County Senior Hurling B Championship 2008 - The Seamus O'Riain Cup
The second major element in the Fr. Sheehy Club's proposal was the creation of a new championship, which was the equivalent of a B championship. In order to give it an element of prestige and prevent it becoming a debased alternative, the county board was requested, in the course of the proposals, to arrange a prestigious trophy for the winners to be named after some former inspirational person in the association in the county. Former board president, Seamus Ó Riain fitted the profile and the trophy and the competition became the Ó Riain Cup.
In an earlier proposal for a B competition clubs were assigned on the basis of their results the previous year. Under the Fr. Sheehy proposals the results of matches in the current year decided which competition a club played in. It was agreed that all clubs who qualified for divisional semi-finals went into the Dan Breen Cup, while all who didn't qualified for the Ó Riain Cup. Every team as a result got to play in some county championship and there was no relegation. Under the new structures junior and intermediate clubs had the option of combining and affiliating in the championship. Any club had the option of applying the the county gradings committee to be graded as senior with the approval of their divisional board. Conversely any club had the option of being regraded from senior to intermediate. Later in the year the county board decided that players of junior and intermediate status could play in the Ó Riain Cup without losing their status. The winners of the intermediate championship would continue to be promoted senior.
Thirteen clubs qualified for the Ó Riain Cup, six from the North, four from the Mid, two from the West and one from the South. A preliminary round of five matches was used to reduce the numbers to eight. The draw protected the teams from the North and the Mid.
The first game in the preliminary round was between Carrick Swans and Lorrha at Boherlahan on August 1, with the South team winning easily by 3-17 to 3-8. Boherlahan-Dualla drew with Kickhams, 2-22 to 3-19 at Cashel on August 2, with Boherlahan winning the replay by 1-13 to 0-15 on August 14. Kilruane MacDonaghs had a facile win, by 5-18 to 0-9, over Cashel King Cormac's at Templemore on August 2. Holycross-Ballcahill defeated Portore by 2-22 to 1-12 at Toomevara on August 6. The final game, between J. K. Brackens and Upperchurch-Drombane was played at Borrisoleigh on August 19 with victory going to the 'Church by 2-22 to 0-18.
The first two quarter-finals were played on August 24. At Boherlahan Upperchurch-Drombane came from behind to defeat Holycross-Drombane by 0-20 to 0-16. Holycross led by 0-10 to 0-8 at the interval, increased their lead early in the second half, but Upperchurch came with a late surge to win by four points.
Moneygall proved too good for Boherlahan-Dualla at the Ragg, winning by 0-16 to 1-8. The game was fairly tight in the first half with the North side leading by 0-7 to 0-6 at the interval but Moneygall dominated the second half and thoroughly deserved their five-point victory.
The two remaining quarter-finals were played the following week. Carrick Swans were much too slick and eager for Borrisoleigh at New Inn on August 28, winning by 2-20 to 0-15. Borrisoleigh, who had been many people's favourites to win the North title, went into this game as favourites but proved lethargic on the occasion. They were behind by 1-12 to 0-7 at the interval and eleven points behind at the final whistle.
Kilruane MacDonaghs got the better of a depleted Nenagh, Éire Óg side at Cloughjordan on August 28, winning by 3-12 to 1-16. The winners led by 1-9 to 1-7 at the interval and always seemed to have the edge on their opponents during the second half.
It took extra time for Carrick Swans to put away Moneygall in the first of the semi-finals, played at Littleton on September 20. It was the third North club Carrick met in the competition and while victory wasn't as easy as in the earlier two rounds, they yet deserved their two-point victory on a scoreline of 2-15 to 1-16. Carrick got off to a flying start with a goal in the opening seconds, led by 2-7 to 0-8 at the interval but had to endure a great fight-back by Moneygall, who were level at the end of ordinary time at 2-12 to 1-15. There was little scoring in extra time with Carrick getting three points to Moneygall's one to claim victory and qualify for the first Seamus Ó Riain Cup final. It was tough luck on Moneygall, who fought tenaciously to claim a place in the final of a championship named after one of their most distinguished members.
There were plenty of goals in the second semi-final between Kilruane-MacDonaghs and Upperchurch-Drombane at Templemore on September 27. Though the scoreboard would suggest a very comfortable win of eleven points for Kilruane, on a scoreline of 4-18 to 4-7, it wouldn't be the complete truth. Throughout the hour both sides enjoyed periods of supremacy and it was only over the final five minutes that the tide eventually turned in Kilruane's favour when they scored 1-4. The winners were in front by 2-8 to 2-6 at the interval.
The hurlers of Carrick Swans recalled the glory days of 1947 when they lifted the inaugural Seamus Ó Riain cup after serving up a stirring second-half performance to overcome Kilruane MacDonaghs by 1-14 to 1-11 at Semple Stadium on October 19. It was a great ending for Carrick, the sole South representative in the compatition and their fourth conquest of North teams in the course of the competition. The victory has to put a spring in their step for the 2009 championship.
Carrick Swans were way off the pace in the first half and were five points behind at the interval. The movement of Danny O'Hanlon, who was scoreless in the first half, to full-forward had a transforming effect on the team. O'Hanlon became the target man to aim for, brought the best out of corner-forwards Paul Diffily and Dwane Fogarty, and scored five points in his own right. As the second-half progressed the Swans reduced the lead, Fogarty's goal after five minutes a key element, and went ahead. Kilruane got their last score eleven minutes from time but there remained the threat that they might get the goal that would salvage the occasion for them. However, whether it was a greater hunger on the part of the Swans they held on for an historic victory and there were scenes of jubilation when referee, Denis Curtis, blew the final whistle.
The Seamus Ó Riain Cup was presented to the Carrick Swan captain, Gerry Walsh, by Eugene Ryan, representing the family, in the presence of county board chairman, John Costigan. The Man of the Match Award was presented to Carrick Swan corner-forward, Dwayne Fogarty, who scored 1-3.
Carrick Swan: Colm O'Sullivan, John Walsh, Jamie Sweetman, Gerry Walsh (capt.), Martin Russell, Kevin Lanigan, John Grace, Stephen Hahessy (0-1), Darren Fahey, Alan O'Sullivan (0-1), Danny O'Hanlon (0-5), Kieran Reade (0-1), Paul Difily (0-1), Alan P. Ryan (0-2), Dwane Fogarty (1-3). Subs: Bobby Ryan for Alan P. Ryan, Raymond Dunne for Alan O'Sullivan. Also: Mark O'Halloran, Anthony O'Donnell, Brian Grace, Jamie Power, Shane Hogan, Aaron Walsh, William Lonergan, Darren Waters, Jamie Kennedy, Keith Walsh, Johnny Cahill.
Manager: M. J. Collins. Selectors: John Grace, Willie Hahessy, Sean O'Shea, Derek Hogan. Coach: Shane Ahearne.
Kilruane MacDonaghs: Ger Corcoran, Diarmuid Cahill, Martin Walsh, Liam Gibson, Eoin Hogan, Stephen Murphy, Gavin McAvinchey, Seamus Hennessy, Kevin Quinlan (0-1), Mark O'Leary (0-1), Pat Williams, Shane Quinlan (0-1), Thomas Williams (1-0), Ray McLoughney (0-6), Mikey Costello (0-2). Subs: Brian O'Meara for Thomas Williams. Also: Liam Gibson, Kevin Ryan, Alan Ryan, Denis Cahill, Declan Barrett, Freddie Williams, James Williams, Timmy Walsh.
Selectors: Len Gaynor, Paddy Williams, Gilbert Williams.
Referee: Denis Curtis (Thurles Sarsfields)
Results of the Seamus Ó Riain Cup at a Glance
Aug. 1 at Boherlahan: Carrick Swan 3-17 Lorrha 3-8 (Ref: Richie Barry)
Aug. 2 at Cashel: Boherlahan-Dualla 2-22 Kickhams 3-19 AET (Ref: Keith Delahunty)
Aug. 14 at Holycross: Boherlahan-Dualla 1-13 Kickhams 0-15 (Replay) (Ref: Noel Cosgrove)
Aug. 2 at Templemore: Kilruane MacDonaghs 5-18 Cashel K.C. 0-9 (Ref: Denis Curtis)
Aug. 6 at Toomevara: Holycross-Ballycahill 2-22 Portroe 1-12 (Ref: Phil Ryan)
Aug. 19 at Borrisoleigh: Upperchurch-Drombane 2-22 J. K. Brackens 0-18 (Ref: John Cleary)
Aug. 24 at Boherlahan: Upperchurch-Drombane 0-20 Holycross-Ballcahill 0-16 (Ref: N. Cosgrove)
Aug. 24 at Ragg: Moneygall 0-16 Boherlahan-Dualla 1-8 (Ref: Richie Barry)
Aug. 28 at New Inn: Carrick Swan 2-20 Borrisoleigh 0-15 (Ref: Johnny Ryan)
Aug. 28 at Cloughjordan: Kilruane MacDonaghs 3-12 Nenagh Eire Óg 1-16 (Ref: Tommy Ryan)
Sept. 20 at Littleton: Carrick Swan 2-15 Moneygall 1-16 AET (Ref: Denis Curtis)
Sept. 27 at Templemore: Kilruane MacDonaghs 4-18 Upperchurch-Drombane 4-7 (Ref: J. Ryan B)
Oct. 19 at Semple Stadium: Carrick Swan 1-14 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-11 (Ref: Denis Curtis)
Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2009, pp 49-50