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North Senior Football Final 2012

posted 12 Oct 2012, 13:54 by Unknown user
MacDonaghs survive Kenyon's rally
North Senior Football Final
Thomas McDonaghs 0-15
Fr. John Kenyons 0-10
Report by Liam Hogan in Dolla

A dominant first half saw Thomas MacDonaghs claim their sixth North Tipperary senior football title when they defeated Fr John Kenyons in a free flowing contest last Sunday afternoon.
The holders played their best football in the first half, especially in the second quarter as they went on to take a 0-10 to 0-3 half time lead. Their lead might have been greater but for some poor shooting in the opening ten minutes when the champions were very much on top.
Once the second half began MacDonaghs were met by a more determined challenge from Kenyon's. Bit by bit the champions had to withstand good John Kenyon's pressure as the lead was whittled back but time ran out.
The latest clash between the two divisional sides produced the closest contest since the 2008 decider when MacDonaghs won by a similar five-point margin. Times have changed since that evening as MacDonaghs now have a bigger journey to travel with the defence of the county title before them. Last Sunday's challenge indicated where they stand and based on this latest performance, there is a bit of work to be done yet. They were full of running with Fergal Hayes, Niall O'Meara and Padraig O'Meara keeping a firm grip at half back while Liam England and George Hannigan linked up well especially in the opening half.
It took a while for the front sextet to match their dominance with scores slow in coming in the opening quarter. Eventually, Shane Dooley, Aaron Ryan and Joe Gallagher began to find their way. Both Philip Austin and Rory Whelan got through a major amount of work as did Andrew Austin.
The positives and negatives were shared equally but Joe Gallagher's display stands out. The Kildangan man scored three fine points and worked tirelessly for the team.
This was Father John Kenyon's sixth North final defeat since their formation but they have upped their performance this year which included a narrow defeat to Cahir in the county senior championship in controversial circumstances with key forward Brian Quinn missing this game through suspenion.
Their defence worked overtime with John Foley, Dermot O'Halloran and Donagh Maher refusing to give in. Odhran Floyd was a shining example of how a player should lead the fight. Ross McGrath was another major cog in the Kenyon wheel but the duo needed more support from the remainder of the attack.
Aaron Ryan had the games opening point after one minute. MacDonaghs were well on top but failure to find the target left them another six minutes before they would double their lead when Gallagher pointed.
The wides total increased to six by the ninth minute while at the other end, it would take another four minutes for Kenyon's first shot on goal when Mark McKenna's effort came back of the upright. From there, Kenyon's began to find their feet and Colm O'Brien was on target in the 17th minute.
Working the ball upfield, Philip Austin won possession before pointing. His brother, Andrew - who had just replaced the injured Alan Hannigan - burst into the game and won a free which allowed Philip to point again.
In full flow, MacDonaghs pressed harder on the throttle as Aaron Ryan added a point followed by a brace from Shane Dooley and Rory Whelan.
Poor options and sloppy clearances put Kenyons in difficulty but eventually the challengers worked the ball upfield before corner forward John Sheedy scored.
It wasn't long before Kenyon's were on the march again when Colm O'Brien forced Jim McDonnell to a great save. The danger remained with O'Brien having a second chance before his shot deflected off a defender for a 45. Nothing accrued and instead, the champion's raced forward with Rory Whelan and Joe Gallagher extending their lead.
Kenyons hit back when Michael Sheedy got his fist to the end of a David Fogarty high delivery for a point and when approaching half time, corner back Ruairí Gleeson broke forward to score, leaving seven points separating the teams at the interval. Both sides left their shooting boots in the dressing rooms as both sides kicked five wides in total throughout the opening seven minutes of the half. Kenyon's had kicked the majority but Odhran Floyd made amends with a good score after 38 minutes. MacDonaghs regrouped but George Hannigan and Philip Austin failed in their attempt to increase their sides lead but there was no denying Joe Gallagher who made it 0-11 to 0-4. Helped by the selfless work by Odhran Floyd and Ross McGrath with the fresh legs of Colm Gleeson and Paul Ryan, Kenyon's began to match their opponents score for score as the game entered the final quarter. Mark McKenna first reduced the margin with a free. Shane Dooley replied in the 47th minute before Mark McKenna gathered two more frees.
MacDonaghs were under pressure but in the 52nd minute, they broke away for a Philip Austin free after Gallagher was fouled on route. Yet, Kenyon's found the courage to respond and were rewarded with further points from McKenna (free) and a Donagh Maher score from play.
MacDonaghs needed scores and sub Keith McMahon managed to point seconds after his arrival on the scene. However Ross McGrath reduced the margin to four for the second time as the game reached the 60th minute.

On entering injury time, the level of anticipation increased as Kenyon's sought one final chink in the champions' armour. But it was not to be. MacDonaghs had the men to maintain their lead and following another laboured passing movement they came up field for Aaron Ryan to score. The five point lead looked safe but Kenyons tried one more time only to see Michael Sheedy hit the butt of the upright before the ball drifted wide.
Match Digest
Man of the Match: Joe Gallagher (Thomas MacDonaghs)

Scorers - MacDonaghs: Joe Gallagher, Aaron Ryan 0-3 each; Philip Austin 0-3, 2 frees; Shane Dooley, Rory Whelan 0-2 each; Ruairí Gleeson, Andrew Austin, Keith McMahon 0-1 each.
Kenyons: Mark McKenna 0-3 frees; John Sheedy 0-2; Michael Sheedy, Colm O'Brien, Odhran Floyd, Donagh Maher, Ross McGrath 0-1 each.

Thomas MacDonaghs: Jim McDonnell (Inane Rovers 8); Ruairi Gleeson (Kildangan 7), David Buckley (Inane Rovers 7), Joe Carroll (Inane Rovers 7); Fergal Hayes (Kildangan 8), Niall O'Meara (Kilruane MacDonaghs 8), Padraig O'Meara (Shannon Rovers 8); George Hannigan (Shannon Rovers 8), Liam England (Inane Rovers 8); Joe Gallagher (Kildangan 9), Philip Austin (Borrisokane 7), Alan Hannigan (Shannon Rovers 6); Aaron Ryan (Inane Rovers 8), Rory Whelan (Kildangan 7), Shane Dooley (Borrisokane 7).
SUBS: Andrew Austin (Borrisokane 8) for A Hannigan (16 inj); Keith McMahon (Inane Rovers 7) for Whelan (57); Martin Minehan (Kildangan NR) for Carroll (59); Declan Barrett (Kilruane MacDonaghs NR) for P Austin (60); Peter McSherry (Borrisokane) for P O'Meara (60).

Father John Kenyon's: Martin McKeogh (Ballina 7); John Ryan (Ballinahinch 7), John Foley (Ballinahinch 7), Dermot O'Halloran (Portroe 7); David Fogarty (Burgess 7), Donagh Maher (Burgess 7), Odhran Floyd (Newport 9); Darragh King (Ballina 6), Shane O'Brien (Ballina 6); Michael Sheedy (Portroe 7), Ross McGrath (Newport 8), Justin Conroy (Portroe 6): John Sheedy (Portroe 6), Colm O'Brien (Burgess 6), Mark McKenna (Nenagh Eire Óg 6).
SUBS: Colm Gleeson (Portroe 7) for King (36); Paul Ryan (Newport 7) for Conroy (45); Robbie Cremin (Burgess) for J Sheedy (52).
Referee: Tom McGrath (Loughmore/Castleiney).