Junior Hurling Championship Final
Sean Tracey’s 1-15 Cuchulainns 0-10
Cuchulainns stuck to their task well and held on to the shirt tails of Sean Tracey’s for as long as they could but the class of free taker and top scorer Danny Magee (who finished with a personal tally of 1-12) shone through and the Lurgan side stretched into an eight point lead by the time the referee called for the ball.
Two early Danny Magee points sent Sean Tracey’s ahead after three minutes as the Lurgan side controlled the early exchanges. Anthony Carville added another for the men in maroon and white from a free well inside his own half with his team now three ahead after 10 minutes of action.
Cuchulainns narrowed the gap to the minimum of margins with two long range Ruairi McGrattan points bringing them back into the game. Sean Tracey’s kept their noses in front with Magee again the man leading from the front, hitting a further two points (both frees) to add to his ever growing tally.
Tommy Turley pulled one back for Cuchulainns from a placed ball and a great save from Liam Moen saw Sean Tracey’s denied the chance to stretch further in front. McGrattan once again struck a free from long range just before the refereeing blew the short whistle with Sean Tracey’s narrowly ahead, 0-5 to 0-4.
Magee’s scoring streak continued with three points (two frees) in the first seven minutes of the second period to put Sean Tracey’s four points ahead. Wing half forward David Ryan pulled one back for Cuchulainns but Sean Tracey’s continued to demonstrate their superiority with Magee (2) and Tiarnan McKavanagh raising white flags, the latter coming after a Cuchulainns penalty call was denied by the man in the middle.
Tommy Turley pointed while a long range shot from Shane Morgan found the target as Cuchulainns tried to drag themselves back into the game, with four points splitting the teams with eight minutes left. Two more Magee points were matched by Cuchulainns free taker Turley before Joe McKeever’s score fired Sean Tracey’s into a five point lead with the game now heading towards injury time.
Danny Magee’s attempt to play the ball across the face of goal lobbed over the keepers head and trickled over the goal line to confirm victory while Magee added another point before Ruairi McGrattan struck the final score of the game with Sean Tracey’s lifting the trophy after 60 plus minutes of action.
Sean Tracey’s: Declan Maher, Barry McDonald, Canice McCavanagh, Ryan Sands, Ciaran McCann, Anthony Carville (0-1), Neil Corey, Reece Magee, Rory Shine, Michael Doran, Joe McKeever (0-1), Tiarnan McKavanagh (0-1), Danny Magee (1-12), Raymond Daly, Patrick Lyness. Subs: Kyle Magee for P. Lyness, Patrick Scullion for R. Daly, Matthew Leathem for T. McKavanagh, Gabriel Basara for R. Magee.
Cuchulainns: Liam Moen, Dermot Hicks, Eoghan Gribben, Sean Murphy, Padraig Foy, Ruairi McGrattan (0-4), Michael McCullagh, Joseph Quigley, Daniel Rafferty, Cormac Moen, Shane Morgan (0-1), David Ryan (0-1), Thomas Turley (0-4), Sean Clifford, Ben Devlin. Subs: Paul McKernan for S. Clifford, Darragh Murphy for C. Moen, Conor Coulter for B. Devlin, Seamus Muldoon for S. Murphy.
Senior Hurling Championship Final
Middletown 2-17 Keady 1-13
Although the score line shows just seven points separating the sides the truth is the game was over long before the final whistle sounded. Two Martin Moen goals gave Middletown a stranglehold on the game while their dominance around the middle third saw Keady struggle to get into the game from the very start.
Keady opened the scoring after just 56 seconds with Conor McAnallen forcing a turnover in his own attack before swinging the ball between the posts. Keady wouldn’t score for a further 18 minutes however as Middletown began to overrun their opponents with the Keady defence really struggling with the physical strength and power of the Middletown attack.
David Carvill levelled the game three minutes in before Middletown went ahead when Martin Moan gathered possession, rounded his marker and struck low to the net to give Middletown the perfect start. Carvill doubled his tally with another free while Dean Gaffney raised a white flag straight from the resulting puck out.
Nathan Curry drove over another point while Gaffney and Carvill extended the Middletown lead. A high ball to the square by Dean Gaffney was tapped down by his brother Ryan to the waiting Martin Moan who hit his side’s 8th score in a row, giving his team a nine point advantage, 1-7 to 0-1.
Middletown’s intensity and pace began to dip after the 20 minute mark and Keady hit back with a Paul Green 65 followed by a Stephen Renaghan score to leave the gap at seven. Another Paul Green score split points from David Carvill (free) and Paddy McBride while Green was again on target from the dead ball.
Middletown’s final score of the half drew a huge roar from their cheerful followers as Ryan Gaffney won a Keady sideline cut and fired the ball straight over the bar to drive the Middletown men into an eight point half time lead with the scoreboard reading Middletown 1-10 Keady 0-5.
The situation did improve slightly at the beginning of the half for Keady after Nathan Curry’s opener was followed by a Stephen Renaghan score before a Paul Green brace brought Keady back to within six of the leaders. Martin Moan almost got his second goal when a superb Joby Burke save denied the corner forward a three-pointer while Ryan Gaffney tapped the ball over from the ricocheted shot.
Moan only had to wait a further 60 seconds before he was through on goal once again and this time Burke was helpless as Moan found the net for the second time in the game while following it up with his second point to put Middletown 11 points ahead of Keady ten minutes after the interval.
Green and Carvill traded frees for the next 20 minutes with neither team hitting the target from play until the 33rd minute of the second period. Green knocked over five frees which were evenly split by four Carvill points before Keady hit the net for the first time of the game but the result was beyond doubt by that stage.
A brilliant diving save from Fintan Woods kept the ball out of the goals but Tiarnan O’Neill was on hand to slip the ball to the net from the rebound to bring the game to an end with Middletown the superior all evening long and full deserving of their 2-17 to 1-13 victory.
Middletown: Fintan Woods, Kieran McKernan, Shea Gaffney, Ordhan Curry, Padraig Lappin, Nathan Curry (0-2), Pauric Hughes, Paddy McBride (0-1), Tiernan Nevin, David Carvill (0-6), Dean Gaffney (0-2), Mark McClatchey, Martin Moan (2-2), Ryan Gaffney (0-2), Liam Woods. Subs: Martin Maguire for M. McClatchey, Shaun Toal for L. Woods, Paul Gaffney for M. Moan, Chris McCann for P. McBride.
Keady: Joby Burke, Liam McKee, Dylan McKenna, Barry Breen, Conor Renaghan, James King, Oisin Keenan, Stephen Renaghan (0-2), Conor Corvan, Caoimhin Rafferty, Paul Green (0-10), Odhran Fullerton, Tiarnan O’Neill (1-0), John Corvan, Connor McAnallen (0-1). Subs: Michael McDermott for C. Renaghan, Fionntan Donnelly for C. Rafferty, Paul McCormack for O. Fullerton.