Sports

Hibernian North Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship Review

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Hibernian North Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship Review thumbnailJoint Kiladangan captains Darragh Egan and Alan Flynn celebrate after winning the North Tipp Senior Hurling Final for the second consecutive year

IN HER secretary's report to the North Tipperary Convention, Marian Minehan said that some will argue there are too many senior teams in North Tipperary and that most of them have no chance of winning honours.

In contrast she said the Tipperary CCC argue there are too many games within the county and more so within the divisions. She added that a motion passed in November 2015, stated that all divisions have to run their senior and intermediate championships on a straight knockout system.

This came as a shock to all the clubs in North Tipp and as a result this year's championship had teams finished their year by June 1st.

Seven of the twelve games needed to complete this year's Hibernian Inn North Tipp Senior Hurling Championship had winning margins of nine points or less meaning competition was stiff. In the opening round there were wins for Ballina over Portroe; Roscrea over Lorrha; Templederry over Nenagh Eire Og, Burgess over Moneygall and Kiladangan over Toomevara.

Kiladangan's win over Toomevara would prove to be their biggest test of the year. They kept their cool to win by 2-18 to 1-17 helped by a brilliant goal by joint team captain Darragh Egan. It was the game of the championship.

Elsewhere Templederry caused a slight shock when overcoming Nenagh Eire Og. Remember Templederry were beaten finalists in 2015.

Eight teams took part in the quarter finals. Kilruane beat Borris-Ileigh in a high scoring encounter in probably the game of the round. Kiladangan easily beat Ballina after a nervous opening half. Roscrea then caused a shock in overcoming Templederry while Kilruane had too much in the tank for Borrisokane in a game that attracted more debate about the thirteen day rule that what result might transpire.

 

Semi Finals

Both semi-finals formed a double bill and were played in MacDonagh Park, Nenagh. Kiladangan proved too good for a very disappointing Roscrea outfit in the first semi. Roscrea's cause was not helped by an unfair dismissal of Roscrea wing back Shane Davis, who was sent to the sideline for a second yellow card offence. Referee Ciaran Timmons was right according to the letter of the law as Davis was rightly booked for the second offence but harshly booked in the first occasion, ten minutes prior to half time.

As a result in was downhill for Roscrea. Not their best day against a side inspired by Darragh Egan who scored a total of 0-15 with all bar two coming from placed balls while Willie Connors, Paul Flynn, the Gallagher brothers Joe and Tadgh plus Johnny Horan proved to be a constant thorn in the Roscrea defence. Kiladangan won 2-25 to 1-10.

The winning margin was not anywhere near as wide for Kilruane MacDonaghs who reached the Hibernian Inn North final for the first time in twenty two years following an exciting four point win over Burgess in the second semi final.

In a game of two halves Kilruane struggled in the second half when their 3-6 to 1-5 half time lead was cut back to three towards the end of the sixty minutes but a 65thminute free by Seamus Hennessy proved to be the insurance score. Kilruane could have been caught but their great start laid the foundation for the win when with the help of a very strong breeze saw he opening nine minutes produce three early goals.

 

North Final

Kiladangan became the third club in the last twenty five years to claim back to back North senior hurling finals following a four point win over Kilruane MacDonaghs at Thomas MacDonagh Park, Cloughjordan.

The game was staged in Cloughjordan as part of the Kilruane centenary celebrations one hundred years after their son, Thomas MacDonagh - one of the 1916 signatories - was killed by firing squad. The heavy rain that fell before throw in acted as a spoilsport but Kiladangan the holders won in by four points 2-18 to 1-17.

In some ways the margin could have been bigger had Kiladangan taken two goal chances in the second half and one in the first. This was at a time when they had a grip on the game. But in fairness Kilruane MacDonaghs squandered clear cut chances as well especially before half time when Cian Darcy's point blank shot was well saved by Barry Hogan. In addition Kilruane missed points from play and placed balls in the last quarter but Willie Connors goal in the 60th minute sealed the tie putting the holders 2-18 to 0-16 in front. In true Kilruane fashion they fought to the end and picked up 1-1 thanks to Kieran Cahill from a free before a sixty five metre free by Ray McLoughney dropped into the Kiladangan goal area taking a deflection and deceiving Barry Hogan on the Kiladangan goal line.

It wasn't a classic game by any means but there have been worse finals in the past.

 

Looking Ahead

Kiladangan will look forward to a possible three in a row in 2017 but will have a clutch of teams hot on their heels. It's another straight knockout championship which will add to the stiff competition. Remember seven of the teams will also take part in the Dan Breen Cup. Those seven Kiladangan, Kilruane MacDonagh, Borris-Ileigh, Portroe, Nenagh Eire Og, Ballina and Burgess, can rest easy with an eye on both ends of the spectrum i.e. either winning the North and Dan Breen while not having to worry about relegation.

However this leaves seven more - Roscrea, Templederry, Toomevara, Lorrha, Borrisokane, Silvermines and new Intermediate champions, Newport to rely on winning the North Championship which in turn will allow an avenue to the Dan Breen.

That adds more spice to the Hibernian Inn North SHC forcing teams like Toomevara, Templederry, Roscrea and Lorrha to put all their efforts into winning the Frank McGrath. Roll on 2017.

 

Hibernian Inn North Tipp SHC Results 2016

Round One

Ballina 1-16 Portroe 1-14

Roscrea 5-14 Lorrha 1-10

Templederry 3-14 Nenagh Eire Og 1-18

Burgess 4-24 Moneygall 1-12

Kiladangan 2-18 Toomevara 1-17

Kilruane MacDonaghs a bye

Borrisokane a bye

Quarter Finals

Kilruane MacDonaghs 3-24 Borris-Ileigh 2-18

Kiladangan 3-16 Ballina 2-12

Roscrea 3-18 Templederry 2-18

Burgess 2-20 Borrisokane 0-12

 

Semi Finals

Kiladangan 2-25 Roscrea 1-10

Kilruane MacDonaghs 3-12 Burgess 1-14

 

North Final

Kiladangan 2-18 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-17

 

New Champions

IHC Final: Ballinahinch 2-13 Newport 0-18

Ballinahinch created history by claiming the North Intermediate Hurling Championship for the first time ever. They defeated their neighbours Newport in a spine tingling final at Dolla. There were exciting scenes after the game leaving memories for Ballinahinch followers for some time to come. .

 

Junior A Hurling Final: Kiladangan 3-11 Nenagh Eire Og 2-6

Meanwhile Kiladangan also made history in bridging a seventy two year gap to claim their second North Junior A Hurling title when overcoming Nenagh Eire Og in the decider at Dolla.

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