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Thurles Credit Union Mid Tipperary Minor A Hurling Championship Final - Moycarkey-Borris 2-24 Holycross-Ballycahill 1-25

posted 9 Sep 2017, 14:38 by Michelle Donnelly
Thurles Credit Union Mid Tipperary Minor A Hurling Championship Final - Moycarkey-Borris 2-24 Holycross-Ballycahill 1-25 (after extra time)
Report by Ed Donnelly
Moycarkey-Borris captured the Mid Minor A Hurling title for the first time since 2005 courtesy of an extra time victory over Holycross-Ballycahill on Saturday in Templemore.

This was a rip-roaring contest from the start as Moycarkey played the first half with the advantage of the strong wind. With the assistance of the elements, Moycarkey raced in to a seven-point lead with points by Anthony McKelvey (3) and John Kirwan before a long range free from McKelvey dropped in to the danger area with Mark Heffernan quickest to react to raise a green flag. Darragh Woods converted a couple of frees to open Holycross-Ballycahill’s account before further points from McKelvey and Darren Flood restored Moycarkey’s seven-point lead after 11 minutes, 1-6 to 0-2.

Moycarkey lost their way somewhat over the next few minutes as Woods added three further pointed frees to reduce the deficit before Zach Jackson picked up two yellow cards in a minute to reduce Moycarkey to 14 men after 17 minutes of the first half. After 11 minutes without a score, Moycarkey’s Anthony McKelvey saw his goal chance deflected at the expense of a ’65 which the same player pointed to leave Moycarkey in front by 1-7 to 0-5 after 22 minutes. In the remainder of the half, McKelvey and Woods added three points each for their respective teams and on the stroke of half time, Mikey Nally saw his goal chance well saved by Moycarkey goalie Rhys Shelly and the interval arrived with Moycarkey in front by 1-10 to 0-8.

Holycross opened the second half scoring with a Darragh Woods pointed free before Moycarkey won a free in front of goal from the resulting puck-out. As Holycross players retreated on the line, Anthony McKelvey took a quick free to the unmarked Jack Fallon who rattled the net to put Moycarkey in front by 2-10 to 0-9. Woods responded with a point from a sideline cut before two McKelvey frees put Moycarkey in front by eight points.

With a player advantage and the assistance of the strong wind, it was only a matter of time before the Holycross pressure would pay dividends on the scoreboard and so it proved. Over the next 20 minutes of play, Holycross outscored their opponents by 0-7 to 0-1 as Woods (5), Jimmy Ryan and Eanna Ryan added points with the sole response from Moycarkey being an Anthony McKelvey free.

With the deficit reduced to two points (2-13 to 0-17), Moycarkey steadied the ship somewhat with points by McKelvey and Flood to leave their side four points in front with five minutes remaining. Holycross were now pushing hard for the goal to bring them back in to the game but had to settle for points from Mikey Nally and Darragh Woods (free) to leave just two points between the teams heading in to injury time.

All through the second half, balls rained down on the Moycarkey full-back line and were dealt with but in the 61st minute, another long-range shot dropped short and from the ensuing ruck ball, Mikey Nally managed to get a shot in from close range for a goal to put Holycross in front by a point. From the puckout, Holycross won possession again and a long-range shot hit the post and came back out when a point would have sealed the victory. Moycarkey cleared the ball and substitute Diarmuid Maher gained possession and his shot from all of 50 metres in to the teeth of the wind dissected the Holycross posts for the equaliser, the first time the teams were level throughout the game and we were headed to extra time – 2-16 to 1-19.

Moycarkey were now back to 15 players as they won the toss and elected to play with the wind in the first half of extra time. The high rate of scoring continued with the teams sharing six points in six minutes, McKelvey (free) and John Kirwan (2) for Moycarkey while Darragh Woods (3 frees) replied for Holycross. McKelvey would add on two further points for Moycarkey before the interval with a solitary reply from Woods (free) to leave Moycarkey in front by 2-21 to 1-23 at half-time in extra time.

The scoring rates dropped somewhat in the second half of extra time as cramp began to take hold of players on both teams. Moycarkey went two up thanks to John Kirwan’s fourth point from play before Darragh Woods added another pointed free. Moycarkey were now digging deep and managed to win some vital frees, two of which were pointed by Anthony McKelvey to leave three points between the teams. Darragh Woods did get one back in the 79th minute with a pointed free but that would be the final score and after two minutes of injury time, referee Kevin Jordan blew for full-time with Moycarkey winners by two points.

Afterwards, Moycarkey-Borris wing-back Rory Darmody was presented with the man of the match award before Mid Chairman Joe Kennedy presented the cup to Moycarkey-Borris captain Anthony McKelvey. Credit to Darragh Woods of Holycross who amassed 21 points during the game, 18 from frees, 2 from play and a sideline cut. Ultimately, Moycarkey’s higher spread of scorers and their ability to get the second goal proved decisive in the end following a contest where the margin between victory and defeat was razor thin. Moycarkey-Borris: Rhys Shelly; Peter Melbourne, Tom Ryan, Ciaran Kearney; Kevin Hayes, Zach Jackson, Rory Darmody; Bill Maher, Jack Fallon (1-1, 0-1 free); Max Hackett, John Kirwan (0-4), Shane Maher; Mark Heffernan (1-0), Anthony McKelvey (0-16, 0-13 frees), Darren Flood (0-2)
Subs: David O’Donnell, Michael Murphy, Diarmuid Maher (0-1), Jack Hackett