Moyne Templetuohy/Thurles Gaels 2-03
Upperchurch Drombane 2-08
By Mark Dunne PRO
A bitterly cold the Ragg was the venue for the 2018 Mid Tipperary U21B Football Final, which saw Moyne Templetuohy/Thurles Gaels (MTTG) pitted against old rivals Upperchurch Drombane. A spirited second half effort was unfortunately not enough to see MTTG crowned U21 Champions.
Moyne Templetuohy/Thurles Gaels started brightly and looked to put down a real marker from the outset. Their running style of play sought to test the Upperchurch Drombane defence. However, it would be Upperchurch who would strike first, a long ball into Loughlin Ryan saw him turn and point to put the Church one point to the good after 5mins. In a similar worked move MTTG full forward Damien Cantwell found space and off his left slotted to draw the teams level 8mins in. MTTG were then dealt a huge blow when Conor Fahey raced through the defence despite the best efforts of Chris Lawlor, Paul Murphy and goalie Lee Tierney to net to leave the score 1-01 to 0-01. Conor Bowe arguably had the best chance of the half for goal, when his shot struck the crossbar and bounced out. The teams then traded scores to leave the half time score MTTG 0-02 Upperchurch Drombane 1-03.
Despite trailing at the break, this MTTG were not going to throw in the towel. Their fighting spirit was none more evident than in this second half. Upperchurch started strongly from the restart and knocked over two points in quick succession. A blow for MTTG, saw referee Tom McGrath point to the spot for a foul on the Upperchurch full forward, who neatly dispatched the penalty to the net. 2-05 to 0-02 after 34mins of play. MTTG refused to go away, the hard-working midfield pair of Jack Taylor and Diarmuid Leahy coupled with the ever-attacking Darren McGuire worked hard to orchestrate the attacks. They were finally rewarded when full forward Damien Cantwell played a ball back across the goals where he found Sean Hayes who got the bare touch to net. With their tails up MTTG attacked again and from a 45m Diarmuid Leahy found the net, 2-02 to 2-07 with 6mins of normal time remaining. Conor Bowe then scored from his right to leave 4 between the teams with clock reading 59mins. Despite their best efforts and numerous attacks MTTG could not find that goal they needed. Upperchurch would score once more to leave the final score MTTG 2-03 Upperchurch Drombane 2-08.
A spirited second half display proved their never die attitude. Daniel Shaughnessy, Diarmuid Leahy, Conor Bowe and Mark Ryan all played well to mention a few. The team and management can be proud of their football campaign for 2018 winning two games and reaching a Mid Final is a huge achievement in its self.
Team and scorers: Lee Tierney, Paul Murphy, Chris Lawlor, Daniel Shaughnessy, Mark Ryan, Eoin Gorman, Sean Maloney, Jack Taylor, Dee Leahy (1-00), Darren McGuire, Sean Hayes (1-00), Conor Bowe (0-01 free, 0-01), Gearoid O’Connor, Damien Cantwell (0-01) and Curtis Ryan.
Referee: Tom McGrath (Loughmore Castleiney)
Photo thanks to Billy Loughnane