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By Mary Morgan Tue 15th Sep

Minor A  Dicksboro do the Double Dicksboro 0-19Young Irelands 1-5 Harry Shine was the star on show, as he hit an incredible 0-14 – to inspire Dicksboro to two in a row Minor Roinn A hurling title.
Last year’s under-15 Roinn A captain gave a five-star performance as he led the way in a magnificent team display against Young Irelands (Gowran) at a sundrenched but blustery MW Hire Centre in Dunmore on Sunday.
Under the stewardship of former Kilkenny senior goalkeeping great Michael Walsh, Dicksboro had a strong energetic presence all over the field. Defensively they were completely dominant, conceding 1-2 from play, with Young Irelands goal by Killian Carey deep into stoppage time proving to be of scant consolation.
Goalkeeper Brian Minogue was assured, while team captain Niall Rowe and last year’s county minor Timmy Clifford controlled the central defensive positions. 
Two other players who deserve a special mention are Johnnie Keane and Cillian Hackett. Keane gave a superbly tigerish display all through and was dominant at corner-back, while Cillian Hackett, listed as corner-forward on paper but operating as an extra defender, thrived as the roving runner.
His running game caused Young Irelands an endless amount of problems.
Having the wind advantage for the second half, Young Irelands would have felt more than hopeful of narrowing the deficit, but they struggled to make any inroads against a strongly stubborn and well-built defence.
The continuously constant stop-start passages of play which resulted in about 10 minutes of injury-time didn’t help the Young Irelands cause. Once Harry Shine extended the advantage to nine points (0-12 to 0-3) early in the second half the Gowran lads were always facing an uphill struggle.
Killian Carey (free) and Padraig Naddy, with a superb effort from play, pointed in quick succession, but that was as good as it got. Dicksboro dominated to the finish, outscoring their opponents 0-7 to 1-0.
Harry Shine added five further points, including three from play, to keep the scoreboard ticking over. Mikey Raggett and Sean Maher also found the target to confirm their side’s superior dominance.
Young Irelands tried and battled manfully in difficult circumstances, but despite the best efforts of goalkeeper Barry Dunne, full-back Cathal Darcy, the half-back line of Bobby Brennan, Paddy Langton and Jamie Midleton along with Padraig Naddy, it ended in major disappointment as they had racked up highly impressive scoring totals on their way to the county final.
However, Dicksboro proved a major step-up from the opposition teams they faced prior to the county final. Once the dust settles after Sunday’s loss they will look back at the massive progress made within the club.
Reaching a Roinn A final having just come up after winning the Roinn B championship last year is an achievement not to be dismissed. with 13 of Sunday’s team having started last year’s Roinn B final victory, they have the potential to achieve further glory. Sunday’s defeat can be part of a learning experience from which they can recover.
SCORERS: Dicksboro – Harry Shine (0-14, 0-4 frees, 0-1 65); Eoghan O’Neill, Charlie Nolan, Nick Doheny, Mikey Raggett, Sean Maher (0-1 each). 
Young Irelands – Killian Carey (1-2, 0-2 frees), Conor Fitzpatrick (0-2, 0-1 free), Padraig Naddy (0-1).
Dicksboro – Brian Minogue; Luca Loli, Niall Rowe (captain), Johnnie Keane; Stevie Dermody, Timmy Clifford, Rory O’Connor; James Carroll, Charlie Nolan; Eoghan O’Neill, Harry Shine, Sean Maher; Mikey Raggett, Nick Doheny, Cillian Hackett. Subs: Charlie Delahunty, Zac McHardy.
Young Irelands – Barry Dunne; Sean Fitzpatrick, Cathal Darcy, David Drennan; Bobby Brennan, Paddy Langton, Jamie Middleton; Jimmy Lennon (captain) Padraig Naddy; Killian Carey, Tommy Phelan, Ben Phelan; Mikie Knox, Conor Fitzpatrick, Daniel Manning. Subs: Rory Farrell, Aaron Hosey, Brogan McAviney.
Referee – John Walsh (Rower-Inistioge Minor B Dunnamaggin 2-13 2-10 Bennetsbridge Dunnamaggin landed the Kilkenny Honda Centre Minor B County Final at a sun drenched MW Hire Dunmore where an unanswered 1-5 in the 2nd quarter proved to be the difference between the sides as Bennettsbridge gave as good as they got over the 60 odd minutes play but will ultimately admit over the balance of play that their southern counterparts were the better side but the Bridge men did have chances in injury time to force extra time. In the opening 8 minutes it was all Dunnamaggin with Denis Walsh slotting over two frees at ease before Tom Duggan found Joe Fitzpatrick with a monster of a puck out and the centre forward duly pointed. They repeated the trick a mere 90 seconds later. Bennetsbridge finally got on the scoreboard through Oisin Meegan. In a twinkling of an eye they were level when Cillian Kelly flicked home an goal mouth scramble to the back of the net from a Bill Hughes free. Hughes soon grabbed a superb solo point from out on the sideline. This seemed to provoke a reaction from Dunnamaggin with Walsh executing a spectacular cross field ball to Ruardhi Holden and the half forward hit a rocket of a shot home. Walsh quickly floated over a free with Holden helping himself to a point from 60metres out before Walsh showed a little bit of special skill to hop the sliothar on the run prior to splitting the posts. He added a free before Cathal Buckley finished off the half’s scoring to leave Dunnamaggin 1-9 to 1-2 up as we headed for the half time ice cream such was the heat. When Walsh converted a pointed free from the first play of the new half one did wonder would the bridge respond and by god they did! Hughes & John Doyle (3) landed points in quick succession before Fitzpatrick briefly lifted the siege with a point but it was responded to instantly with Doyle finding Meegan in space and the centre forward sent the white flag waving. Just at the 3rd water break Walsh found Fitzpatrick who was en route to goal when he was fouled. Up stepped Walsh and he rifled the ball to the top left hand corner. It took Bennetsbridge a few minutes to get going in the new quarter but a sweeping move which involved no less than 7 players saw sub John Campion reignite their hopes with a sizzling shot to the net. Walsh & Doyle exchanged frees before Meegan landed two points in a row as they upped the ante on the eventual champions. Mickey Thomas made sure the difference was out to three when he pointed in the 64th minute but still the game flowed on. In the last plays of the game Bennetsbridge engineered half chances but it simply was not meant to be as Dunnamaggin won their first title since 2017. Scorers: Dunnamaggin: Denis Walsh (1-7, 1-6 frees), Ruardhi Holden (1-1), Joe Fitzpatrick (0-3), Mikey Thomas & Cathal Buckley (0-1 each) Bennetsbridge: John Doyle (0-4 frees) John Campion & Cillian Kelly (1-0 each) Oisin Meegan (0-4) Bill Hughes (0-2, 0-1 free).  Dunnamaggin: Tom Buckley, Eoin Sheil,Jimmy O’Neill, Cathal Walsh, Colin Fitzpatrick, Shaun O’Keeffe, Aaron Moore,Denis Walsh,Mikey Thomas, Tom Lodge, Joe Fitzpatrick, Ruaidhrí Holden, Cathal Buckley, Craig Drennan,Aidan O’NeillBennettsbridge: Jack Fortistall, Conor Molloy, Joe Hughes, Gearoid Kent, James Hughes, Myles McGovern, Kyle Ryan, Ivan Kelly, Bill Hughes, Oisin Meegan, John Doyle, Tim Kelly, Dylan Kenny, Eimhin Cassin, Cillian Kelly.  Ref: Gay Rafter (Threecastles) Minor C Dunne does the damage  Tullaroan 2-18 1-14 Lisdowney  Tullaroan landed the Kilkenny Honda Centre Minor C hurling title where a 1-10 haul from Gearoid Dunne proved to be  decisive as his impact was significant over the 60 minutes although Lisdowney will rue missed chances in the opening 15 minutes where they failed to make use of the elements.  The game was only 13 seconds old when Richard McEvoy won the breaking ball from the throw in and sent the white flag waving with Eibhan McEvoy following up with a pointed coffee soon after. It took until the 6th minute when Dunne grabbed a pointed free himself with James Walton pointing before Dunne put the sash in front with a converted 65.  Richard McEvoy got two long range frees before Dunne levelled matters with a free of his own. The second quarter was where Tullaroan did the real damage out scoring their opponents 2-3 to 0-4. Willie Cahill got a fine individual point with Liam Walsh responding in kind. Straight from the puck out Dunne broke onto the lose ball before shrugging off a number of challenges to  blast his shot home. The centre forward quickly added a free soon after but the tyros from Lisdowney fought back with points from Richard & Eibhin McEvoy & Charlie Brennan before Dunne snipped one back. Right on the stroke of half time a move involving Eamon Holland & James Walton ended with Cillian Brennan rifling his shot to the bottom right hand to corner to have Tullaroan ahead 2-7 to 0-8 with the use of the wind to come. Burns got Lisdowney off to a great start pointing from 50 metres but the response from the eventual winners was emphatic with Dunne & Charlie Cleere sending the whit flag waving. Killian Dunne pointed before Dunne (2) & Billy Coogan pilfered points whilst Eibhin McEvoy grabbed one of his own. The water break came at a good time for Lisdowney and they regrouped and really battled in the final quarter with Alan Dunphy & Tadgh Blanchfield cutting the difference back to 6 but points soon followed from Dunne, Eamon Holland & James Cash. Richard McEvoy converted a free but Dunne largely lorded the last elements of the game scoring a monster of a point from well inside his own 65 from play which drew gasps of approval from both sides. Eibahan McEvoy did get a goal in the dying embers of the game but it was case of too little too late. Considering it was a Roinn C County Final the standard was very high with a number of players probably on the radar for county selection in the future.   Lisdowney: James McEvoy, Tadgh Phelan, Jamie Thornton, Oisin O’Connor, Harry Kennedy, Richard McEvoy, Alan Dunphy, Killian Dunne, Brandon Brophy, Andrew McEvoy, Willie Cahill, Charlie Brennan, Darragh Burns, Eibhan McEvoy, Daire O’Sullivan. Subs: James Comerford, Séamus MurphyTullaroan: Niall Holland, Josh Tallis, Tom Dillon, Padraig O’Mahony, Paul Muligan, Eamon Holland, James Cash, Bill Walton, Bill Coogan, Charlie Cleere, Gearoid Dunne,Liam Walsh, James Walton, Cillian Brennan, Aaron Russell. Ref: Owen Behan (Fenians) U-15 Roinn B  Dunnamaggin made sure of two final appearances in a week when they won the all south semi final with a fine victory over Piltown 2-14 to 2-6 where Cathal Buckley proved to be the star turn. Bennetsbridge joined them in the final as a repeat of the minor final with a high scoring result over the Rower Inistioge 0-23 to 1-13.  Roinn C Fenians qualified for the U-15 Final with a super win over James Stephens with the result never in doubt it must have surely inspired the intermediate outfit for their big game later on in the week whilst Glenmore were marginally the better side v St Lachtains as they won 3-9 to 1-8.  U-13 A1Young Irelands 2-11
Mooncoin 2 – 7

The U13 team descended upon Ballyhale this morning (Saturday) to contest the Roinn A1 semi-final. Their opponents were Mooncoin. A lot of these  hurlers hadn’t played on the Shamrock sod since playing in the Kitty Aylward tournament three years ago! They hadn’t played Mooncoin since the Go-Games two years ago. However we knew Mooncoin were strong from previous games and they topped their group scoring savage goals and points. The Young Ireland boys NEEDED to be on form, they needed to dig deep, they needed to work ferociously.
The Gowran team got off to a good start with a goal for Billy O’Keeffe after a scramble around the Mooncoin goal. Thomas Langton scored a point from a 45 in the 14th minute giving us a 1-1 cushion at the first water break.
However, these water breaks can cull the flow of a team, and Mooncoin were revved up after their H2O and pep talk, with Robbie Doherty scoring two points in the second quarter. Mooncoin put serious pressure on the Gowran backs, a lot of their efforts were wide but the hazard was real. Thomas Langton scored two points in this quarter; one from a free and his second from the 30 yard line on the car park side. Half time was Young Irelands’ 1-4, Mooncoin 0-2.
Kieran Timmins opened the scoring for Gowran in the second half with a point. Robbie Doherty and Aidan Carroll answered Mooncoin’s call with a point each. But, in the 43rd minute, full forward Billy O’Keeffe rattled the Monncoin net giving Gowran a scoreline of 2-6 to 0-4 and the final waterbreak.
Now, if this game was in Croke Park, and you wanted to avoid the traffic, or go home to milk the cows; you might slip off now thinking Gowran had it in the bag! However, we weren’t in Dublin, nor was it near milking time, so thankfully no one missed the final, frantic, fervid fifteen minutes.
Thomas Langton scored a point after the break. Gowran led by 9 points. Robbie Doherty, the deadly Mooncoin centre forward scored two goals within four minutes. Thomas Langton edged Gowran ahead with a point, only to have Billy Delahunty score two for the Green and Whites. Score 2-8 to 2-6. Robbie Doherty, in the 55th minute scored a point to make it a one point margin. The noise, the tension, the prayers, the heartbeats, the gasps, the thrill was electrifying. Kieran Timmins made a dash up the left side of the pitch, turning centre and sent the sliotar over the bar to extend the margin by two points. Mooncoin responded with a shot in goal that went so narrowly wide, that the referee, John Walsh had to confer with his umpires as the net shook as the ball swept past it. In the 58th minute Thomas Langton won a ball in the half back line and having weaved his up the field he spotted Michael Holland; free and in line for a shot,  Michael scored a point to make it a three point game. To seal it, Aidan Keating struck a point in the final minute to give the Young Irelands a ticket to the Roinn A1 Final against Dunnamaggin.
What a game to watch, both teams were superb! The speed and tenacity was epic.
Well done to both teams.
A special well done to our Young Ireland boys; your teamwork, your defending, your doggedness and your fitness stood you in good steed. And maybe so did the bananas and Jaffa Cakes!

By Mary Morgan Tue 15th Sep

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