County under-21 'B' hurling final
First county hurling title still eludes Fethard
J. K. Brackens 0-16; Fethard 0-15
Fethard's wait for a first adult county hurling title will be extended by at least another year. At a murky Semple Stadium on Sunday, their under-21 'B' team were denied by J. K. Brackens in a pulsating county final that remained in the balance right up to the final whistle.
Leading at the end of a lively and brisk first-half by 0-9 to 0-7, Fethard looked as if they just might add another chapter to the club's illustrious history by pulling off what would have been a notable victory for a club more renowned for the exploits of its footballers.
But in the seconed-half they went off the boil and eventually lost their way against an improving Brackens fifteen, though there would have been few complaints from either side had the match finished in a draw.
Fethard will also reflect with some degree of disappointment upon the ten wides that they shot, eight more than much more economical Brackens.
It will also gall Fethard that they were at least level with their opponents for three-quarters of the contest.
On the theree-quarter mark, an Eamonn Corcoran free gave the Mid chamions the lead for the first time since the second minute, when Aidan Doyle had the game's opening score.
Joe Keane and Conor O'Donnell then' made the opening for Stephen O'Donnell to tie the scores .again.(0-l2 eac,)with twelve minutes to go.
Almost immediately, though, substitute Kevin Ivers restored the Brackens lead, and a wellstruck free from some distance from Eamonn Corcoran, followed by another converted free from the same player, had them three points ahead. entering the final ten mnutes.
Just when it seemed that their spirit had been crushed, back came Fethard again. Substitute Colm Allen struck a badlyneeded score for 'The Bues' nd when their third sub.. Michael Carroll was fouled, yet another replacement player, Joe Keane, who came on for David Flanagan, did thenecessary from the free.
Six minutes remained when Joe Keane levelled the scoref or the fifth and and final time from a lovely move that saw Michael Costello, Stephen O'Donnell and J. P. Looby unlock the Brackens defence.
Fethard failed to keep the momentum that saw them strike those three unanswered points going, however, and Aidna Doyle had the final say with the last score in the final couple of minutes.
It was fitting that the match-winning score should have fallen to the always impressive Doyle, who scored no fewer than seven points from play.
Both sides made the most of the venue's wide open spaces to serve up a tussle that was entertaining from start to finish, despite the abence of.any goals.
Fethard cancelled out Doyle's second minute poiny when J. P. Looby caught Tomás Keane's fre and pointed, after a foul on
They took the lead when Thomas Burke knocked the ball into the path of Conor O'Donnell, although Eamonn Corcoran had Brackens back on terms with an expertly-guided free from the halfway line.
Fethard, who opened with the benefit of a slight breeze, regained the advantage from Ciaran Treacy's free, and then Tomás Keane found the range from another free five yards into the Brackens half, awarded after Aidan Fitzgerald had been tripped.
It was 0-5 to 0-2 after fifteen minutes following another Ciaran Treacy free, but Brackens kept their ambitions alive and they were level by the 20th minute, thanks to two points from play from Aidan Doyle, and an Eamonn Corcoran free.
Fethard, however, were the better team in that opening half. Damian Byrne and Aidan Fitzgerald had started strongly at midfield, while Tomás Keane was a colossus at centre-back.
FETHARD ON TOP
Paul Fitzgerald kept a sound goal, while Michael Burke and Michael Costello were tight in defence. John Paul Looby,. Ciaran Treacy and Declan Maher, meantime, were giving the Brackens defence plenty to think about.
Fethard confirmed that early superiority when a Treacy free put them back into the lead and then John Paul Looby, with a great burst of spped from Aidan Fitzgerald's pass, enabled Declan Maher to make it 07 to 0-5.
Eamonn Corcoran kept Brackens in touch with another long-range free but then Fethard had one of the scores of the game when Stephen O'Donnell made a great catch to feed Ciaran Treacy, and his pass was duly dispatched between the posts by Thomas Burke.
The half had nearly ended when Tomás Keane fired over a great free from around halway, when J. P. Looby was fouled.
But there was still time for Eamonn Corcoran to respond in similar fashion.
Brackens opened the second-half scoring through an EamonnnCorcoran free, whenPhonsie Deegan was impeded. But Fethard, with five players (Paul Fitzgerald, Stephen O'Donnell, Tomás Keane, Damian Byrne and John Paul Looby) who had appeared at some stage of the Munster club football final against Castlehaven the previous week, soon took up where they had left off.
J. P. Looby made a marvellous solo raid down the left wing to scire, and then David Flanagan had them three points ahead from Declan Maher's pass. That was the spur, though, that the Templemore/ Clonmore combo' needed to take the game by the scruff of the neck. Aidan Doyle and Eamonn Corcoran (free) set the ball rolling, and then Doyle shot the equaliser 11 minutes into the secondhalf.
Fethard 'keeper PauJ Fitzgerald did well tc gather from Michael Cahill, with Adrain Moynihan challenging, but at the other end their forwards were still piling up the wides.
The South champs went fifteen minutes of the second-half without ascore, though when they did sort themselves out again they still had the opportunities to at least draw level.
This victory will be some comfort for Brackens aftei their defeat by Arravale Rovers in the county intemediate final.
Apart from Aidan Doyle and Eamon Corcoran, whc were both outstanding, they had valuable contributions from Aidan Ivers, Kevin Muiryan, Michael Cahill and Paddy Kirwan.
Fethard: Paul Fitzgerald. Alan O'Meara, Michael Burke, John Kelly. Stephen O'Donnell 0-1, Tomás Keane 0-2 (frees), Michael Costello, Aidan Fitzgerald, Damian Byrne, John Paul Loob y 0-2, Thomas Burke, 0-1, Ciaran Treacy 0-3 (frees), Conor O'Donnell 01, Declan Maher 0-1 and David Flanagan 0-I.
Substitutes: Coim Allen 0-1 for Alan O'Meara, Joe Keane 0-2 (one free) for David Flanagan and Michael Carroll for Ciaran Treacy.
J. K. Brackens: David Bourke, Aidan Bourke, Kevin Muiryan, Aidan Ivers, Paul Doyle, Eamonn Corcoran 0-8 (frees), Adrian Moynihan, Brendan Guidera, Richard Grimes, Michael Grimes, Phonsie Deegan, Paddy Kirwan, Aidan Doyle 0-7, Michael Cahill and Benny Fogarty.
Substitute: Kevin Ivers 01, for Adrian Moynihan.
Referee: Johnny McDonnell.
Fethard Open Coursing Club
J.F O'Sullivan Memorial Cup
On Sunday, 28th December, we stage our big day the J.F. O'Sullivan Memorial Cup Stake with J. O'Connell and M. Grimes officiating as judge and slipper.
This is the club's main attraction of the year and the chairman, Arthur Daly, says they would be grateful for all the help they could get on that day with beating and flanking duties, etc.
All members and followers are requested to assemble in the town car park at 9 o'clock that morning. First brace in slips at 9.30 am.
Fethard Open Coursing Club
On Sunday, December 1st the club had its first outing of the season with the staging of the Looby Cup stake and after some great coursing Michael Flanagan's 'Seldom Fed' beat Pat McCormack's 'For The Pound' in an exciting final.
All members are asked to attend a meeting on Friday, December 12th in the Tirry Centre at 8.30 pm.
They are also requested to be at the carpark on Saturday, December 13th at 10.30 am for a hare drive.
Hogan Musical Society:
Rehearsals for the Hogan Musical Society's 1998 production, "Magic Moment," will commence in the Abymill on January 5th, at 8pm. New members welcome.
The Society promote a sponsored walk on Sunday January 28th, starting point the town hail at 230pm. Sponsorship cards from any committee member.