Kiladangan Make It To County Senior Hurling Final After 78 Years

Thursday, 19 January 2017

KILADANGAN'S County semi final win over Killenaule last October meant they were back in the county decider for the first time since 1938.

Back then Kiladangan won their first North final after they overcame the Roscrea bogey in the final thanks to a 7-2 to 3-4 victory. Kiladangan took home the new Murphy Cup which was presented for the first time. The Cup was donated to the North Board by Murphy's Brewery.

Kiladangan beat Fethard in the county semi final 4-3 to 3-3 but were clearly the underdogs against Thurles Sarsfields for the final at Borrisoleigh on Sunday 25th September 1938. Thurles Sarsfields were a star studded team laden with inter county players some of whom had won All-Ireland medals with Tipperary the previous year and were worthy winners Thurles Sarsfields 7-7 Kiladangan 2-2.


Group Stages

Kiladangan entered this year's county championship with strong claims of going a long way. They were placed in Group 3 of Roinn 1 with stiff opposition in Nenagh Eire Og, Mullinahone, and Templederry. It was the group of death but having reached the county semi final twice the previous six years and current North champions they had a realistic chance of making it to the knockout stages. The top two would suffice. However their opening game against Nenagh Eire Og proved a struggle. Finishing the final ten minutes plus added time with thirteen men (they had Darragh Egan and Martin Minehan sent off) they held off the Nenagh challenge with four to spare.

An easy win over Mullinahone followed before their final game against Templederry saw them over the line with by four. After the game news arrived that Nenagh Eire Og were knocked out of the championship following a shock defeat at the hands of Mullinahone. As a result the South Champions had joined Kiladangan in the knockout stages. Templederry would be relegated to Roinn 2 for 2017.

Meanwhile Borris-Ileigh and Kilruane MacDonaghs were carrying the North flag in their respective groups. In Group 2, Borris-Ileigh suffered a big defeat at the hands of Thurles Sarsfields but recovered with victory over Eire Og Annacarty before been thankful for a share of the points against Roscrea in their final group game. Borris-Ileigh had survived to make the knockout stages and finished second to Thurles Sarsfields who won all three games with plus 35 points.

In Group 4 Kilruane MacDonaghs (beaten county semi finals in 2015) may have lost their opening game against Clonoulty Rossmore but made sure of qualification with wins over Portroe and Lorrha. Group winners Clonoulty Rossmore would join them.

In Group 1, both Killenaule and Drom Inch finished first and second respectively. The top eight teams would be joined by four Roinn 2 winnersin Burgess, Carrick Swan, Loughmore Castleiney and Ballina.

Twelve teams were set for the knockout stages after Tipperary's All-Ireland double and the four preliminary quarter finals produced wins for Kilruane MacDonaghs over Carrick Swans; Mullinahone over Ballina; Borris-Ileigh over Burgess and Drom Inch over Loughmore Castleiney. That game was a reversal of the Mid Senior Hurling Final played a week earlier.


Quarter Finals

The four Tipperary Water County Senior Hurling Quarter Finals were played at Semple Stadium on the weekend of October 1st and 2nd.


Kiladangan 2-18 Drom Inch 1-17

Two second half goals inside four minutes were part of a fantastic second half performance which saw Kiladangan defeat favourites Drom Inch in an exciting encounter.

The two goals in the 33rd and 37th minutes effectively helped the North champions take a nine point lead and despite a late comeback by Drom Inch it was the North men who were safely through to the last four for the first time in three years.

Tadgh Gallagher and Ruairi Gleeson were the goal scorers in a game where every Kiladangan man played over and above the call of duty with Paul Flynn scoring six points from play. And while the Kiladangan attack set an example of textbook hurling the defence played a huge part also where David Sweeney and Fergal Hayes were brilliant all through. Goalkeeper Barry Hogan produced three vital saves in the last quarter to effectively oust Seamus Callanan's men.


Second Quarter Final

On the same day Clonoulty Rossmore did enough to claim a win against a disappointing Mullinahone team to win by 1-18 to 1-10.


Killenaule 2-20 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-20

On the previous day, Kilruane's year came to an end when their brave comeback came up short against Killenaule who had John Bubbles O'Dwyer in brilliant form. Kilruane were nine points down 2-16 to 1-10 and playing second fiddle for the previous 30 minutes but the beaten North finalists finally came to life pulling the deficit back to two and in the dying minutes they could have snatched a win had Thomas Cleary and Brian O'Meara taken their chances when two late goals were presented.

Cleary's effort in the 58th minute went inches over the bar but Brian O'Meara's shot two minutes later was brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Jonathan Gleeson at the expense of a '65' which Seamus Hennessy converted to leave a goal between the sides 2-19 to 1-19. Killenaule were living on their nerves but an injury time point by Paidi Feehan eased their worries and the Southsiders had done enough despite the concession of a James Cleary point for MacDonaghs in the 64thminute.


Thurles Sarsfields 2-22 Borris-Ileigh 0-13

Borris-Ileigh found the going tough against holders Thurles Sarsfields. Despite keeping the holders to a point at half time, Sars 1-8 to Borris 0-10, the Northsiders never reached the level required in the second half. Six unanswered points by Thurles put an end any comeback.


Semi Finals

The semi finals were played on the 9th of October at Semple Stadium. The pairings were unusual in that for the first time since 1988 the four divisions were represented. Thurles Sarsfields faced Clonoulty Rossmore and Kiladangan took on Killenaule.


Kiladangan 2-16 Killenaule 0-13

Kiladangan had nine points to spare over Killenaule in a disappointing game. This game was expected to go down to the wire but sadly the game never reached great heights.

The opening 20 minutes promised much but when Joe Gallagher had Kiladangan's opening goal the North champions had the game pretty much to themselves. They led 1-9 to 0-8 at half time but for some reason their performance in the third quarter failed to produce any sparkle. Not that Killenaule were displaying any sparkle either because Kiladangan could afford the luxury of going eighteen minutes (26th to the 44th) without scoring until Darragh Egan pointed a '65' to give Kiladangan a four point lead.

That was as near as Killenaule came within the leaders and when Joe Gallagher grabbed his second goal in the 51st minute the game was over as Kiladangan added three more points to one reply from the southsiders.


Thurles Sarsfields 1-22 Clonoulty Rossmore 0-15

With eleven players on the scoreboard, holders Thurles Sarsfields pulled away in the second half to ease their way into the final.

Leading 0-13 to 0-8 at half time Thurles Sarsfields kept that bit ahead in the third quarter. And while their lead was reduced to four, points by Pa Bourke (free) and substitute John Maher and a Richie Ruth goal in the 42nd minute served to put Thurles on route to victory. Clonoulty tried to keep in contact but Thurles had too many men with the ability to secure a score with ease and frustration got the better of Clonoulty's Sean Maher who was dismissed for a rash pull on Paraic Maher in the 55thminute.


County Final: Thurles Sarsfields 0-27 Kiladangan 1-15

Kiladangan's bid to capture their first ever county senior hurling title proved a step too far when the might of Thurles Sarsfields had too many answers and experience for them. Over 8,000 witnessed a slow start by the North champions which proved a step too far. Falling 0-9 to 0-1 in arrears with only eight minutes gone didn't help. Things went from bad to worse as the holders in search the holders, in search of a three in a row continued to hold the upperhand as they led 0-12 to 0-2 after twenty one minutes and OK Kiladangan won the next forty minutes by a point, but the exercise was a tough lesson for the newcomers when you are taking on the kingpins of Tipperary hurling who captured their 35th title and their seventh win out of the last eleven finals.

Four players, Lar Corbett, Pa Bourke, Patrick McCormack and Barry O'Dwyer claimed their seventh county senior medal. Of the four, Pa Bourke produced another great display with a return of nine points, two from play. Aidan McCormack scored 0-6 and Richie Ruth added five.

Kiladangan had their moments with James Quigley, Alan Flynn, David Sweeney and Darren Moran standing prominent while Hugh Flannery and Fergal Hayes played their part in front of their inspiring goalkeeper Barry Hogan who produced the save of the day when he blocked Conor Lanigan's point blank shot in the 40th minute.

SCORERS: Thurles Sarsfields :P Burke (0-9, 0-7 frees); A McCormack (0-6); R Ruth (0-5); C Lanigan and R Maher (0-1 sideline cut) (0-2 each); S Maher, S Lillis and L Corbett (0-1 each).

Kiladangan: D Egan (0-6, 0-5 frees); J Gallagher (1-1); W Connors (0-3, 0-1 '65'); R Gleeson (0-2); J Horan, P Flynn and T Gallagher (0-1 each).

Thurles Sarsfields: Paddy McCormack; Stephen Maher, Stephen Lillis, Michael Cahill; Ronan Maher, Padraig Maher, Denis Maher; Billy McCarthy, Stephen Cahill; Tommy Doyle, Aidan McCormack, Pa Bourke; Conor Lanigan, Lar Corbett, Richie Ruth. Subs: Rory Dwan for D Maher (48); David Kennedy for Corbett (59); Kevin O'Gorman for Ruth (62).

Kiladangan: Barry Hogan; James Quigley, Hugh Flannery, Fergal Hayes; David Sweeney, Alan Flynn, Darren Moran; Johnny Horan, Martin Minehan; Joe Gallagher, Willie Connors, Ruairi Gleeson; Paul Flynn, Darragh Egan, Tadgh Gallagher. Subs: Jack Loughnane for Minehan (24); Eoin Kelly for Horan (45).


Other Finals

Intermediate Hurling: Newport 1-17 Thurles Sarsfields 0-15

On October 23rd Newport captured the club's fourth County Intermediate hurling title at the expense of a very game Thurles Sarsfields outfit at a well prepared Dundrum venue ending a 12 year absence from the top table.


Junior Hurling: Kiladangan 1-18 Ballybacon Grange 1-16 (aet)

Two periods of extra time were required as two Eoin Meagher points gave Kiladangan their first ever County Junior A hurling title when his side came from behind to beat Ballybacon Grange in a highly exciting contest played at Holycross. The game was played on November 27th.


Junior B Hurling Final

Upperchurch Drombane 1-16 Portroe 1-10 at Kilcommon, Ref Paddy Ivors


Under-21 A Hurling

Thurles Sarsfields 2-16 Toomevara 2-11 at The Ragg, Referee Fergal Horgan


Under-21 B Hurling

Gortnahoe Glengoole 0-18 Templederry/ Ballinahinch 0-15 (replay).


Minor A Hurling

Saint Mary's 2-16 J K Brackens 2-10 at Semple Stadium, Referee Phil Ryan


Minor B Hurling

Cashel King Cormacs 3-19 Skeheen/ Clonmel Og 1-11 at New Inn, Referee Kieran Delaney.


Senior Football

Loughmore Castleiney 1-9 Clonmel Commercials Moyle Rovers 1-6 at Cashel, Referee David Grogan


Intermediate Football

Fethard 1-11 Golden Kilfeacle 2-7 at Cashel, Referee Sean Lonergan


Junior A Football

Clonoulty Rossmore 1-8 Loughmore Castleiney 1-2 at Templetuohy, Referee Ger Fitzpatrick.


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