by similar margins. It seemed then that there wouldn’t be much between the sides. So it turned out to be towards the end of the game, but in the first 40 minutes the Grangemockler lads were well on top on the field even if their dominance wasn’t fully reflected on the score board.
At half time they led by five points, l-9 to 0-7, but on another day it could have been double that. This was due to the determination of the full Grangemockler team and the top class display of their Number 13, John Lyons, who was responsible for their goal and could have scored another within a minute. The game continued in the same vein for the first ten minutes of the second half and after 12 minutes the gap had grown to seven points. The tide then turned and with four minutes to go Mullinahone had come to within four points and were awarded a close in free. A point was called for, but Mullinahone who had trouble with free takers all afternoon gave no such instruction to the free taker. He unwisely went for a goal but the shot was saved. Another free came a few minutes later and this was pointed. However, when Darragh Shelly pointed a minute into added time the gap was a safe four points and the cup was bound for Grangemockler. This win is a nice follow up to Grangemockler’s win in the Minor B championship last year and reward for the clubs hard work among juveniles in recent years.
Conditions in Cloneen were good when referee Paddy Ivors threw in the ball. It was cold but action on the field soon warmed the players up. Grangemockler opened well. In the first minute Darragh Shelly pointed a free. His free taking was to be a major factor in his sides win. Mullinahone failed with their first shot at goal. This was to set the tone until late in the game. Another free and another point to Grangemockler before Enda Keane pointed twice to level by the ninth minute. Within a minute, John Lyons raced on to a breaking ball and with no one covering in the full back line he shot to the Mullinahone net. From the puckout Lyons nearly repeated the dose, but his shot went wide. In 13 minutes Lyons added a point and two minutes later Shelly pointed a free after Mullinahone had spurned a similar chance. Colin Shelly pulled one back for Mullinahone after 16 minutes. Darragh Shelly pointed a free from the sideline. Graham Horan and John Lyons exchanged points. Colin Shelly and Enda Keane hit points for Mullinahone. Another Grangemockler point from a free edged the gap out to four points. Enda Keane hit a wonder point from a free in his own half for Mullinahone in 25 minutes, but two points from Patrick O’Connell and Colin O’Shea left the score at the break Grangemockler/Ballyneale 1-09, Mullinahone CJK 0-07.
The chief talking points at half time were the determination of the Grangemockler team and the poverty of the Kickhams attack apart from Enda Keane. Many expected to see him resuming in the number 11 spot as up to then both full back Meaney and centre back Conor Hahessy were “monarchs of all they surveyed” in their own areas. He didn’t though a change in formation was made. The first two minutes of the second half saw Mullinahone wide from yet another free and Grangemockler tack on a point from a similar chance. Yet another wide followed from Mullinahone and they were thankful to goalie Kearney for a save in seven minutes. Shelly pointed another free for them. Mullinahone brought on Sean Fitzgerald to bolster their attack. After ten minutes Kickhams began to improve as centre back Micheál Dunne began to move forward. He was fouled and Graham Horan pointed. Denis Hanrahan (G) saw yellow but another missed free resulted. Dunne and Horan both pointed as Mullinahone ramped up the pressure. In 15 minutes Joe Hogan goaled and the gap was now only two points. In the next minute Shelly steadied Grangemockler nerves with another point from a free. In 18 minutes goalie David Power made a great save at the expense of a 45 which was pointed by Mullinahone. This was probably the turning point of the game. In 20 minutes Shelly relieved the pressure on Grangemockler with another point from a free. Dunne pointed for Mullinahone and for once Shelly nodded for Grangemockler. He quickly made amends from a 65 before Denis Hanrahan shot a vital point for Grangemockler. Then came the misdirected free to Mullinahone and the two last points were shared as Grangemockler deservedly hung on for a 1-17 to 1-13 victory.
After the game the cup was presented to the winning captain Jack O’Hanlon by the Chairman of the South Board, Michael Cooney who congratulated the winners. The Chairman wished them the best of luck in the County semi-final. He thanked the St. Patricks club for the use of the pitch which was in good condition even with a thick cap of snow looking down on it from Slievenamon. He also thanked referee, Paddy Ivors and his officials who contributed to a fine game of hurling. At the finish and during the presentation the great delight of the Grangemockler supporters was clear to be seen as they rejoiced in what had been a hard won but clearly deserved victory. Mullinahone had done well to reach the final undefeated, but on the day that mattered too many of their big guns failed to fire and weaknesses seen in early rounds had not been remedied. This competition which gave us many fine games was an enjoyable one. What a pity it had to wait until October/November to get under way.
Grangemockler/Ballyneale: David Power, Jim Power, Michael Meaney, Conor Shelly, Lorcan Magorrian, Conor Hahessy, Colin O’Shea, Denis Hanrahan, Jack O’Hanlon, Darragh Shelly, Michael Meagher, Patrick O’Connell, John Lyons, Adam Hennebry, David Houlihan.
Mullinahone CJK: Brendan Kearney, Paul Luttrell, Liam Hicks, Paul Gayson, Eddie Hayes, Micheál Dunne, Darragh Kelly, Colin Shelly, Liam Fennelly, Joe Hogan, Eoghan Brett, Enda Keane, Oisin McNamara, Graham Horan, Michael Cody: Sub used: Sean Fitzgerald.
Referee: Paddy Ivors (Ballingarry)
Report supplied by Ricky Sheehan