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North U14 'A' Hurling Final 2012

posted 8 Sept 2012, 13:32 by Unknown user
Newport Gaels edge to first U14 ‘A’ title   
Newport Gaels 2-07
Kilruane McDonaghs 2-04
by Peter Gleeson in Nenagh
A powerful second half display by Newport earned them a well-deserved victory despite a strong finish by Kilruane MacDonaghs in this North Tipperary U14 ‘A’ final on Saturday afternoon.

Despite torrential rain in the preceding days the excellent sod at MacDonagh Park soaked up most of the moisture and provided a fitting venue for these two teams to perform at their optimum.

Not an inch was given by either side in a ferociously contested opening period after which the teams were locked together on a score of 1-2 each. However, fancied Kilruane did not make the most of their significant wind advantage and paid a heavy price for that failing in the second period. Newport re-emerged from the dressing rooms with all guns blazing and opened up a five-point lead. By outscoring their struggling opponents by 1-3 to 0-1 in an eighteenminute period, they set the foundations for a truly merited win. Yet, Kilruane did not go down without a fight – they came storming back to narrow the gap to just two points in injury time. But Newport held their heads and truly deserved their north title. At the outset it didn’t seem as if it was going to end this way as it was Kilruane who set the early pace. Their top player Cian Darcy, who gave a wonderful display in the skill of sideline cutting, had a point from both play and a free on the board before Newport even got going. It took Newport just four minutes to signal their true intentions when Dara Carroll and Cian Flanagan brought their side back on par. Then corner forward Colin Floyd followed up with a well taken goal to put them 1-2 to 0-2 ahead. Kilruane made some fundamental changes to try to counter their opponents zeal, moving their excellent centre back Rory McCarthy to centre forward and their full forward Cian Darcy to the number six position. The move paid dividends as McCarthy was on hand to set up Craig Morgan for a well-taken equalising goal in the 20th minute. After playing with the breeze on their faces, Newport could not have been unhappy with their performance in the opening half. They could have even done better but for the excellent goalkeeping of Kilruane’s Mark O’Neill who saved a rasper from Kealan Floyd in the ninth minute. O’Neill’s skills between the posts were again in evidence just after the restart when he deflected a cannon baller from the superb Colin Floyd for a point. Rory McCarthy replied with a leveling point for Kilruane, but then Newport put in the spurt that won them the contest. Cian Flanagan, who had a fine game at centre field, pointed; Colin Floyd followed up with his second goal and Kealan Floyd converted from a placed ball from the middle of the field. Newport were now leading 2-5 to 1-3. A twenty minute scoreless spell for Kilruane ended when Cian Darcy pointed a free – but it was too late to make a difference. A goal three minutes into injury time by Cian Darcy put a gloss on the final score. But all the time Newport held their nerve and countered with further points from Paul Hogan and the magnificent Kealan Floyd.