St Canice’s 2-12
The flagship match of the Allianz Cumann na mBunscol hurling league is the Educational Supplies Roinn A final and this year’s contest between St Canice’s and Kilmanagh served up a game of exceptional quality.
The contestants had shown their ability and consistency throughout the league campaign, finishing in first and second place. It was St Canice’s who maintained their 100% record by running out convincing winners.
Kilmanagh won last year’s Roinn B title and had a very convincing win over St Patrick’s in the semi-final. St Canice’s were runners up in the Roinn A football final and were determined to go one better in the hurling decider.
St Canice’s settled into the game quicker than their opponents. This was an important factor as early scores allowed them to play with their normal fluency. St Canice’s had a point on the scoreboard in the third minute when Eoghan Moylan shot a free from inside his own half.
Mark Nolan added two more points from frees and Liam Brennan Smith made it 0-4 to St Canice’s with only seven minutes gone. By contrast Kilmanagh had missed a number of early scoring opportunities and were finding it difficult to get any sort of grip on the game.
In the 11th minute Sean Ryan pointed for Kilmanagh and this gave his team a much needed boost. St Canice’s replied when Johnny Manogue’s quickly taken free found Mark Nolan, who calmly pointed to maintain their four point lead.
Mark added two more points from a 65 and a free to put further distance between the sides. Back came Kilmanagh. When Tommy Ronan won a free in the middle of the field Jesse Roberts duly converted to raise the Kilmanagh cheers. Brian Cleere immediately replied with a point for Canice’s, but Jesse Roberts again pointed a long range free to close the gap again.
St Canice’s had the final score of the half, a wonderful point from Mark Nolan. The teams retired for the interval with Canice’s ahead by 0-9 to 0-3.
Kilmanagh came out in determined mood in the second half. Aaron Brennan pointed in the second minute. St Canice’s were not allowing their opponents any room, however, and Mark Nolan added two more points from frees.
Kilmanagh were trying with all their power to reduce the deficit and moved Jesse Roberts into attack. The move seemed to improve matters and in the 10th minute Jesse went for goal, but his effort was saved by Canice’s ’keeper, David Campion at the expense of a 65.
Brian Cleere added another a point for Canice’s in the 11th minute but Killian Egan replied with a point for Kilmanagh. Jesse Roberts pointed a free to give the Kilmanagh supporters some hope, but it was quickly dashed when Cillian Timmons found Liam Brennan Smith with a pass and Liam finished to the net for Canice’s.
Refused to lie down
Still Kilmanagh refused to lie down and went on the attack, but they could not get the goal they needed thanks to superb defending by the opposition. Jesse Roberts converted a free for Kilmanagh but Sean Boyd put the issue beyond doubt with a goal three minutes from the end.
Kilmanagh came again in search of a goal, but Jesse Roberts’ effort was saved brilliantly by David Campion. In the end there was no denying St Canice’s. They ran out worthy winners.
Their teamwork and all round quality won the day. They can look back on an outstanding year during which they proved to be the number one primary school team in Kilkenny.
Kilmanagh too can hold their heads high. They gave their all and this was a game of the highest quality. Well done to both sides on an excellent game.
Scorers: St Canice’s - Mark Nolan (0-8, 0-6 frees, 0-1 65), Liam Brennan Smith (1-1), Sean Boyd (1-0), Brian Cleere (0-2), Eoghan Moylan (0-1, 65). Kilmanagh - Jesse Roberts (0-4 frees), Aaron Brennan, Killian Egan, Sean Ryan (0-1 each).
St Canice’s - David Campion, Tommy Farrell, Liam Stynes, Kevin Murray, Mark Power, Eoghan Moylan, Philip Obisanya, Mark Nolan (capt), Joe Sheehan, Cillian Timmons, Conor Heary, Liam Brennan Smith, Sean Boyd, Johnny Manogue, Brian Cleere. Subs - Daire Maher, Kevin Walsh, Evan Clarke, Gavin Walsh, Padraig Moylan, Eamonn Morrissey, Richard Duggan, Johnny Collins, Jason Hayes, Kieran Galvin, William O’Sullivan, Bobby O’ Mahony.
Kilmanagh - Stephen Keoghan, Simon O’Dwyer, Jesse Roberts (capt), Ger Doheny, Ciaran Hogan, Tom Dunphy, Luke O’Brien, Aaron Brennan, Tommy Ronan, James Everard, Killian Egan, David Maher, Peter Murphy, Sean Ryan, Adam O’Brien. Subs - Billy Brennan, Finn Lanigan, Alex McCluskey, Daniel Lawlor, Lee Ronan, Alan Wall, Oisin Egan, Luke Cullen, Alan Carroll, Paddy Brennan, Jason O’ Brien, Scott Lawlor, Craig Lawlor.
Referee - Sean Cleere (O’Loughli Gaels).