Walsh and Dunphy goals were vital

Much of this All County junior hurling league game was played in the area of the field in Mullinavat bounded by the respective 40-metre lines. At times it seemed that scores would be a big ask from both sets of forwards, given the dominance of the defenders. In the end Mullinavat beat Dunnamaggin by 2-11 to 1-9, writes Barrie Henriques.

Much of this All County junior hurling league game was played in the area of the field in Mullinavat bounded by the respective 40-metre lines. At times it seemed that scores would be a big ask from both sets of forwards, given the dominance of the defenders. In the end Mullinavat beat Dunnamaggin by 2-11 to 1-9, writes Barrie Henriques.

In the final analysis, two goals by young John Walsh and Davy Murphy within three minutes of each other proved the eventual difference between the sides. Walsh’s goal arrived in the second minute, while Murphy’s slammer really tore the initial enthusiasm from the bones of the Dunnamaggan resolve The losers were playing against the stiff breeze in that frantic first half, and with the exception of the two early goals, they defended quite comfortably, well marshalled by Peter Kenneally at centre-back and young Paul Kirwan on his left. Behind him, William Hughes was also very imposing on the edge of his own square.

For Mullinavat, Patrick Raftice and Brian Phelan shaded the superiority stakes in the middle of the park, while behind this duo, Ger Anthony, flanked by Liam Murphy and Robbie Malone provided a huge impediment to the progress of good ball to the Dunnamaggan forwards. Having said that, the winners only managed to add three points to their early goals, despite being favoured by the elements. With considered justification one sensed that even though Dunnamaggan looked somewhat inferior to the opposing crew, one felt that with the climatic aid on the turn, they stood more than a decent chance of getting over the winning line in front.

At half-time the scoreboard read, Mullinavat 2-3, Dunnamaggan 0-5. By the 40th minute there was a goal between the sides. By the 47th minute, a doughty Mullinavat had put some two goals of clear water between them and the Dunna lads. Some strenuous defending by Derek Aylward, Richie Raftice and Darren Kenneally was a very effective deterrent to the marauding Dunnamaggan forwards, whose final ball was often their nemesis. At the opposite end the rare chances created by the winners were well cashed in at every moment of presentation. Paddy Raftice was unerring from frees. Joe Gahan never flinched from challenges. Young John Walsh and the wholehearted Pat Mulhearn worked their socks off.

In a nutshell, the early goals were the boulders on which the gallant ship Dunnamaggan foundered. They tried with honour and courage, but their fate was sealed early, and despite their best effort, their rewards were sealed with those two back-breaking major scores.

Scorers: Mullinavat - John Walsh (1-2, one pointed free); Paddy Raftice (0-5, three frees); Davy Murphy (1-0); Joe Gahan (0-2); Pat Mulhearn, Michael Jones (0-1 each). Dunnamaggan - J.J. Dunphy (1-1); Paddy Delaney (0-4, frees); Anthony Kearney (0-2); Eoin Kearney, Andrew Fitzpatrick (0-1 each).

Mullinavat - Paddy Jones, Derek Aylward, Richie Raftice, Darren Kenneally, Robbie Malone, Ger Anthony, Liam Murphy, Paddy Raftice, Brian Phelan, Joe Gahan, Pat Mulhearn, Michael Jones, John Walsh, Mossy Murphy, Davy Murphy. Subs - Conor Duggan, Kieran Boyle.

Dunnamaggan - Ray Cody, Tommy O’Brien, William Hughes, Conor Long, William Moylan, Peter Kenneally, Paul Kirwan, Paddy Delaney, Aaron Doherty, William Bergin, JJ.Dunphy, Andrew Fitzpatrick, Eoin Kearney, Anthony Kearney, Andrew O’Neill. Subs - Andrew Kenneally, Jason Doherty.

Referee - Eddie Crowley (Mooncoin).

Piltown spring a surprise

Piltown1-22

Mooncoin0-12

This All County junior hurling clash in Mooncoin produced a surprising result from a number of different vistas. For one, it would be expected that the home side, given the quality of their team, might have won, or at worst, given the visitors more than a little trouble.

When one considers that the home side were still in with a fighting chance, being in arrears by a mere four points, having played against the Arctic breeze, was one reason why such expectation would have been permissible. The fact that the winners lost a man for a transgression after 37 minutes would compound the expectation.

However, it was the winning combination that responded manfully, and with tremendous determination in the face of such adversity to dish out what can only be described as a bit of a trimming to a lack-lustre Mooncoin outfit.

At half-time Piltown led by 1-9 to 0-8.

Their goal was a rather fortuitous one, given that it came compliments of a long Philly Kenny delivery, which landed in the Mooncoin square. As defenders confused each other, and the goalkeeper, the ball slipped into the net. The sides were evenly matched up to that with some good points being captured by Piltown’s Nicky Kenny, James Norris, Martin Power, and Robbie Culleton. Norris was particularly accurate from placed balls throughout.

With the score still at a manageable demand (Piltown 1-11, Mooncoin 0-11), Piltown suffered a numerical reduction in manpower, and it seemed that this was the springboard to propel the lethargic home side to victory.

But an eight-point unanswered salvo from the bullish Piltown scuppered the Mooncoin ambition, and the black and amber lads sailed back home with a victory that they absolutely deserved.

Philly Kenny, Martin Power, Robbie Culleton, Nollaig Brophy, and James Norris clattered home the 13 point second half haul.

Scorers: Piltown - James Norris (0-11, nine frees); Philly Kenny (1-2): Martin Power (0-4); Nicky Kenny, Nollaig Brophy (0-2 each); Robbie Culleton (0-1). Mooncoin - Ethan Ryan (0-4, frees); Richie Doyle (0-3); JP.Purcell (0-2), Niall Madden, David Kearns, Steven Crowley (0-1 each).

Piltown - David Burchill, Michael Dwyer, Shane Kinsella, Pa Connolly, Brendan Norris, Kevin Walsh, Neil Kelly, Philly Kenny, Nicky Kenny, David Kinsella, Nollaig Brophy, James Norris, Martin Power, Robbie Culleton, Richie Phelan. Subs - Tom Kenny, Adam Murphy, Dean Brophy.

Mooncoin - Eamonn Purcell, Tom Healy, Eoin Crowley, Ian Dunphy, David Kearns, Shane Walsh, Shane Walsh (B), Niall Madden, Ethan Ryan, Richie Doyle, Tom Hennebery, Niall O’Hanlon, Steven Crowley, Liam Walsh, J.P. Purcell. Subs - Mark O’Sullivan, Sean Wall, Jamie McGrath, Johnny Phelan.

Referee - R. Dowling (Kilmacow).

No comfort for ’Lockes

Tullaroan2-10

John Lockes0-11

There was little in this All County JHL game to give comfort to John Lockes (Callan) followers, whose favourites were soundly beaten by a better outfit over a tortuous hour in cold Tullaroan on Saturday.

Relegated from the intermediate ranks in 2012, hopes of a quick return looked a long way off as Callan struggled, and were never allowed to get to grips with the game.

Of course, their problem, which has been their bed-partner for many moons is their inability to score goals. They don’t lack for courage, enthusiasm, or pride, but bagging major scores has been problematic for years.

The losers led with a fine point by their outstanding predator, Shane Bergin after three minutes. It took them 16 more minutes to grab their second score, a free by Simon Burke. In the meantime, Tullaroan ripped into the ’Lockes and registered 1-3 without reply in the same time frame.

Their lively wing forward grabbed a goal in the 12th minute. He had already troubled the scorekeeper when registering a point in the 7th minute. Two grand frees by Tom Fitzgerald swelled the Tullaroan coffers in the 10th and 13th minutes.

A necklace of three points by the Callan lads between the 16th and 20th minutes gave them encouragement, before Fitzgerald again with two more frees doubled the Tullaroan advantage by the 26th minute. Simon Burke matched Fitzgerald’s efforts just before the break to send the sides in, with Tullaroan leading by 1-5 to 0-6.

A poorer half of hurling would be difficult to remember.

Again Tullaroan were the more dominent during a moderate second period. Callan fired on just a few guns throughout a half that the home side threatened to run away with. But for the Herculean efforts of Shane Bergin, the situation would have been graver.

He coursed every blade of grass in his half to dig out advantage, get a score, or prevent a clearance. Pity that his enthusiasm didn’t ally itself to others around him.

For Tullaroan, Paddy Campion, David Walsh, Richie Butler, evergreen Joe Norton, Mark Simpson, John Maher and Tom Fitzgerald were impressive. Shane Bergin stood yards above any other on the Callan side. Jason Corcoran couldn’t have done more, and Josh Haines, Simon Burke, and Jack McDowell contributed flashes of their capabilities.

Scorers: Tullaroan - Tom Fitzgerald (0-6, frees); Mark Simpson (1-2); John Maher (1-1); Bill Simpson (0-1). John Lockes - Simon Burke (0-5, frees); Shane Bergin (0-3); Bill McCormack (0-2, one free); Josh Haines (0-1).

Tullaroan - Gavin Joyce, David Walsh, Paddy Campion, Eoin Brennan, Ger Luby, Richie Butler, Bill Simpson, John Moore, Joe Norton, Brendan Cahill, Mark Simpson, John Maher, Davy Cleere, Shane Hennessy, Tom Fitzgerald.

John Lockes - Sean Bryan, Liam Kennedy, Jack McDowell, Owen Fahy, Paddy Kennedy, Jason Corcoran, Jim Power, Simon Burke, Matthew Houlihan, Shane Bergin, Bill McCormack, Josh Haines, Mark Shelly, James Power, Ger Shelly. Subs - James Macken, Niall Hennessy, Brian McCann.

Referee - Sean Brennan.

The mighty ’Rangers gun down opposition

Mount Leinster Rangers0-16

Windgap2-9

It wasn’t the greatest game of hurling ever. Still, the closeness of the encounter in Windgap (it certainly earned its Irish name, Bearna na Gaoithe) on Saturday kept the interest of the gathered few uneasy right to the end.

The bigger, fitter, better hurling Carlow contingent looked as if they could win with something to spare whenever they decided to do so. They were first to dropping ball. Their reaction times were way ahead of their hosts. They hunted in packs, and still seemed to have plenty of bodies available to do the digging and shovelling.

If all of these observations are correct, then why were the ’Rangers struggling to hang on at the death? In simple terms, I just cannot fathom that, even hours after the event.

Could it be that Windgap were better than I am giving them credit for? Maybe!

But for whatever the reason, the home side never bent the knee, or fired in any colour of towel. But have we not come to expect that from Windgap teams over the years?

Of course we have!

In Shane Walsh, Peter Landy and Vinny Landy they have the new breed of Windgap hurler. Not stylish. No pretentiousness. No overvaluation of their own abilities. But they are Windgap, and that is what matters. I use them as a reference of what I am saying.

Playing with the breeze in the first half, Windgap tried so hard to get clear water. But it was the visitors who looked the more competent. Their half backs of Diarmuid Byrne, Brian Nolan and William Hickey were immovable objects, and hugely confident. At midfield Pauric Nolan and Richie Kelly shaded the affair with Philly Lonergan and Cian Ryan. Ryan’s free-taking was excellent.

Only a point divided the sides at the break with the advantage lying in the Windgap half. They would need much more, or so it seemed. The second half did not pan out quite to script.

Windgap hung on to the shirt tails of the Carlow men, who clawed their way to a four-point lead by the 59th minute. They looked home and hosed.

However - you guessed it.

Windgap being Windgap drove into the final moments with gusto. A breaking ball on the edge of the ’Ranger’s square was lashed to the net by Paul Walsh. The puck-out was returned, and again, with the ball in the bombing zone, Philly Lonergan flicked it goal wards. A draw roared the few hardy annuals. Confusion!

Referee, Pat Hayes, who had a real good look at it, decided that the ball had taken the distemper off the upright - on the outside. Great finish! Poor game.!

Mount Leinster Rangers know all about Windgap resolve.

Scorers: Mount Leinster Rangers - Paul Cody (0-10, nine frees); Derek Byrne (0-3); Denis Murphy (0-2, one free); John Cody (0-1). Windgap - Cian Ryan (1-6. pen goal); Paul Walsh (1-0); James Murray (0-2); Tommy Fleming (0-1).

Mount Leinster Rangers - Frank Foley, Michael Doyle, Garry Doyle, Ger Kelly, Diarmuid Byrne, Brian Nolan, William Hickey, Pauric Nolan, Richie Kelly, Paul Cody, David Phelan, John Cody, jack Murphy, Michael O’Grady, Derek Byrne. Subs - James Hickey, Denis Murphy, David Grennan, Seamus Kelly.

Windgap - Michael Power, William Phelan, Peter Landy, Shane Walsh, Vinny Landy, Ger Purcell, Sean Foley, Philly Lonergan, Cian Ryan, Peter Hennessy, Matt Enright, Tommy Fleming, Aidan Mackey, James Murray, Paul Walsh. Subs - Eoin Cody, Garry Lyons.

The ’Lockes had the

appetite for work

John Lockes1-13

Mullinavat1-7

This was a shockingly poor game, where fitness levels, skill levels and concentration levels left much to be desired in the junior B hurling league. However, one has to give credit to a make-shift Callan outfit, who eventually woke up to the realisation that a win was a distinct possibility and went after it with gusto.

What was lacking in the realms of skill and so on was more than compensated for with energy output. Admittedly, it was not a high octane product for all contestants, all of the way, more a give all for as long as the batteries lasted. In that regard, the John Lockes lads were on the winning curve, once they grabbed their second point, which incidentally didn’t arrive until the 18th minute. Prior to that, the losers looked the more likely as a goal by Richie Cunningham in the 9th minute, seemed to settle the home side into their groove.

The first half ended all square, with Mullinavat registering scores from John Reid and Pat Mulhearn to add to Cunningham’s and Murphy efforts, while James Power (0-5, one free) and Josh Haines quarried the Callan scores. Mullinavat 1-3, John Lockes 0-6.

Eamonn Maher shot Mullinavat to the fore after two minutes of the new half, but Power equalised shortly afterwards. Then John Lockes took over the ball game, precipitated by a great J.J. Corrigan goal in the 33rd minute. Mullinavat didn’t help their own cause when they had a player sent to the line for a straight red card offence. Points by Bill McCormack, Power, Haines, Brian McCann and Mark Nolan helped the cause, while the home side offered only a token resistance.

A good opener for the Callan lads.

Scorers: John Lockes - James Power (0-6, two frees); J.J. Corrigan (1-0); Bill McCormack (0-2, one ’65, one free); Josh Haines (0-2); Jim Power, Brian McCann, Mark Nolan (0-1 each). Mullinavat - Richie Cunningham (1-0); John Walsh (0-2); David Murphy, Pat Mulhearn, John Reid, Eamon Maher, P. Boyle (0-1 each).

John Lockes - Sean Bryan, David Phelan, Michael Roche, Liam Kennedy, Dan Doheny, Bill McCormack, Derek Halley, Eoin Fahy, Jim Power, Josh Haines, Mark Nolan, Brian McCann, JJ.Corrigan, James Power, Martin O’Connell. Subs - Alan Bergin, Brian Hartley.

Mullinavat - Paddy Jones, Mossy Jones, Derek Aylward, Ryan Bland, Brian Power, Brian Phelan, Mark Jones, John Walsh, John Reid, Pat Mulhearn, Eamon Maher, David Murphy, Richie Cunningham, Jim McDonald, Jim Holden.

Winners made the best of good breaks

Windgap2-9

Carrigeen0-10

This was a typical season opener in the South junior ‘B’ hurling league. Both sides were experimenting, testing the waters and shaking off the dust. They were evenly balanced, and it could be ventured that two goals in the first half, probably settled the eventual result.

As early as the second minute a long delivery landed in the Carrigeen goal area, and as the defence dithered, young Paul Walsh was in to slip the ball to the back of Jim Power’s net. That was not the kind of start that the Carrigeen men anticipated, nor needed. From there until the 30th minute the game was finely balanced, if you ignore the goal. Both sides went toe to toe, swapped points, but further disaster struck for Carrigeen just on the break when Kieran Power, the Windgap left half forward, drove a rasper towards the Carrigeen goal.

Jim Power, the Carrigeen custodian was up to the shot, and saved well, but the ball bounced loose, and full-forward, James Murray slipped it home. Having performed with commendable prowess, this was a score that Carrigeen certainly didn’t need as they retired to their dressing room.

The second half again was a shootout between the Windgap shooters, notably, Murray, P.J. Barron and Ger Purcell, and Carrigeen’s right half forward, John Cooney, who bagged all their second half points (5) from frees.

Windgap had good performers in Shane Walsh, Dara O’Shea, Ger Purcell, Peter Hennessy and James Murray. Carrageen were well served by reliable corner-back, Hillary Delahunty, Liam Roche, Cathal O’Keeffe, and of course John Cooney.

The better team won, and that in hurling parlance is the only thing that mattered to the Windgap club.

Scorers: Windgap - Peter Hennessy (0-5, four frees); James Murray (1-2); Paul Walsh (1-0); PJ.Barron (0-10; Ger Purcell (0-1, free). Carrigeen - John Cooney (0-9, frees); Marcus Dunlea (0-1).

Windgap - Michael Power, Pa Moore, Shane Walsh, Darren Walsh, Dara O’Shea, Ger Purcell, Garry Lyons, William Phelan, Danial Cassin, Peter Hennessy, PJ.Barron, Kieran Power, Paul Walsh, James Murray, Paul Comerford. Subs - Niall Walsh, Seamie Hennessy, Ed Cunningham, Brendan Power.

Carrageen - James Power, Andy O’Brien, Richie O’Brien, Hillary Delahunty, Liam Roche, Steven Blackmore, Chris O’Hanlon, Cathal O’Keeffe, Brian Gallagher, John Cooney, Jamie Carroll, Eoin Byrne, Sean Purcell, Fintan Dermody, Marcus Dunlea. Subs - Niall Gallagher, David Byrne, Steven Jacob.

Referee - Pat Hayes (Graig Ballycallan).

Graig’s cuteness decisive

Graignamanagh0-12

Carrickshock0-8

Graignamanagh proved a little too clever for hard trying Carrickshock in their home patch down on the banks of the Barrow on Good Friday in this South JH ‘B’ league tie. It was not the nicest day, but conditions, though bitterly cold, didn’t seem to bother either side as they went about the business of grabbing their opening win.

The teams were fairly evenly matched, but neither side could lay claim to the fact that their shooting prowess created any semblance of consistency for the coming season. Both sides were so flagrantly wide with their shooting, that one wag was heard to ask: “Is someone moving the goalposts?”

At half time, Graignamanagh led by 0-7 to 0-4, and deserved to do so.

Pauric Whelan grabbed four points of the seven, three from placed balls. Seamus Kavanagh, Dane Mangan and substitute, Mickie Dunne fired over the other three. Carrickshock can thank Kevin Farrell (2), Ciaran Roche and Seanie Gibbons for their first half haul.The game was a typical first of year outing, with plenty of mistakes, and poor skill. Doubtless there will be a marked improvement as the season fans out.

The second half was evenly contested, with Graignamanagh relying on points from Mickie Dunne (2), Pauric Whelan (two, one free) and Jamie McGrath to get them over the line in front. Seanie Gibbons, Matt Hanrahan, Ciaran O’Neill and Kevin Farrell (free) registered the Carrickshock second half effort.

For Graignamanagh, Kevin Canning, Sean O’Brien, Adam Kennedy and Jamie McGrath played best, while Ciaran Holden, Paul Barron, Luke Gaule, Seanie Gibbons, Kevin Farrell, Matt Hanrahan, and sub, Clieve Cuddihy were best.

Scorers: Graignamanagh - Pauric Whelan (0-6, five frees); Mickie Dunne (0-2); Seamus Kavanagh, Dane Mangan, Adam Kennedy, Jamie McGrath (0-1 each). Carrickshock - Kevin Farrell (0-3, one free); Seanie Gibbons (0-2); Ciaran Roche, Matt Hanrahan, Ciaran o’Neill (0-1 each).

Graignamanagh - Dave Kavanagh, James Sheehy, Jim O’Donnell, Liam Hearne, Kevin Canning, Sean O’Brien, Nick O’Donnell, Thomas O’Donnell, Adam Kennedy, Jamie McGrath, Pauric Whelan, Dane Mangan, Seamus Kavanagh, Michael Bolger, James McCabe. Subs - Jamie Cullen, Michael Dunne, John Flood.

Carrickshock - Aaron Roche, Garry Fitzpatrick, Ciaran Holden, Edward Power, Paul Barron, Luke Gaule, Pat Foran, Eamonn Power, Aaron O’Neill, Sean Gibbons, Kieran Roche, Kevin Farrell, Ger Power, Matt Hanrahan, James Dalton. Sub (- Clieve Cuddihy.

Referee - John Walsh (Rower Inistioge).

The Rower looked a fair outfit

Rower Inistioge1-17

Thomastown1-9

There was plenty of good entertainment in Thomastown on Good Friday in this South JH ‘A’ league clash which the Rower Inistioge deservedly won against a home side that never surrendered. The wind would scythe the ears, as both sides strove valiantly for superiority.

Playing with the breeze, the Rower, thanks to the consistency of midfielders Dean Kehoe and Paudie Fleming fired plenty of ammunition forward to the likes of Tom Murphy, Conor Lyng, Pauric Tierney and J.J. Kenny. Very little of it was wasted. It insured they turned the half-time bend ahead by five valuable points.Thomastown, in particular full back, Colin Clarke resisted with courage and determination, but Clarke, Dara McGarry and James Burke were too few in numbered impressionists to hold the rampant Rower.

In the second half it was the Rower forwards who did the business, never allowing the Thomastown fellows to get closer than three points, and that for only a period of six minutes. Again the same players were conspicuous for the winners, even against the breeze, and again it was Clarke - who had a mighty game - McGarry on at least three occasions, Burke, Challenor and up front O’Hanrahan and Robbie Donnelly who presented the only resistance.

The stout-hearted Nicky Kenny added a point, and it was game, set, and match to the red and greens.

Scorers: Rower-Inistioge - Tom Murphy (1-2); Pauric Tierney (0-5, three frees); JJ.Kenny (0-5, two frees); Dean Kehoe (0-2); Michael Cody, Paddy Ryan, Paudie Fleming (0-1 each). Thomastown - Podge Caulfield (0-4, two frees); Robbie Donnelly (1-0); Andy Walsh (0-2); Luke Blanchfield, John Fitzgerald, Paul Barron (0-1 each).

Rower-Inistioge - Shane Foskin, John Murphy, Nicky Kenny, Neil Lyng, Tadhg Leany, Sean Grace, Tom Whelan, Dean Kehoe, Paudie Fleming, Paddy Ryan, J.J. Kenny, Tom Murphy, Michael Cody, Conor Lyng, Pauric Tierney. Subs - Michael McDonald, Paul Grace, Dean Aspel, Robbie Muldoon.

Thomastown - Dara McGarry, Fergal Challenor, Colin Clarke, Kieran Treacy, Luke Blanchfield, Garry Lehane, James Burke, Andy Walsh, Neil O’Meara, Podge Caulfield, James Hoyne, Robbie Donnelly, John Fitzgerald, James Hanrahan, Paul Barroe. Subs - Jamie O’Hara, John Barron, Colin Corrway, Bobby Walsh.