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Clean Ireland Recycling Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship Round 2 - Moycarkey-Borris 1-14 Portroe 1-12

posted 16 Jun 2013, 13:40 by Unknown user   [ updated 22 Jun 2013, 16:43 ]
Clean Ireland Recycling Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship Round 2 

Moycarkey-Borris 1-14 Portroe 1-12 

Report by Ed Donnelly 

June 22nd 2013 will go down as a good day in the parish of Moycarkey-Borris among the GAA aficionados. After years in the doldrums, this was the day the blood, thunder and passion of Moycarkey-Borris hurling returned. Afterwards, supporters young and old were giddy at the prospect of not only the victory but the manner of the second half performance in particular when against all the odds and with many mistakes being made, the boys wearing the red and yellow kept going and got their just rewards. 

To the neutral, the fact that the teams combined for more wides than scores will no doubt take away from the spectacle. With a crossfield breeze in Borrisoleigh, shooting was always going to be an issue and so it proved. The teams shared the first four points before Portroe took advantage of some uncertainty in the Moycarkey rearguard to score a goal courtesy of Mark Gennery. Portroe stretched their lead to four points soon afterwards but Moycarkey kept in touch, reducing the deficit to a solitary point on two occasions before retiring at the interval behind by 1-7 to 0-8. A number of the Portroe scores arose from unforced errors in the Moycarkey defence while up front, the forwards were guilty of some bad misses hitting 8 first half wides. Some of these shots were taken from unwise positions and others from situations where the Moycarkey players were unmarked and should have been converted. On the flip side, Portroe goalie Darren Gleeson contributed 4 of his side’s 7 first half wides, all from long range frees when perhaps dropping the ball short would have been a better option. A particular feature of the first half was the more physical play of the Portroe players as they won many of the 50-50 battles for possession, especially in their defence. 

Portroe opened the second half scoring with a quick pointed free before Rory Ryan responded with a point from play. In the 34th minute, Ryan was booked along with the Portroe corner-back but for the Moycarkey player, it was his second yellow card and as a result received his marching orders. As is often the case when a team is down to 14 men, the Moycarkey players to a man raised their efforts to compensate for the numerical advantage which Portroe now enjoyed. Moycarkey dominated possession for the next ten minutes and though they equalised with points from Pat Molloy (free) and the increasingly influential David Sheppard from play, in truth they should have been in front but were guilty of some poor shooting. 

Portroe were struggling to get the ball past half-way at this stage but when John Sheedy scored a point from play in the 44th minute, this gave a lift to the 2012 North champions and within a couple of minutes, further points from Sheedy (free) and John Ryan from play stretched their lead out to three points heading in to the final quarter. Moycarkey introduced Willie Dempsey for Ciaran Clohessy up front and within two minutes, Dempsey gained possession on the right flank. Dempsey’s best option was for a point but he took the chance to take a goalbound shot from 20 metres. The shot took a wicked deflection and with Portroe Darren Gleeson wrong-footed, the ball found the back of the net and suddenly the sides were level. 

With the supporters of both sides now really getting in to what was developing to be a cracking second half of championship fare, Portroe edged in front from the puck out as once again, John Sheedy scored a point from play. Moycarkey’s efforts for an equaliser seemed to have been rewarded when Pat Molloy won a free on the 20 metre line in front of goal. However, instead of taking the equaliser, Willie Dempsey attempted a shot for goal which was blocked by one of the 6 Portroe players on the line and cleared. The decision to go for goal seemed a bad one at the time but it also showed the mindset of the Moycarkey players that after losing at this stage of the Championship for the past 5 seasons, there was a determination that this year would be different. 

That same determination remained in evidence for the Moycarkey team and after some further misses, Willie Dempsey equalised with a point from play followed by a Pat Molloy point to give Moycarkey their first lead of the match with three minutes left on the clock. Portroe tried in vain to get an equaliser before Rory O’Regan added another point from play. There was still time for Willie Dempsey to miss a free to give Moycarkey a three point cushion but it was not to matter as soon afterwards, referee John McCormack blew for full-time and a hard earned victory for Moycarkey-Borris. 

There were many consequences for the victor in this game and this showed in the hard-hitting exchanges. The most important long-term benefit is that Moycarkey-Borris will take part in the Senior A Championship next year while Portroe will take part in Senior B. Aside from that, this was far more important to the Moycarkey-Borris faithful given our poor record in knockout games since returning to the Senior ranks in 2008. A few good wins in the early rounds of the Mid, a couple of Seamus O’Riain Cup successes and some good displays in the League were all over-shadowed by the first round defeats to North Tipperary opposition for five consecutive years. It was crucial that this run be ended and the hunger shown by the Moycarkey players during the second half ensured the correct result here. 

Moycarkey-Borris are far from the finished article. They hit 16 wides over the hour, some from easy positions. Another 4 balls were dropped short while a number of frees were not converted. At the back, the opportunity to clear their lines was replaced at times with attempted short passes and up to half of Portroe’s scores came from situations where a Moycarkey defender was in possession but lost the ball. Once these errors were reduced in the second half, Portroe’s firepower was significantly diminished. Portroe will look to the 13 wides they hit during the game and have their own regrets but most of all, they failed to fully take advantage of having an extra man for 25 minutes and as a result, bowed out of the Championship on a disappointing note. 

Moycarkey-Borris will now play one of the other seven winners of Round 2 which so far includes Toomevara and Borris-Ileigh with five more games yet to be played. If Tipperary are successful in the All-Ireland Qualifiers, this game may not be played for a few weeks when hopefully some of the injuries to our players will be on the mend and strengthen the hand of the selectors as they name their team for Round 3. 

Moycarkey-Borris: James Doran; Eamon Ryan, Paul Dempsey, James Power; David Morris, Niall O’Sullivan, Conor Hayes; Rory O’Regan (0-2), Patrick Carey; Ailbe Power (0-1), David Sheppard (0-1), Pat Molloy (0-6, 0-4 frees); Christopher McCullagh, Rory Ryan (0-2), Ciaran Clohessy (0-1)
Subs: Daniel Kirby for McCullagh (HT), William Dempsey (1-1) for Clohessy (48th minute), Anthony Healy for Ailbe Power (54th minute)