Saturday 12th April 2003
Killenaule put in storming finish to claim title and deny Fethard
South Under-21 'A' Football Final
Killenaule 3-10, Fethard 0-8
- A vibrant Killenaule tore the form book to shreds when they swept past a fancied Fethard side, chasing their fifth divisional title in-a-row, in this rousing Dick Cummins South Tipperary U21 FC 'A' final at a sun drenched Clonmel Sportsfield on Sunday 6th April 2003.
- Having laboured to come to terms with a smooth moving Fethard side playing with the wind in the opening 30 minutes, Killenaule were lucky to be trailing by only four points at half-time 0-7 to 0-3.
After a bright early start, Killenaule were on level terms after 15 minutes (0-3 apiece) but faded from the scene in the second quarter as Fethard with Eoin Doyle, Glen Burke, Michael Dillon and Brian Coen dominant around midfield took control and bombarded their goal area.
Faulty shooting, which saw them register 10 wides and failure to break through for an all important goal were worrying signs for the champions but with Killenaule winning very little ball and making no headway against a resolute defence there were no danger lights really flashing for
the pre-match favourites
This was all changed by a rampant Killenaule when play resumed as they edged their way back into contention with three Tony Doyle points within 10 minutes of the re-start.
Corner-forward, John Noonan steadied Fethard with a 41st minute point leaving it 0-8 to 0-6 but this was to be their last score as a rejuvenated Killenaule picked up the pace and shredded the tight-marking Fethard defence which had been so effective in the opening 30 minutes.
The Killenaule break through came on 44 minutes when a Johnny Grace shot for goal was smothered but the hard-working Joe Caesar was on hand to steer home the all important goal that gave the challengers the lead for the first time, 1-6 to 0-8.
Piling on the pressure Killenaule came forward again and Stephen Brennan and Caesar rattled Fethard with two quick points in as many minutes and the champions who had lost their shape were suddenly three points adrift 1-8 to 0-8.
Fethard failed to come up with any response to Killenaule's onslaught and after a sixth point from sharpshooter Doyle they tightened the screw when wing-forward, Michael Farrell wrapped it up for the challengers with their second goal on 54 minutes making it 2-9 to 0-8.
The show was over for Fethard as midfielder, Patrick Kerwick fired over Killenaule's last point and substitute full-forward, Simon McMenamin completed the demolition job when he grabbed a third goal for the winners in the closing stages leaving the Blues eleven points off the pace at the long whistle.
Killenaule finished with fourteen men when left half forward, Michael Farrell was sent off on a second yellow card in the dying minutes of the game.
After the game there was great rejoicing in the Killenaule camp as Barry O'Brien, Chairman of the South Tipperary GAA Board accompanied by Secretary, Sean Nugent and Treasurer, Tom Cusack presented the Dick Cummins Cup to the captain of the victorious Killenaule side.
Playing against the wind Killenaule had the opening point from Tony Doyle in the first minute and four minutes later Fethard's centre-forward Brian Coen tied the game. After Keith Kennedy had restored Killenaule's lead, midfielder Glen Burke with a point from play and a pointed free made it 0-3 to 0-2 on eleven minutes. A foul on Joe Caesar presented Tony Doyle with his first pointed free on 15 minutes and this closed Killenaule's first half account.
Points from Darren O'Meara (17th minute), John Noonan (19th minute) and Glen Burke frees (27th and 32nd minutes) saw Fethard take an 0-7 to 0-3 lead into the half-time break.
Within 10 minutes of the re-start an improving Killenaule were back in the race big time with three Tony Doyle points, two from frees and then Fethard had their only score of the 3-10 second half when John Noonan had his second 0-8 point of the game on 41 minutes.
Fethard's two points advantage was wiped out after Daniel McGuire had brought off two great saves in the Killenaule goal and Joe Caesar fisted home the opening goal of the game after the Fethard goalkeeper, Ronan Maher had smothered a Johnny Grace shot for goal.
Killenaule now led 1-6 to 0-8 and stretched their lead with two crucial points from Stephen Brennan (45th minute) and Joe Caesar (46th minute). They were now gone three points clear and Tony Doyle had landed his sixth point, Michael Farrell put the game beyond Fethard with Killenaule's second goal on 54 minutes 2-9 to 0-8.
Midfielder Pat Kerwick widened the gap with a 56th minute point and fullforward. Simon McMenamin put the icing on Killenaule's well deserved victory with a 58th minute goal to seal a memorable and historic first under 21 "A" football title for Manager, Anthony Doyle and his selectors Kenneth Cleary and Patrick Fennelly and their well-focussed squad of players.
Upfront Tony Doyle, Joe Caesar, Michael Farrell, Simon McMenamin, Johnny Grace along with Richard Maher and Stephen Brennan and influential, centre-forward, Keith Kennedy combined well to end Fethard's hopes of a fifth championship title while at the back goalkeeper, Daniel McGuire, David Shelley, Ian Murphy, Martin Shelley, Jonathan O'Dwyer, Noel O'Grady and Jonathan Gleeson were the heroes who held the holders to one point in the second half.
For a Fethard side who squandered so many scoring chances in the first half and then slipped out of gear in the second half Ian Kenrick, Paul Hackett, Eoin Doyle, Glen Burke, Michael Dillon, Brian Coen, John Noonan and Darren O'Meara were most prominent.
Killenaule: Tony Doyle 0-6 (0-3 frees), Joe Caesar 1-1, Michael Farrell, Simon McMenamin, Keith Kennedy, Stephen Brennan, Patrick Kerwick 0-1 each.
Fethard: Glen Burke 0-4 (0-3 frees), John Noonan 0-2, Brian Coen and Darren O'Meara 0-1 each.
Killenaule: Daniel McGuire, David Shelley, Ian Murphy, Martin Shelley, Jonathan O'Dwyer, Noel O'Grady, Jonathan Gleeson, Patrick Kerwick, Johnny Grace, Joseph Caesar, Keith Kennedy, Michael Farrell, Tony Doyle, Richard Maher, Stephen Brennan. Subs: Vinny Hannigan for D. Shelley, Simon McMenamin for R. Maher, Brendan Fanning for S. Brennan, Jonathan Barry for P. Kerwick and Barry Murphy for J. Caesar.
Fethard: Ronan Maher, Ian Kenrick, Diarmuid Burke, Paul Hackett, Alan Burke, Eoin Doyle, Jamie McCormack, Glen Burke, Michael Dillon, Shane Walshe, Brian Coen, Shane Aylward, John Noonan, Ronan Allen, Darren O'Meara. Subs: William Hanrahan for Shane Walsh, John Hanrahan for Darren O'Meara, Paul Kenny for Ronan Allen and Emmet Burke for John Noonan.
Referee: Donie Cahill, Ballyporeen.