THIS junior ‘A’ hurling championship county final in Bennettsbridge on Sunday noon time was a very well contested encounter, and the nice crowd got good value for their money.
Tullaroan were worthy winners. In truth it would have to be said that the influence of the squad members with senior experience was central to them collecting the trophy.
They had a gut-wrenching – for the Rower-Inistioge lads - when after two minutes a long free by Jimmy Coogan was flicked to the Rower net by snappy corner-forward, Tom Fitzgerald. By the midway period of the half, the losers had barrelled their way back into the contest with some excellent points by Mark Moore and Danny Cottrell.
However, the quality of players like Jimmy Coogan and Ned Sweeney helped keep the Tullaroan noses in front and by half-time they led by 1-7 to 0-9.
As in the first half, the snappy opening Tullaroan surge afforded them an extra five point addition to their half time advantage, with points by Jimmy Coogan (three frees) and Eamonn Brennan (two points). The game was swinging towards the Northerners.
The growing dominence of Bill Simpson and Conor Kenny at midfield was a big plus. Jimmy Coogan and Ned Sweeney were excellent up front, while the full-forward line of Eamonn Brennan, Tom Fitzgerald and Ned Sweeney gave plenty of trouble to their Rower opponents.
But for Davy Murphy in the Rower goal, it is quite conceivable that the score against could have been more. As it was, the result was a true reflection of the game.
Besides Murphy, George Allen, Neil Lyng, David Dunphy, Pauric Grace and Conor Lyng played a solid hour for their club.
Scorers: Tullaroan: Jimmy Coogan (0-9, eight frees); Tom Fitzgerald (1-1); Ned Sweeney (0-4); Eamonn Brennan (0-2); Richie Maher, Ned Campion (0-1 each). Rower-Inistioge - Daniel Cottrell (0-6, frees); Pauric Grace (0-3); Mark Moore (0-2); Conor Lyng, Robert Grace (0-1 each).
Tullaroan - Richie Holland, Shane Cuddihy, Podge Kennedy, Jimmy Cleere, Alan Carter, Paul Glennon, Richie Maher, Bill Simpson, Conor Kenny, Peter walsh, Jimmy Coogan, Josh Moore, Ned Sweeney, Eamonn Brennan, Tom Fitzgerald. Subs - Eddie Campion, Sam Holmes.
Rower-Inistioge - Davy Murphy, George Allen, James Roche, Toby Kavanagh, Paul Flood, PJ. Wilmot, Neil Lyng, Paudie Fleming, Mark Moore, Michael White, Pauric Grace, David Dunphy, Daniel Cottrell, Conor Lyng, Robbie Grace. Subs - Luke Tennyson, Richie Ryan.
Referee - Richard Dowling (Kilmacow).