The final action in the Allianz Cumann na mBunscol hurling season saw Thomastown take on Castlecomer in the Toymaster Roinn B hurling final. Both sides had come into the final having topped their groups in the league stages, but Thomastown were favourites having won the Corn De Bhaldraithe trophy.
The final scoreline does not do justice to the gallant efforts of a determined Castlecomer side which took the game to their opponents at every opportunity. Just like the Roinn A, final this was a fine game of high skill and it was keenly contested with every score hard earned.
Castlecomer began in fine fashion and their direct play was great to watch. Cathal Holland got their first score with a pointed free in the third minute. Thomastown were slow to get going and it took until the 10th minute before they got on the scoreboard.
Steven Wemyss, who was to have a major influence on the game, got their first point. Castlecomer replied immediately with a point from John Dowd after good pressure from the forwards prevented the Thomastown defence from clearing the ball.
Colm Whelan levelled the match with a pointed free but Castlecomer were back in front again when James Brennan made a great catch in midfield and scored a brilliant point. Thomastown then struck a vital score when Steven Wemyss gained possession 40 metres from goal, soloed in and buried the ball in the net.
Colm Whelan added another goal within a minute and Thomastown were now in command. Ross Connolly replied with a fine point for Castlecomer, but Thomastown hit back with a pointed free from Steven Donnelly.
Back came Castlecomer and when Ross Connolly was fouled going through he pointed the free to reduce the deficit. Steven Donnelly scored an excellent point for Thomastown but Castlecomer were still taking the game to their opponents and it took an excellent save from Diarmuid Galway in the Thomastown goal to deny Ross Connolly right on the stroke of half time.
Half-time score: Thomastown 2-4, Castlecomer 0-5.
Thomastown started the second half brightly and added two points early on through Colm Whelan and Steven Donnelly. Castlecomer stormed forward in search of a goal and again Diarmuid Galway kept them out with a brilliant save from James Brennan.
In the driving seat
Ross Connolly pointed a free for Castlecomer but Steven Wemyss again found the net to put Thomastown firmly in the driving seat. Cathal Holland scored an excellent point from a free for Castleomer but Thomastown hit back with points from Rory Monks and Steven Wemyss.
Castlecomer never gave up and made another determined attack but this time the post denied them. Try as they might there was no way through for the ’Comer boys and Thomastown ran out deserving winners. Castlecomer can be proud of their efforts. They were beaten by an outstanding Thomastown team who won their fourth title of the year. After many near misses in recent years they completed a remarkable double double of league and cup victories in hurling and football.
Thomastown - Diarmuid Galway, Michael Murphy, Brian Staunton, David Walsh, Eddie Donnelly, Ned Kirwin (capt), David Griffin, Steven Donnelly, Joseph Conlon, Rory Monks, Colm Whelan, Jack Holden, Jack Barcoe, David Barron, Stephen Wemyss. Subs - Conor Kearney, Ben Challoner, Shane Maher, Conor McDermott, Robbie Nagle, Philip Somers, Thomas Collier, Cian McCormack, Jack Cahill, James Delahunty, Conor O’Donoghue, Liam Mooney, Jack Kerins.
Castlecomer - Nicky Connolly, Jack Buggy, Conor McMahon, James Buggy, Christopher Korff, James Brennan, Cathal Holland (Capt.), John Dowd, Conor Clarke, Kevin Brennan, Ross Connolly, David Ferris, Dan Coogan, Declan Buggy, Billy O’Neill. Subs - Joseph Hickson, Alan Mullally, Michael Coogan, Peter Carroll, Jamie O’Shea, Jack Dowling, Conor Normoyle, Dara Coughlan, Donal Coughlan, Killian Hogan, Jamie Maher, Keelan Ring, Thomas Judge.
Referee - Paschal Connolly.