ART & MODEL MAKING
The county final of the Art & Model Making competition will take place in Fethard Ballroom this coming Saturday April 3rd, commencing at 1pm sharp. Please be in attendance at 12.30pm to enter. Winner of each category will qualify for National Finals next August.
Here we have photographs of the qualifiers, who were announced on Monday 29th March, from St. Patrick's Boys School (top), Nano Nagle Primary School (centre) and Killusty National School (below).
FETHARD & KILLUSTY LONDON REUNION
This years Fethard & Killusty London Reunion will take place on Saturday 26th June at St. Anthony’s Parish Centre, Garratt Road, Edgware, Middlesex, HA8 9AN, from 6.30pm ‘til late! Buffet food will be available, with music from 8pm onwards and all are welcome.
Now is the time to start booking those cheap flights (for €1 depending on the day) and while you’re at it, why not make a weekend of it in London and enjoy some shopping.
Cover charge on the night to help defray expenses is: adults £10.00, and children £7.00 and tickets available in advance or at the door. Further details from Paul Looby, Tel: 0044 (0)1276 459080 or cheap flights
For your information only (not a recommendation): the nearest Tube is: Edgware; the nearest hotel (directly opposite): Premier Lodge, 435 Burnt Oak Broadway. Edgware, Middlesex, HA8 5AQ. firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 0044 (0)870 9906522. Room rate is £58.00 per room per night. There are other hotels also nearby.
This year, it would be nice to see a lot more visitors from Fethard making a special effort and coming to the reunion.
GMT changes to Summer Time on Sunday next, March 28th. Do not forget to put your clocks forwards one hour on Saturday night.
KILLUSTY WORK HARD TO SECURE POINTS
Killusty 2, St Nicholas 0
St. Nicholas’s Philip Doherty and Killusty’s Jamie McCormack.
A good win here for or Killusty but St Nicholas made them battle all the way. The home team started off really well and put the visitors under pressure but St. Nicholas battled back and brought themselves back into the game. In fact the real feature of this game was that Killusty are an extremely hardworking side and any team that is going to master them will have to match them in this regard.
St. Nicholas’s Aidan Riordan and Killusty’s Jimmy O’Meara.
Killusty got the breakthrough on 55 minutes when after good work down the left the ball was crossed into the middle and Jim O'Meara was on hand to score to make it 1-0. Killusty really upped the ante in the early stages of the second half but the visitors to their credit kept their composure and played their way back into the game.
Killusty’s Michael Quinlan and St. Nicholas’s Pat Russell.
On 65 minutes Alan Phelan picked up a ball outside the visitors box, strode forward and fired a great shot to the visitors net to put the home team two up. Saints kept on battling to the very end but Killusty held on for the points.
KILLUSTY NOTES (from South Tipp Today)
Community Games Art
Well done to the boys and girls of Killusty National School on their excellent drawings and paintings in the area finals of Community Games. At the moment entries are been judged and we will be announcing award winners shortly. Finalists will represent the Fethard & Killusty area in the County Finals in Fethard on 3rd April with the winners of this County Final going through to represent Tipperary in the National Finals in Mosney in the summer.
Community Games Soccer
Well done also to the great interest shown by our under-12 and under-13 boys who are training hard for the upcoming County Finals. Our under-12 soccer game against Mullinahone will be played before 12th April (date to be fixed). Our under-13 boys play their indoor soccer game on Thursday evening, 15th April, in Rockwell College. We play Powerstown/Lisronagh in our opening game.
Killusty Junior Soccer
Our local junior soccer team played host to St. Nicholas last Sunday in Killusty and came away with a win on a 2-0 scoreline. Both goals coming in the last ten minutes. This was an important win for Killusty as they try to capture the 1st Division title. At the moment they top the 1st Division League table.
Killusty Community Alert
At a recent meeting the following were elected officers for coming year. Chairperson: Mrs Butler, Secretary: Bernard Feery, Treasurer: Ann Kenny. Committee: Ann Darcy and Mary Houlihan. Killusty Community Alert is now in existence for 13 years. Currently eighteen elderly people are catered for with security devices, including telephone monitoring systems. We also have a number of new clients on our books for security systems and we are currently making enquiries for more grant assistance to cater for these people. At our recent meeting we expressed our thanks and praise for one of our founder members Mairead O’Toole to whom we would like to express our kindest regards and wish her best wishes in her retirement from the Garda.
A new Community Alert sign has been erected on the Clonmel Road leading into Killusty Village. We trust that all these signs are treated with respect as they were purchased with good faith to cater for residents of the area.
Monsignor Christopher Lee
It was with great sadness that we learnt recently of the death of Monsignor Christopher Lee. While his death was met with great sadness throughout the County and beyond, the people of Fethard and Killusty will remember him with great affection. He spent a total of 19 years in the Parish of Fethard and Killusty, as curate from 1942 to 1947 and as Parish Priest and Canon from 1960 to 1974. He retired in 1988 and celebrated his Diamond Jubilee in 1995. He would have been 93 this Friday March 26th. May he Rest in Peace.
JACKPOT BACK OVER €5,500
The numbers drawn in the Fethard & Killusty Community Lotto on Tuesday 23rd March were: 2, 7, 17 and 24. There was no Jackpot winner, and four "Match 3" winners who received €40 each:
Kitty McCarthy, Main Street, Fethard
John Hanrahan, Rathcoole, Fethard
Phil Tobin, Fr. Tirry Park, Fethard
Liam O'Fionnusa, Canon Hayes Court, Fethard
Lucky dip winners of €50 each were:
Sam Manton, Main Street, Fethard
Esther Breen, Barrack Street, Fethard
Josephine Boland, Rathkenny, Drangan
Next weeks Jackpot is €5,600. Jackpot sellers prize €420.
Fethard Ladies Group has now formed have called their Monday morning club, ‘Time Out’. Interested ladies are welcome to come along on any Monday morning from 10.30am to 12 noon to the Abymill Theatre. At the moment Self Awareness and Assertiveness Classes are in progress. They also have educational, but fun discussions, tea, coffee and biscuits. In May it is planned to hold some talks on Women’s Health.
Evening classes are now being set up and if anyone is interested, please contact, Veronica Crowe, Vocational Education Committee, The Mall, Clonmel. Tel: 052 21067. All ages welcome to day or evening classes.
A local nature lover was none too pleased to observe a pair of mink at Rathcoole Sand Pits recently. The flooded pits have become a well-known wild life sanctuary. A large number of water foul are in constant residence and these are annually augmented by hundreds of winter visitors. The sand pit is also one of the very few inland breeding sites of at least one species of seagull.
The mink, if they become established in the area, play havoc with the bid life, especially during the breeding season. Adult birds, eggs and chicks are all considered fair game by these deadly predators.
CYCLE TRIP TO LOURDES
Local Presentation Sister and keen cyclist, Sr Betty Cagney, St. Bernard's Group Homes, is currently in training for a 600 mile Cycle trip from Dinard to Lourdes, to raise funds for the Irish Handicapped Children’s Pilgrimage Trust (IHCPT). Since the early 1980s many children have benefited from this Trust, with approximately five to ten local children travelling to Lourdes each year for a week’s pilgrimage. The cyclists will cycle six hundred miles over a period of seven days. Each cyclist has to raise a minimum of £2,000. Cyclists pay their own fare and expenses so all monies raised goes directly to IHCPT to support the local pilgrimage.
This year, Sr Betty will be joined by locals, photographed above at the launch in St. Kieran's College, Kilkenny. L to R: Stephanie Keating, Sr. Betty Cagney, Bridget Fitzpatrick, Bobby Power and Sean Kelly from Carrick-on-Suir, and local Garda John Lonergan. These will join a larger group of 80 cyclists who will travel together, leaving Shannon for Dinard in the North of France on Saturday 3rd April and cycle from there to Lourdes arriving, with a bit of luck along the way, on Good Friday.
Sr Betty and her companions are actively fundraising at present and would be grateful for any financial support small or large. The IHCPT is a registered charity and therefore any company making a donation is entitled to tax relief.
NOVENA VERY POPULAR
The Fethard Parish Church Novena has had great attendances every night since it commenced on Monday 22nd March with Mass celebrated by Monsignor Olden, Tramore. Monsignor Olden gave a very encouraging and positive sermon on ‘Religion and The People’, focusing on all the good spiritual feeling that exists today amidst the current social and religious troubles that have surfaced over the past few years. The very interesting programme of sermons will continue until Tuesday 30th March and be delivered by a different guest speaker each night, commencing each evening at 7.30pm. The following is a list of the remaining visiting priests and the themes of their respective sermons:
Thursday 25th : Rev. J. Egan, Lattin & Cullen ‘Christian Marriage & Family Values’.
Friday 26th: Rev. Seamus Ryan, Walkinstown, Dublin.
Saturday 27th: Rev. Joe Walsh, Thurles ‘Young People & Christian Principles’.
Sunday 28th: Rev. Joe Egan, Boherlahan ‘Death and its Christian Meaning’.
Monday 29th: Rev. T. J. Breen, Holycross ‘Forgiveness & Penitential Service’.
Tuesday 30th: Rev. G. Horan, The Abbey. Fethard.
COMMUNITY GAMES JUVENILE QUIZ
The County Final of the under/14 Juvenile Quiz will take place in the Park Avenue Hotel, Thurles, on this coming Friday, March 26th at 8pm. Teams should try and be present to register by 7.30pm. Enquiries to Bernard Feery Tel: 052 31023.
Juvenile training has begun for ladies under/14 and under/16 football. We would like to see more players attending training. Training will be held from this Saturday, March 27th in the Fethard Community Sportsfield at 2pm.
Sincere sympathy is extended to Michael Whelan, Canon Hayes Court, on the death in Liverpool of his nephew, Kevin Whelan, whose father was formerly of Farranshea, Fethard.
ST. RITA'S CAMOGIE CLUB
The Camogie Club held a table quiz in Grants Bar on Tuesday, 16th March and it proved a great success. We would like to thank all those involved for their help on the night and also to thank the participants for supporting us.
Training will take place on Wednesday nights at 7pm, all players to attend as league matches are expected to begin shortly.
FETHARD BRIDGE CLUB
The results for Wednesday 17th March 2004 are:
1st Gross: Carmel Condon and Brendan Kenny
2nd Gross: Betty Walsh and Brigid Gorey
1st Nett: Frances Burke and Breda Walsh
2nd Nett: David O’Meara and Tony Hanrahan
On Wednesday next 31st March we will be playing for Easter Prizes.
Anyone looking for a partner contact Annie O’Brien Tel: 052 31862.
Due to the very inclement weather, the fishing season on the Clashawley and Anner rivers got off to a rather disastrous start. The few hardy anglers who braved the elements hardly caught a trout between them.
However, in fishing as in all sports, hope springs eternal. Good days are no doubt coming, but, as Moleskin Joe said, “Will we live to see them.”
FETHARD GAA CLUB
Senior Football County league continues on next Sunday with a game against Galtee Rovers which will be played in Fethard at 4.00pm.
Our Lotto Jackpot of €3,500 was not won and we had one match three winner of €150, Bob Fitzgerald (O’Connell Street, Clonmel). The €50 Lucky Dip winner was: Antoine Denmead (Rathkeevan, Clonmel). The numbers drawn at Lonergans Tavern were 1, 3, 5 and 21.
The clubs sympathy is at this time with the family of Monsignor Lee (Aherlow) who for many years was a great supporter of the Fethard GAA teams, having spent two terms in the parish. He had the honour of launching the Club History Book (1884/1984) in 1988. Go Ndeanai Trocaire ar an ainm.
THIS WEEK'S - 'PIC OF THE PAST'
If you have an old photograph of interest to our readers why not www.premierlodge.com and we will include it on next week's 'Pic of the Past.
This photograph was taken on the 2nd June 1966 of a Tipperary group on pilgrimage to Lourdes. Included are many Fethard people, including a young Mary O'Connell from Lower Main Street in front.
TEACHER AND PUPIL HONOURED
A special prizegiving ceremony in honour of pupil Marian Ryan, Ballymacarbry, and her teacher Mrs Mary O’Connell, Fethard, took place at the Presentation Convent, Clonmel, on March 16th.
Marian Ryan was winner of the All-Ireland history gold medal, obtaining the highest marks in history in Ireland in the 2003 Leaving Certificate Examination.
This was also a special honour for teacher Mrs Mary O’Connell, as a former pupil of hers, Nicola Britton, Fethard, won the same award in 1995.
The presentation was made by Mr Peter Gallagher, president of the History Teachers Association of Ireland.
FETHARD DAY CARE CENTRE
The annual general meeting of Fethard & District Day Care Centre took place in the Tirry Community Centre on Thursday night, 18th March, and the following officers and committee were elected: Thelma Griffith (chairperson), Jimmy Connolly (vice-chairperson), Carmel Rice (secretary), Liam Hayes (treasurer). Committee members: Megan Sceats, Joe Kenny, Phil Whyte, Nelly Donovan, Marie Murphy and Brian O’Donnell. Also in attendance were Cllr John Fahey, Geraldine McCarthy (supervisor Fethard and District Day Care Centre) and Joan O’Donohoe (supervisor Fethard Community Employment Scheme).
The Day Care Centre reported a large increase in services over the past twelve months and acknowledged the tremendous support received from the South Eastern Health Board who contributed €42,577 towards the running of the centre in 2003. The overall cost of running the Day Care Centre for the past year was €83,017, which includes, a wages and salaries bill of €25,985, and a food bill of €26,363. Additional income is raised by contributions received for daily lunches etc and by various fundraising events organised by the committee.
A special thanks was expressed to all the volunteers who help at the centre every day and to the musicians and entertainers who give freely of their time and generate so much happiness for our senior citizens.
If you would like to help and get involved in the daily running of the Day Care Centre, please contact any member of the committee or Joan O’Donohoe at the Community Office. Tel: 052 31000.
Tipperary Foxhounds will hold their annual Point-to-Point at Cappamurra, Dundrum, on this coming Sunday 28th March. They also promote their annual Hunter Trials at Kedrah, Cahir, on Monday 12th April.
The Ballylusky White Heather Harriers express their sincere thanks to all who supported their annual draw, with a special thanks to the ticket sellers. The prizewinners were: 1st Prize, Rory O’Gorman, Killamery; 2nd Prize, Kevin Pollard, Ballingarry; 3rd Prize, Stephen O’Brien, Rosegreen.
ELEANOR SHANLEY CONCERT
World class Irish artist Eleanor Shanley, currently on tour with Frankie Lane and Paul Kelly, will play the Abymill Theatre in Fethard on Friday 2nd April at 8.15pm. The concert, in aid of the Fethard & Killusty Community Council's Christmas lighting fund, will commence with a cheese and wine reception at 8pm. Tickets are €25 each and can be booked at McCarthy's Hotel Tel: 052 31149 or 086 8119625.
Eleanor Shanley grew up surrounded by music. Her mother's family were all fireside singers. Upon leaving school she worked in the personnel department in FAS and studied drama at night time. Eleanor continued to sing at informal sessions and it was at one of these in Dublin pub " The Merchant " that she was discovered by famed Galway traditional band De Dannan. They asked her to go to Galway to discuss her joining the band as they had a tour of Finland lined up in two weeks time. She was to stay five years with the well travelled trad ambassadors.
She toured the world with De Dannan and recorded two critically acclaimed albums "Jacket of Batteries" and the groundbreaking " Half Set In Harlem". After five years on the road with De Dannan, Eleanor quit in December 1992 deciding that it was time to pursue a solo career.
Eleanor then began singing and performing with future Eurovision winner Charlie McGettigan and Brendan Emmet. It was Charlie who introduced her to manager Mattie Fox, who secured a solo deal for her with Warners in Ireland and Grapevine in the UK.
Eleanor then began work on putting together her first solo album. She spent month sifting through tapes before finally deciding to record her first album, "Eleanor Shanley", which featured hits such as "Road To Glory" and "In The Ghetto".
After the release of her first solo album Eleanor began touring extensively in Ireland, UK and Europe, where she supported Christy Moore as well as doing solo shows. She released her second album " Desert Heart " in April 1997. "I grew up with traditional music and it's still my main love, although I've probably broken away from it slightly with some of these songs ", she says.
In the year 2000 Eleanor got together with Ronnie Drew and they completed a 16 date sell out tour in Ireland, which proved to be an outstanding success. Eleanor and Ronnie then recorded an album together" A Couple More Years".
Eleanor has just finished recording her new album ?Eleanor Shanley & Friends?. The album has many guest singers, including, you guessed it, Ronnie Drew and Eddie Reader. In Fethard, Eleanor will be accompanied by Frankie Lane and Paul Kelly with whom she has just finished a very successful tour in Austria and Denmark.
Frankie Lane (right) is one of Ireland's best-known performers and traditional musicians of international renown, Frankie was the original front man of the legendary Fleadh Cowboys. The “Fleadhs” gathered a huge fan base at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin and went on to support legendary performers such as Bob Dylan, U2, The Pogues, Emmylou Harris and B.B. King. In January 2004 Frankie was nominated for a prestigious Meteor Music Award. These awards are the Irish Music Industries highest accolade and one which Frankie is fully deserving of, given his tireless and sometimes revolutionary work in the music scene in Ireland.
Paul Kelly (above) has been at the heart of the music scene in Ireland since the early eighties. He first came to prominence as the fiddler with The Sackville String Band, a five piece bluegrass outfit who brought American Traditional music to a wider audience in Ireland. Throughout that decade he concentrated on American Music, playing with various bands such as Mick Hanly's 'Rusty Old Halo' and the Fleadh Cowboys as well as appearing on many albums as a session musician. He returned to his roots in the early nineties as a member of The Sharon Shannon Band, playing fiddle and mandolin and touring the U.S., Europe and the U.K.
"Eleanor Shanley is, without overstating the case, one of the greatest vocalists this country has ever produced." (Michael Gallagher - Roscommon Champion)
"That she has a highly distinctive voice is an incontrovertible truth; it is both how it is used and also the material on which it focuses, that tickles the tastebuds." (Hotpress)
RODEO MAN JAMES BALFE DROPS IN
The Pheasant Pluckers played a session in McCarthy's Pub on Friday night, 19th March, and among the audience was James Balfe. James was a big fan of the band up to the time he left Fethard and emigrated to Australia in 1995. James stayed an extra night when he heard the band were playing in McCarthys and later spoke of the many times he remembered the Pheasant Plucker sessions while working in Australia. The band are photographed above L to R: Fintan Rice, Johnny O'Connor, Tommy O'Brien, Phil Shee, John Shortall, Joe Kenny, Vinny Murphy and Bert Van Dommelen.
James Balfe (centre) photographed above at the session with band members Joe Kenny and Johnny O'Connor (right).
James Balfe, formerly assistant farrier to Stephen Foyle at Coolmore and a native of Co. Mayo, dropped in to the session and spoke as to how the Pheasant Pluckers influenced his life in Australia. James emigrated to Australia in 1995 and in 1999, won the Novice Steer Roping Championship title on the New South Wales rodeo circuit. When one considers that New South Wales is double the size of Ireland and that James only took up the highly skilful and very dangerous sport after emigrating, his performance is all the more meritorious.
In 2003 he caused somewhat of a sensation on the rodeo championship circuit when, competing for the first time in the senior grade, James won the Steer Roping Competition at one of the principal rodeos in New South Wales. Inquiries as to "who is he" were freely circulating as he beat some of the top professional Australian wranglers, some of whom travel to America to compete in the top rodeos in the USA.
James became a world champion in 2003 "James Balf, First Irish World Champion Team Roper", said the large headlines in the edition of 'The Australian Horseman'. When you consider that, thought he was under hundreds of horses at his work as farrier at Coolmore, he had never ridden one. His rise to the top in his chosen sport is nothing short of phenomenal. The sport of steer roping requires competitors to be excellent riders, skilled with a lasso and have great physical strength to get the steer on its back and hog-tie its legs.
The competitors are allowed and assistant, hence the term, team roping. When James started he won his first pay-cheque when finishing in fifth place in 24 seconds. His time to throw and rope a steer in winning the World Champion Novice Team Rope Title was under six seconds. Less that six seconds to lasso, throw and rope a steer try it some time! Well done to the 'Coolmore Cowboy', whose father, brother and sister travelled to the finals at Tamworth Rodeo to see James compete.
DAFFODIL DAY IN FETHARD
Fethard Patrician Presentation Secondary School pupils who helped with the sale of daffodils outside Fethard Post Office on Friday 19th March National Daffodil Day in aid of Cancer Research. The pupils raised almost €1,000. L to R: Jillian O'Connell, Richard Gorey, Fintan Maher, Stephanie Fitzgerald and Suzanne Gorey.
TRIBUTES AS MSGR. LEE PASSES AWAY
by Conor Kane (from The Nationalist 20th March)
Canon Lee photographed with Parish Church altar boys in the 1960's. Back L to R: John Littleton, John Shortall, Tom Ryan, Davy Morrissey, Gus Flynn, Michael Barrett, Pat Barrett, Jeff Hanrahan. Front L to R: Richie Barrett, Andy Fox, Thomas Barrett, Canon Lee P.P., Pat O'Brien, Frank Ahearn and Jim Ryan.
Tributes have been paid this week to the late Monsignor Christopher Lee, the popular and distinguished cleric who passed away on Monday, just 10 days short of his 93rd birthday.
Monsignor Lee's remains were layed in state at the St John the Baptist Church in Cashel and was buried on Thursday 18th March in the church grounds after his funeral Mass at 3pm. He died on Monday afternoon at Bramleigh Lodge Nursing Home in Cahir, where he spent the last three years of his life.
A native of the Glen of Aherlow where both his parents were teachers, the late Monsignor Lee was strongly associated with Cashel and Rosegreen where he was Dean from 1974 and Vicar-General of the Diocese of Cashel and Emly until his retirement in 1988, and where he continued to reside until he moved to Bramleigh Lodge in 2001. He also spent a total of 19 years in the parish of Fethard and Killusty - as curate from 1942 to 1947 and parish priest and Canon from 1960 to 1974
Archbishop Dermot Clifford of Cashel and Emly was warm in his praise this week for Monsignor Lee, as a person and as a priest. "He was Vicar-General when I came here in 1986 and he couldn't have been kinder to me", Archbishop Clifford recalled. "He was a great source of help and advice to me during my time.
Monsignor Christopher Francis Lee was born in 1911 and grew up in Lisvernane, Aherlow. He attended Blackrock College, where he won an All-Ireland senior schools rugby medal in 1927, and was ordained as a priest in 1935 after studying at St Patrick's College in Thurles and St Patrick's College in Maynooth. Known for his intellect and interest in all aspects of life, he completed a doctorate in Maynooth after his ordination.
He served as Chaplain at St Vincent's Hospital in Tipperary before becoming curate at Knockaney in County Limerick. Then came his first spell in Fethard and subsequently a period in Thurles as curate to Archbishop Kinane and Director of the Holy Family Confraternity. He became Administrator at the Cathedral in Thurles before returning to Fethard in 1960 as parish priest.
Archbishop Thomas Morris appointed him parish priest and Dean of Cashel and Rosegreen and Vicar-General of the Diocese of Cashel and Emly in 1974. He retired in 1988 and celebrated his diamond jubilee in 1995. He would have been 93 on Friday, March 26.
Monsignor Lee had a huge interest in sport and a comment he made some years ago summed up his view: "all games are good, any game is better than no game, but the best of games for Irish boys and Irish girls are the Irish games". He was closely associated with the GAA in all parishes in which he served.
He also retained a deep interest in education throughout his life, influenced by the teaching positions held by both parents, and was renowned as a scholar and writer. He contributed a column, 'Thought for the Week', to The Nationalist and the Tipperary Star every week from 1946 until his death, and the last column written by him will be published in next week's editions.
"He was very, very intelligent and extremely well read and was interested in everything from hurling to theology", Archbishop Clifford told The Nationalist.
Although his sight failed him in latter years, Monsignor Lee maintained an active mind and listened to radio, particularly local radio, to stay informed of events and news. He used tape recordings for his Office and other prayers. "He was in touch right up to the end. I was down to see him about three weeks ago and I was to go down again for his birthday next week", added Archbishop Clifford. "But it wasn't to be."
He was the last surviving member of a family of 13 brothers and sisters, which included the late Fr Michael Lee who was parish priest in Ballingarry. One of his grand-nephews is former Tipperary hurler Declan Ryan and he has two nephew priests, Fr Frank Gallagher, parish priest at Ballinahinch in North Tipperary; and Monsignor Michael Gallagher in San Diego, California.
Monsignor Lee will be buried in the grounds of St John the Baptist's Church in Cashel, next to Monsignor William Breen, his predecessor as Dean of Cashel and Rosegreen.
SOUTH UNDER-21 HURLING 'B' CHAMPIONSHIP
Kelly point gives St. Marys a narrow win
(from The Nationalist 20th March)
St. Marys 1-7; Fethard 1-6
A great second-half display by St Mary's was enough to edge out Fethard by the narrowest of margins in this competitive under-21 Hurling B championship game played in Kilsheelan on Sunday morning.
The game commenced with a heavy shower which made ground conditions a little difficult for the players but both teams knuckled down to the task on hand however and gave the small attendance something to cheer about. Fethard played against the breeze in the opening half and were very much on top in the early stages and were first to score when Ronan Maher pointed in the first minute, Eoin Doyle followed two minutes later with a pointed free.
St Mary's took some time to get to grips with the game and it took them until the eighth minute to register their first score a point by Barry Hanly. They enjoyed a good spell towards the end of the first quarter but could not register on the scoreboard. Niall Kelly took a great sideline ball which went wide of the posts while after a good passing movement Barry Hanly had a great shot saved by Paddy Cooney in the Fethard goal with Paddy taking a mud bath in the process.
Fethard lifted the siege after the first quarter and Eoin Doyle pointed a free. St Mary's replied with a similar score from Michael Power from play. Fethard's hopes got a major lift in the twenty seventh minute when after an Eoin Doyle 65 landed near the square, P.J. Morrissey got his stick to it to divert to the net. Just on the stroke of half time Niall Kelly pointed a free for St Mary's to leave just three points between the sides at half time Fethard 13 St Mary's 0-3.
Neutral observers would have put their money on Fethard to command the second half with wind advantage in their favour but a surprise was in store. St Mary's gave a determined and committed performance and never let up in their quest for victory. Fethard's Eoin Doyle was wide from a close in free in their first attack of the half and St Mary full forward Aidan Barry quickly followed this with a fine point. Brian Carroll was now dominating the game from the centre back position and he turned the tide very much in St Mary's favour.
In the tenth minute of the half a free 45 metres out from the Fethard goal from the stick of Brian Carroll went all the way to the Fethard net levelling the game and setting up a grandstand finish. Both sides tore into the game from that point to the finish with advantage swinging this way and that. Brian Carroll had a great point from play on 17 minutes to put his side two points clear Fethard however came back again and a Michael Dillon point from a free followed by a point from play by Johnny Leahy levelled the game again with five minutes on the clock.
Fethard went ahead when Eoin Doyle pointed a close in free to give Fethard the lead, this was short lived however when Niall Kelly sent one over from play with time running out. St Mary's got possession from the puck out and winning a free Niall Kelly again put them into the lead, Fethard got one more chance to send the game into extra time but Shane Walsh was just wide of the mark from a free fifty yard out.
St Mary's will be pleased with this result but will have to improve to have a chance of taking the title. Mark Tobin was sound in goal; Brian Carroll gave an outstanding display especially in the second half while Michael Power, Barry Hanly and Niall Kelly were very much to the fore all through. Fethard will be disappointed not to have taken the spoils but can take heart from their display. Paddy Cooney had a good game in goal saving his side on numerous occasions; Ian Kendrick was solid at full back as was Shane Walsh at centre. Eoin Doyle and Jamie Mc Cormack were a good midfield partnership while up front Michael Dillon, P. J. Morrissey and Johnny Leahy were best.
St Marys: P. Leahy, D. Power, P. Dempsey, C. O'Connell, B. Carroll 1-1, B. Gibbons, M. Power 0-1, M. McCarthy, B. Hanley 0-1, N. Kelly 03, P Doyle, A. Barry 0-1, D. Burke.
Fethard: P. Cooney, M. Kelly, I. Kendrick, J. Smith, P. Hackett, S. Walsh, W. Harrington, E. Doyle 0-3, J. McCormack, M. Dillon 0-I, R. Maher 0-1, J. Noonan, P. J. Morrissey 1-0, W. Doyle.
Referee: Seamus Roche, Kilsheelan.