Monday, August 27, 2012

Fr. Tom's Win Junior A Hurling

Tipperary 2-16 Fr. Tom Burke’s 0-24

Fr. Tom’s claimed the junior hurling championship in a tightly contested final.  Tipp came back at the end of each half to draw level, but could not do so a third time.  Cormac-Joyce Power was tremendous for Tom’s and seemed to be under every puckout.  There were also great performances from James Dooley in the back line and Gavin Nugent up front.  Tom’s will go to Philadelphia and be hoping to retain the North American championship for the Northeast.

Fr. Tom's Junior Hurlers Celebrate.
Tipperary got off to the better start.  Alan O’Leary opened the account with a point and was involved in a goal shortly afterwards.  O’Leary hand passed to Colm McCory who finished expertly into the far side of the net.  In the early going it looked as though O’Leary would cause major problems for the Tom’s back line.  Tom’s came into the game as the half wore on.  Joyce-Power at center forward was under the dropping ball with increased frequency and Tipp were drawn into fouling the big Limerick man on more than a few occasions.  Gavin Nugent took advantage and put three over the bar from just outside the 45 meter line.  Joyce-Power had two of his own from play but Tom’s did not capitalize on their advantage in play.  With Tipp out of for long stretches many of the balls into the Tom’s forward line fell on fallow ground and came to naught.  Fergus McMahon, who last saw action in Canton 10 years ago, put a free over for Tipp.  Nugent and Bernie O’Regan traded scores to end the half and it was all square at 1-4 for Tipp to 0-7 for Tom’s.

The second half proved to be similar to the first. Tipp came out strong and went into a three point lead.  O’ Leary, Bernie O’Regan, and Mickey Doyle were the scorers.  Again Tom’s came into it and enjoyed a long spell on top during which they had a couple of goal chances, but did not convert.  Michael McGrath pulled off a good save from Nugent and the Tipp back line smothered a second good opportunity for Tom’s.  Tom’s did point seven times unanswered.  Again, on the half forward line Joyce-Power was under the puckouts.  The best score for Tom’s came from Joyce-Power who looked to be locked up on the wing, but turned on his weak side and pointed from distance.  Fran Keenan came out of his goal to put two points over from the Tom’s own ’65 meter line. Tom’s looked like they had had the momentum to go on and win it.  Tipp were not done however.  Pat Moriarty pointed a free and then Bernie O’Regan was found on the edge of the box with a cross field ball and the Tipp corner forward was held in the area.  Michael McGrath hit the penalty low and into the back of the net, and the teams were on level terms again.  Tipp took a one point lead into injury time, and it took another booming long range free from Fran Keenan to bring Tom’s level and force extra time.

Tom’s got off to a flying start in extra time with three points on the trot from Nugent (2) and Joyce-Power.  Keenan put a fourth long ranger over, but Pat Moriarty and McMahon pointed for Tipp as they refused to let Tom’s shake them off.  Joyce-Power put another great point over from the wing and Tom’s led by two when the teams changed sides.  After the teams traded scores it was Tom’s who won a penalty when O’Huallachain was held.  Keenan was the taker and hit high and over the bar.  Joyce-Power followed with his seventh point of the game.  Tom’s by four.  Again, Tom’s could not shake off their opponents.  Two Moriarty frees and a mark Flynn score reduced the gap to a single point, but James McGrath put the insurance point over for Tom’s and it was delight all around for the Tom’s players and supporters after the whistle sounded to end the game.

Referee:  James Owens (Loch Garman)

Man of the Match:  Cormac Joyce-Power (Tom’s)  Joyce-Power was key in the Tom’s forward line.

Tipp:  M. McGrath, J. McGrath, P. Ryan, P. Moriarty, J. Howard, N. O’Grady, M. Doyle, M. Flynn, B. O’Regan, F. McMahon, C. McCrory, A. O’Leary, C. Gillis.  Tom’s:  F. Keenan, L. Guinan, T. Doran, K. Mooney, D. Costello, J. Dooley, B. Smith, J. McGrath, G. Nugent, C. Joyce-Power, T. O’Huallachain, J. Cuddy, D. Hession.

By Rory O'Donnell

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