A strong first half display was enough to see Kilruane Mac Donaghs crowned County Champions
Moyne Templetuohy/Thurles Gaels: 1-03
Kilruane Mac Donaghs: 2-11
By Mark Dunne PRO
In a bitterly cold Dr. Morris Park a strong first half from opponents Kilruane Mac Donaghs saw them crowned County Minor B Football Champions for 2017.
From the throw-in Kilruane Mac Donaghs showed their intent as within 60 seconds a darting run saw Luke Dervan fouled and goalie Karl Williams obliged to send them into a one-point lead. Moyne Templetuohy/Thurles Gaels (MTT/TG) didn’t rest though, the strength and height of Joint-Captain Gearoid O’Connor brought MTT/TG back into the game. In a move that would happily grace Croke Park, a darting run from Conor Bowe who linked up beautifully with Ben Ryan saw MTT/TG register their first score after 4 minutes. However, the next ten minutes saw Kilruane Mac Donaghs grab a foothold in the game which would ultimately help them to victory. A Kilruane attack put the MTT/TG defence under pressure and despite the best efforts of Gearoid O’Connor and Darragh Taylor, Kylan O’Kelly found the net. From the resulting kick, out Kilruane recycled ball through their half-forward line when centre back Jerome Cahill made a darting run through the MTT/TG defence and finished neatly to the back of the net. MTT/TG refused to let this bother them. The following few minutes saw Sean Hayes, Conor Bowe and Shane Lowe come more into the game. Dylan Shaughnessy and Shane Lowe provided the basis for the MTT/TG attack and towards the end of the half Conor Bowe added two points to leave the score at half time, Moyne Templetuohy Thurles Gaels 0-03 Kilruane Mac Donaghs 2-07.
With an uphill battle facing them, Moyne Templetuohy/Thurles Gaels regrouped at the break. Despite their best efforts though Kilruane Mac Donaghs kicked on from where they left out at the break. Their use both on and off the ball helped them to find scores easier. In what was a low scoring second half Moyne Templetuohy Thurles Gaels worked hard. The immense shift put in by Shane Lowe as well as Gearoid O’Connor proved the teams belief and showed the teams never die attitude. Scores were far and few between with the cold conditions finally playing their part. MTT/TG had goal chances throughout but Kilruane and County U21 goalkeeper Karl Williams kept them at bay. However what Williams could do Barry Ryan could do better. On more than one occasion his services were called into action as he pulled of numerous saves to keep MTT/TG in the game. With time almost up, a Conor Bowe run and shot to goal was initially saved but fastest to the rebound was Sean Hayes who netted to leave the score reading MTT/TG 1-03 Kilruane Mac Donaghs 2-11 and that was how the game ended.
Immediate dejection and grief was evident however MTT/TG can be proud of their efforts. Shane Lowe, Barry Ryan, Darragh Taylor, Gearoid O’Connor and Conor Bowe all tried well in tough conditions. The 12-week break between the County Semi Final and Final may have had a bearing but to reach two County Finals in the one season is a fantastic achievement, one in which they can be very proud of. Our sincere thanks to the management team of Sean Everard, Pat O’Connor, John Sweeney, Pat Flanagan and Morgan Lanigan who have done tremendous work with this bunch of players throughout the year.
Team and scorers: Barry Ryan, Kieran Larkin, Darragh Taylor, Ciarán Llyod, Dylan Shaughnessy, Jack Taylor, Shane Lowe, Shane Ryan (JC), Gearoid O’Connor (JC), Chris Munroe, Sean Hayes (1-00), Dean Lawlor, Martin Ryan, Conor Bowe (0-01 Free, 0-01) and Ben Ryan (0-01). Subs used: Michael Mulcaire, Colin Shaughnessy, Bill Hogan, Jack Keogh, Paudie Gleeson and Jack Keogh.
Referee: Martin Doyle (Ardfinnan)