Windgap Junior Hurlers brought their large band of supporters through every emotional peak when they won their fourth Southern title in excellent conditions in Piltown on Sunday. Coming from a mile behind in the second half they continued their comeback kid story of late as they turned a ten point deficit into a six point victory. After playing reasonably well throughout the first half the amount of scores that had leaked in, meant not a saint or sinner could be found on the bank that could forecast the eventual outcome as they retired 3-8 to 0-8 behind. After the sides resumed and Mullinavat added another point to stretch the lead to double scores, all believed the clubs first Southern title victory over the Mullinavat men in 1970 was about to be reversed. On that famous day as Mullinavat treasurer Jim Conway recalled, one man played a major role in Mullinavats downfall when Windgaps intercounty player Kieran Purcell buried a twenty one yard free and then went back on goal at the other end to save another. In the end the final score of 2-13 to 1-13 made club history that saw the side go on to the senior grade. In that classic game between two teams that had household names, the result saw both sides score more than ten points excluding goals for the first time since the final was held in 1910. On Sunday Phillip Lonergan with gallant assistance from minor player William Phelan played the same match winning role as he pulled his men through the first half and then took the game by the scruff of the neck in the second to lead his side to victory. Having started at centre forward well away from his traditional berth on the half back line he ended up as the sides full forward and also top scorer. . As the sides momentum increased all hands came on deck as his brothers Tommy and Conor now at fullback were joined by corner men Aidan Mackey and Vincent Landy, Gerard Purcell in the middle and Paraic Walsh up front whilst keeper Niall Walsh made a crucial save from county minor John Walsh late in the game. A major feature of the sides display was the effect of halftime substitute Darragh O’Shea attacking play from his defensive role and scoring forwards James Murray and Stephen Purcell. For the full match report see Barrie Henriques story in the Sports Pages.
After the game the joint winning captains Conor Lonergan and James Murray received the Canon Kearns Cup and plaque for winning the clubs fourth title from Southern Board officials Pat Dunphy and Paul Long. The win follows the other titles that saw the breakthrough against Mullinavat in 1970 and the side overcome John Lockes in 1986 and Piltown in 2001. In his acceptance speech Conor complimented everyone one and noted the great change of form for the side form where “they couldn’t buy a win in July”.
For one and all after a brief celebration the graft resumes for the first round championship tie verses Cloneen club who took the league spoils a year ago on Saturday next in St Johns Park. In a clash of interests Phillip the headmaster in Clogh coached the school side to their first schools county title after four attempts in twenty three years in Nowlan Park recently.
Sundays final marked another first, as a video of the game that started with the comeback run was recorded and is now available thanks to Noel Smith with all of the other local news and photos on the local website windgap.ie
Niall Walsh and Peter Hennessey both wore the county jerseys when they were part of the Development Squads Finals on Saturday. In the under sixteen tournament Kilkenny with Niall Walsh lining out in all games Kilkenny won the Tipperary Supporters Club Tournament for the first time since 2005 when they defeated Tipperary in the Final. On the way they ahead accounted for Limerick, Offaly, Wexford and then Waterford in the semi-final. Meanwhile in Mallow Peter Hennessey was a member of the Kilkenny under seventeen’s who reached the Final after defeating Cork “B” and Galway before they lost out to Cork.
Tullahought Community Centre was the venue for a lecture on Political Exiles from Ireland post the 1848 Rebellion given by Dr. Willie Nolan as part of Heritage weekend on Saturday evening. The large gathering heard him outline how the Young Irelander’s came to Ballingarry and found great support among the people. The subsequent failure of the rebellion saw the leaders being imprisoned or deported and those who escaped being forced to seek exile in foreign lands. Dr. Nolan spoke at length of the plight of one exile, John O’Mahony, his part in the American Civil War and the failed attempt of the Fenians to fight the British on Canadian soil. Although O’Mahony personally lost a great deal in his support of the rebellion, being exiled and suffering financially his legacy and that of his comrades was to provide a great incentive for future generations fighting for Irish Freedom. In a very interesting lecture Dr. Nolan described the actions of the rebels in the locality where the RUC barracks in the Slatequarries and Glenbower were put under siege.
STARS OF THE FUTURE
Hurling and Camogie players from three counties gathered in Tullahought Sportsfield to play in the annual heritage weekend games on a beautiful Sunday morning. They included hurler’s representing Ballyneal who are in the Tipperary County final having beaten Holycross and Fethard recently and camogie players from St. Mollerans who line out in amalgamation with Clonea in the Waterford championships. On the day the visiting sides played the locals in under twelve games. In the games the players displayed great skills and many will certainly go on to represent their clubs counties in the years ahead.
The Windgap hurling side was Paraic Foley, Laura Foley, Eoin O’Brien, Mark McCoy, Sean Purcell, Mika Bujuis, Jack Doyle, Sean Dunne , Conor Foley, Sean Barron, Roisin Foley, Robert Culleton, Mikilas Little. They were managed by their mentors Denis Foley and Dunne.
The Ballyneal side was Leon Kenneally, Conor Murphy, Luke Sheehan, Tommy Hanlon, Brendon Brannock, Michael Lyons, Tom Brett, Jason Daly, Ben Comerford, David/Jason Needham, Evan Hanson, Michael Needham, Ray Daly, and Richie Lyons.
In the camogie The Windgap side under their trainers Joan O’Gorman, Judith and Shamie Phelan were Ciara Smith, Roisin Foley, Laura Foley, Leah Murray, Jade O’Gorman, Tara Hayes, Jessica Enright, Sarah Doherty, Lucy White, Emily Culleton, Emer Dunphy, Alice Monaghan, Ella Dunne, Amy O’Shea, Cliodhna O’Shea, Sarah Davis. The Saint Mollerans camogie side under coaches Gerome O’Shea and Martin Tobin was Elaine O’Connor, Aisling Grennan, Emer Walsh, Aoife Tobin, Clodagh Reade, Aoife Fleming, Emma Davis, Abby Davis, Lorrain O’Shea, Caoimhe O’Shea, and Emma Joy. They were joined by the Waterford Boards County Development Officer and former Carrick Davins goalkeeper Séan Fleming. The occasion marked the first use of the prefab clubrooms purchased recently with plans already being made for next year with Pat Moore adding stanchions for the nets for next years games. On the day the games were refereed by Seamus Power and Pat Foley on the sloping pitch that was in excellent condition thanks to the work of Simon Brophy and Michael Micklas of the local hurling club and Richard Walsh, Michael Grace and Shem Power. On the day the medals were presented by Club President Dan Phelan and Jimmy Walsh and the refreshments for all were provided by John Delaney of the Slatequarries.
CAMOGIE COUNTY FINAL
In the under fourteen county final played in Kilmanagh on Saturday the side went down after a great game to St. Lachtains. The trainers of the side were Pat Foley, Tony Dunphy and Alison Walsh.
This Weeks Winning Numbers were 2, 6, 25, 26 and bonus number 22. Next weeks Prize fund is €7,750. A recent winner was Kathleen Doyle.
JUNIOR B SEMI
In a repeat of the game at Junior B level when Windgap had a win over John Lockes at Junior level the sides attracted a fine attendance when they contest the Southern semi-final in Hugginstown on Tuesday evening. After going 0-4 to 0-0 behind a rally with two points by Tommy Lonergan and William Phelan gave the side a strong position. However another period of Callan dominance saw Windgap 1-8 to 0-3 behind. AS the game progressed the side short Development Squads players goalkeeper Niall Walsh and injured half forward Peter Hennessey began to dominate play and add scores. Entering the final part of the game the scores on the scoreboard moved closer as John Lockes 2-11 to 2-4 lead was eroded point by point to 2-11 to 2-8 as Windgaps gallant comeback eventually ran out of time.
The marking of the winning of the first bronze Tidy Towns medal in Tullahought takes place at the cross in Tullahought on Friday evening at 7pm. The annual result for this year will be announced in the Helix on Monday next at midday.
Windgap Hurling and Camogie Clubs are asking you to collect Lucozade sport or sport live bottle caps in order to get some free training gear, kits or equipment for the local clubs. All will be greatly appreciated in the collection bag in clubrooms or they can be given to local committee members.
Brother and sister Darragh and Caoimhe O’Shea were the winners of provincial titles recently when Caoimhe partnered Aoife Walsh and Darragh O’Shea partnered Mark Dowling to their respective under fifteen girls and under seventeen boys recently. They now move on to the All Ireland semi finals.
CAMOGIE ALL IRELAND
The local club are running a bus to Croke park to support the Kilkenny side that play Galway for the O’Duffy Cup in the All Ireland Final and also to support local players Deniese Gaule and Niamh Bambrick. To book a seat contact any committee member.
Thanks are again expressed to the many people who supplied material to this weeks notes and have helped to record the ongoing activities of the community. Contributors and Clubs are invited to email items for publication with a name and contact number to email@example.com by Sunday evenings at 6pm.