The County Senior Hurling Championship 2011
A new club was added to the list of county senior hurling champions when Drom Inch won the 2011 championship following victory over Clonoulty-Rosmore at Semple Stadium, Thurles on October 16. It was fourth time lucky for the winners having lost in 2005 to Thurles Sarsfields by 1-17 to 0-15, in 2007 to Loughmore-Castleiney by 0-22 to 0-13 and in 2009 to Thurles Sarsfields by 0-14 to 0-5. The bookies made Drom Inch favourites by the smallest of margins at 10/11 as against 6/5 on Clonoulty-Rossmore and the result confirmed their prediction with a two-point win for Drom on a scoreline of 1-19 to 2-14. They overcame a sluggish start to finish in fine style with their key player and captain, Seamus Callanan, giving a storming performace in the second-half.
The format of the county senior hurling championship was changed in 2011. The number of teams participating remained at 32 with new intermediate champions, Borrisokane, replacing combination team, Galtee/Treacys
As in 2010 the 32 teams played in their respective divisional championships down to semi-final stage, The 16 teams who reached this stage automatically qualified for the Dan Breen Cup. Unlike 2010, when the remaining 16 went into the O'Riain Cup and the two finalists only were granted entry, all 16 teams who failed to make the divisional semi-finals, were given a crack at the Dan Breen in the 2011 championship,
The 16 teams went into the round 1 of the Dan Breen cup among themselves. The 8 losers went into the Seamus O'Riain cup and the 4 losers of the first round went into the relegation competition..
The 8 winners went into round 2 of the Dan Breen together with the 8 losing divisional semi-finalists. This was an open draw with repeat games avoided.
The 8 winners from round 2 played off among themselves in round 3 and joined the four divisional final losers in round 4. The four winners played the four divisional final winners in round 5.
The virtue of these arrangements was that divisional achievement was recognised. Beaten divisional finalists came back in at round 4 while the winners came in at round 5.
Round 1 of the Dan Breen Cup was played on the third and fourth weekends in July with Borrisoleigh, Lorrha, Upperchurch-Drombane, Burgess, Roscrea, Thurles Sarsfields, Kilruane MacDonaghs and Portroe coming through. Significantly this represented 6 North and 2 Mid teams.
The winners joined the 8 beaten divisional semi-finalists in an open draw. The teams that came through were Templederry, Burgess, Borrisoleigh, Thurles Sarsfieds, Eire Óg, Nenagh Eire Óg, Upperchurch-Drombane and J. K. Brackens. These games with one exception were played on the last weekend of July, when the championship went into recess because of divisional finals and Tipperary's involvement in the All-Ireland games. The exception was the J. K. Brackens game with Carrick Davins, which was held up because of fixture delays in the South. It was played on September 10.
The Mid final was the first to be played and it took place on July 22 between Loughmore-Castleiney and Drom Inch at Templetuohy. Drom led at halftime and went further ahead soon after the resumption but a hat-trick of goals by Miceal Webster put paid to their chances and set Loughmore on the road to their eleventh title by 3-15 to 2-14. It was the first time a senior hurling final was played at Templetuohy and a large crowd turned up.
The West and North finals took place on July 30. Toomevara claimed their 33rd title when they defeated Kildangan by 1-18 to 0-13 at Nenagh. Six points up after as many minutes Toomevara were never headed and deserved their eight-point victory in a disappointing final.
In the West final Clonoulty-Rossmore made it five-in-a-row when they enjoyed a 1-26 to 0-13 victory over Cappawhite. The winners led by 0-15 to 0-7 at the interval and were impressive all over the field.
Because of an objection and a dispute about fixtures the South final wasn't ready to take place and was eventually played on October 9. In a game that didn't matter both sides played intensively and it was a tight affair until the last quarter when Mullinahone pulled well clear to win by 2-20 to 0-11.
Three of the four Round 3 games were played on September 11, with victories going to Nenagh Eire Óg, Thurles Sarsfields and Burgess. Borrisoleigh and J. K. Brackens played on September 14 at Semple Stadium with victory going to the former.
Meanwhile the divisional finals, with the exception of the South, who nominated Carrick Swans, had taken place and the beaten finalists joined the four winners of round 3 for the next round. Drom Inch defeated Burgess by 2-16 to 1-18 at Templemore on September 17. On the same day and at the same venue, Thurles Sarsfields defeated Kildangan by 2-20 to 1-15. Also on the 17th Nenagh Eire Óg defeated Cappawhite by 1-16 to 0-14 at Newport. The final game was played at Semple Stadium on September 19, when Borrisoleigh defeated Carraick Swans by 0-17 to 1-9.
The quarter-finals were played at Semple Stadium on the weekend of September 24/25. In spite of a two-month lay off Clonoulty-Rossmore made light work of disposing of Eire Óg, Nenagh. Clonoulty were ahead by 1-9 to 0-6 at the break but two goals in the 43rd and 49th minutes set them up for a comprehensive victory by 3-18 to 0-14.
The second game, between Thurles Sarsfields and Loughmore-Castleiney was a more exciting affair in which Sarsfields gave their best display of the year. The sides scored five goals in the first half and left Sarsfields two points up at the interval on a scoreline of 3-7 to 2-8. They extended their lead to six during the second half but at the end of an exciting game had to be content with a 3-17 to 2-16 victory.
On Sunday Toomevara made a shock exit from the race when they were well-beaten by Drom Inch for whom Seamus Callanan was on song and scored an impressive 1-12. The sides were level enough during the first half and Drom led by 1-9 to 0-12 at the interval. However, the sending off of David Young and the upping of the Drom Inch performance gave the latter early control in the second-half and they won comfortably by 1-23 to 1-13.
Mullinahone and Borrisoleigh ended up level at 1-12 to 0-15, following a late penalty by Eoin Kelly for Mullinahone. The sides remained close during the first half of extra time but Mullinahone took over in the second half and were in front by 2-21 to 0-21 at the final whistle. Kelly scored 2-13 of the winners total.
The semi-finals were played as a double fixture at Semple Stadium on October 2.. Drom Inch looked impressive in defeating Mullinahone by 1-20 to 0-14. They led by 1-14 to 0-5 at the break. However, they let Mullinahone back into the game during the second-half by failing to score for nineteen minutes but they won comfortably in the end by a nine-point margin.
Clonoulty-Rossmore caused a shock in the second game when they knocked out hot favourites Thurles Sarsfields by 2-14 to 0-15. The expectation that Sarsfields would win was increased by the knowledge that a number of key players on the Clonoulty team were out through injury. Clonoulty's victory was due to a tremendous workrate and close marking of their opponents. They started in a whirlwind and established a physical dominance on the field. They led by 2-5 to 0-8 at the break and they continued to dog Sarsfields in the second-half. The losers had one period of dominance during this period when they scored five points without reply and cut the gap between the sides to 3 points, 2-12 to 0-15, in the fifty-fifth minute, But it was Clonoulty's day and they deserved their unexpected,five-point victory.
And so it was to the final at Semple Stadium on October 16, a good sunny day and an expectant crowd of 7,038. The teams had never met at this stage before. Drom Inch were going for their first, having lost three times at this stage. Clonoulty-Rossmore were going for their fourth having lost the previous year to Thurles Sarsfields. The game was preceded by the Seamus O Riain Cup final between Moycarkey-Borris and Kickhams and also by honouring the Kilruane-MacDonaghs victorious team of 1985.
Clonoulty, aided by the breeze, had the better of the opening exchanges and scored three points in the opening seven minutes, before David Butler registered Drom's first score. The game came alive in the tenth minute when a good movement involving Clonoulty's Padraig Heffernan, Ciaran Quirke and Sean Maher combined for the game's first goal. It wasn't long, however, before Woodlock, Collins and Lupton hit back with Drom's retort to leave the score 1-4 to 1-2 for Clonoulty. Points were exchanged during the remainder of the half as Drom edged more into contention and were only a point in arrears at half-time on a scoreline of 1-9 to 1-8. Both sides had goal chances during this period and Clonoulty will probably rue the missed chances more..
Clonoulty resumed the stronger after the interval. Following a point by Hammersley, John O'Neill took advantage of some indecision among the Drom backs to rifle a goal in the thirty-second minute and stretch Clonoulty's lead to five points. It was to be the the high point of their performance and, significantly, they were to score only four more points in the game.
Drom moved Callanan into full-forward and they upped the ante. By the forty-fifth minute they had drawn level at 1-15 to 2-12 and the momentum was now with them. Their forwards were increasingly dangerous. As well as Callanan, David Collins was playing a very influential role. At centrefield Johnny Ryan was lording it and had hit an inspirational, long-range point to bring the sides level,. As well the backs were stymying the best efforts of the Clonoulty forwards.
As the game progressed the result seemed more and more inevitable as Drom eased in front and Clonoulty failed to regain the initiative. Because there was so little between the sides there was always the possibility of the Clonoulty goal but it failed to come and at the end Drom were deserving winners of the 115th county senior hurling championship on a scoreline of 1-19 to 2-14.
Drom Inch: Damien Young, Martin Butler, Micheal Butler, Mike Costello, Paul Stapleton, Eamon Buckley, James Ryan, Johnny Ryan (0-2), James Woodlock, Seamus Butler (0-2), Seamus Callanan (capt.) 0-6, David Collins (0-3), Pat Lupton (1-2), Declan Ryan, David Butler (0-4). Subs: Kevin Butler for Declan Ryan, Liam Ryan for Martin Butler, Matthew Ryan for Johnny Ryan. Also: Shane Hassett, Paddy Kennedy, Donncha Kennedy, Joe Lupton, Mike Everard, Macdara Butler, Eddie Costello, Eric Woodlock, Paul Collins, John Kennedy, Shane Delaney, Enda Walshe, Jerome Ryan, Phillip Looby, Martin McGrath, Matthew Buckley, Jamie Moloney, Mike Purcell, Padraig Stapleton.
Clonoulty-Rossmore: Declan O'Dwyer, Kevin Horan, James Heffernan, Joey O'Keeffe, Padraig Heffernan, John O'Keeffe, John Devane (capt.), Sean O'Connor, Tom Butler (0-1), Sean Maher (1-2), Conor Ryan (0-2), Jamie Moloney (0-1), John O'Neill (1-1), Timmy Hammersley (0-6), Ciaran Quirke. Subs: Martin Sadlier of Kevin Horan, Andrew Kearney for Sean O'Connor, Fiachra O'Keeffe for Jamie Moloney, Micheal Coen for Conor Ryan, Michael Heffernan for Ciaran Quirke.. Also: Jimmy Maher, Andrew Quirke, Liam Devane, Diarmuid Cullen, Aaron Ryan, Kieran Hammersley, Seamus Carew, Ciaran Carroll, Kevin Maher, Niall Shanahan, R. D. Martin, Aidan White, Thomas Butler, Paudie White, Conor Hammersley, Jason Forrestal.
Referee: Pat Gibson (Burgess)
Man of the Match Award: Johnny Ryan (Drom Inch).
The Seamus O Riain Cup
When this competition was introduced in 2008 it was a stand-alone one with a prestigious trophy to be won and it worked very well with Carrick Swan defeating Kilruane MacDonaghs in the final. The success of the first year didn't satisfy the powers-that-be because they introduced a change for the second year. The finalists were allowed back into the Dan Breen cup in order, it was claimed, to give the competition more stature. Instead of giving the competition more stature it was suggesting that the O Riain Cup was no longer capable of standing alone by making it a limited qualifier for the county championship proper. The same practice obtained for the 2010 competition.
There was further change in 2011 when the O Riain Cup became a fully fledged, back door qualifier for the McCarthy Cup. All 16 teams who failed to qualify for the Dan Breen Cup by virtue of failing to make the semi-final stage in their divisions were now given a second chance in Round 1 of the Dan Breen Cup. The eight teams that won Round 1 went on to play in Round 2, while the eight losers qualified for the O Riain Cup.
The make up of this group of eight teams was as follows: north – Borrisokane & Moneygall, south - Ballingarry and Ballybacon Grange, mid – Boherlahan & Moycarkey Borris, west – Cashel King Cormacs and Kickhams.
Following a draw for opponents two games in the quarter-finals were played on the last weekend in July. Kickhams defeated Borrisokane by 1-16 to 2-11 at Templederry on July 29, and Moycarkey-Borris defeated Ballingarry by 1-24 to 2-14 at Cashel on July 31. A week later at Holycross, Boherlahan-Dualla defeated Cashel King Cormacs by 4-17 to 3-19 after extra time. The final game in the quarter-finals wasn't played until September 10 when Moneygall defeated Ballybacon-Grange by 1-14 to 0-12 at Cashel.
On the same weekend the first of the semi-finals took place at Holycross and Moycarkey Borris defeated Boherlahan by 3-21 to 1-9. The second semi-final took place two weeks later at Templederry and Kickhams defeated Moneygall by 3-17 to 3-15.
The final was played at Semple Stadium as a curtain-raiser to the Dan Breen Cup final on October 16. The game was close enough in the first half with Moycarkey-Borris on top by 1-8 to 0-8 at the interval. Kickhams goalkeeper Paddy Ryan pulled off an early save to keep out Moycarkey full-forward Robert Doran after six minutes but he was helpless in the eleventh minute with the winners struck for the only goal of the game. Doran was again involved and the ball was finished to the net by corner-forward Anthony Healy. Kickhams responded well and were level after seventeen minutes, 0-6 to 1-3. However, Moycarkey had four of the next five scores and were ahead by the goal at the interval, despite playing against the breeze.
Having trailed by just three points at half-time, 0-8 to 1-8, Kickhams could only muster five points in the second half as Moycarkey-Borris tacked on ten points to claim an impressive win. Kickhams kept plugging away and were still only two points adrift, 0-13 to 1-12, in the forty-ninth minute, when Johnny Ryan sent over his third free of the afternoon. However, it was to be Kickhams last score after which Moycarkey hit six points without reply to secure a well-deserved victory on a score-line of 1-18 to 0-13
Moycarkey Borris: John Kelly; James Power, Paul Dempsey, David Morris; Rory Ryan, Pat Molloy, Willie Dempsey; Patrick Carey (0-2), Brian Moran (0-2); Robert Doran (0-1), Phil Kelly, Pat Ralph (0-2); Ciaran Clohessy (0-1), Kieran Morris (0-9, 2f), Anthony Healy (1-1). Subs: John Bergin for Kelly , Ailbe Power for Healy, James Bourke for Clohessy,, Kevin Moran for Rory Ryan , Lorcan Ryan for David Morris. Also: James Doran, James Bourke, John Bergin, Mossy Bracken, Gerry Maguire, Daniel Kirby, Paudi Doran, Niall O'Sullivan, Michael Cussen, Stephen Kirwan, Conor Hayes, Eamonn Flanagan, Jamie Barry, Michael Roche, Donie Bergin, Eamon Clohessy, Joe O'Sullivan, Peter Kinane, Gerry O'Connell, Peter O'Brien.
Kickhams: Paddy Ryan; Michael Shanahan, Brian Horgan, Cathal Morrissey; Damien McGrath (0-1), Eoin Carew, Patrick O'Brien (0-1f); David Butler (0-3), Tommy Comerford; Johnny Ryan (0-4, 3f), Daniel Breen, Paudie Slattery; Patrick Ryan, Fergal Horgan (0-2), Peter Comerford (0-2). Subs: Aidan Heney for Tommy Comerford, Niall O'Brien for Johnny Ryan . Also: Damien Hayes, James Shanahan, Shane Heelan, Shane Morrisey, David Shanahan, Brendan Farrell, Gary Heelan, John O'Brien, Conor Horan, Rory O'Dwyer, Noel O'Brien, Thomas Ryan.
Referee: Paddy Ivors (Ballingarry).
Senior Hurling Relegation
The four teams that lost in the quarter-finals of the O Riain Cup took part in the senior hurling relegation battle. Following a draw among the four, Ballingarry defeated Borrisokane by 3-13 to 1-9 at Holycross on September 11. In the second game two weeks later, Ballybacon-Grange defeated Cashel King Cormacs by 3-19 to 3-17 at Cahir after extra time.
Because there was no provision for extra time in the original regulation or in the notification of the game sent to the two clubs and the referee, Cashel objected to the result, although they had agreed to play when the match ended in a draw, and lodged an objection. Their appeal was thrown out by the county board and Cashel appealed to Munster Council. The latter ordered a re-play, which was to be played on December 11, but that was postponed. Stalemate developed and, as the year came to a close, it appeared as if relegation wouldn't be implemented for the year
Results at a Glance
County Senior Hurling Championship
24/09/2011 Semple Stadium Clonoulty Rossmore 3.18 Nenagh Eire Óg 0.14 Michael Hassett
24/09/2011 Semple Stadium Thurles Sarsfields 3.17 Loughmore Castleiney 2.16 Fergal Horgan
25/09/2011 Semple Stadium Mullinahone 2.21 Borris-ileigh 0.22 Ger Fitzpatrick AET
25/09/2011 Semple Stadium Drom & Inch 1.23 Toomevara 1.13 Paddy Ivors
02/10/2011 Semple Stadium Drom & Inch 1.20 Mullinahone 0.14 Fergal Horgan
02/10/2011 Semple Stadium Clonoulty Rossmore 2.14 Thurles Sarsfields 0.15 John Cleary
16/10/2011 Semple Stadium Drom & Inch 1-19 Clonoulty Rossmore 2-14 Pat Gibson
Seamus O'Riain Cup
29/07/2011 Templederry Borrisokane 2.11 Knockavilla Kickhams 1.16 Johnny Ryan
31/07/2011 Cashel Ballingarry 2.14 Moycarkey Borris 1.24 John Ryan Bob
06/08/2011 Holycross Boherlahan Dualla 4.17 Cashel King Cormacs 3.19 Pat Gibson AET
10/09/2011 Cashel Moneygall 1.14 Ballybacon Grange 0.12 Martin Ryan
10/09/2011 Holycross Moycarkey Borris 3.21 Boherlahan Dualla 1.09 Philip Kelly
24/09/2011 Templederry Knockavilla Kickhams 3.17 Moneygall 3.15 David Grogan
16/10/2011 Holycross Moycarky Borris 1.18 Knockavilla Kickams 0.13
Senior Hurling Relegation
11/09/2011 Holycross Ballingarry 3.13 Borrisokane 1.09 Johnny Ryan
25/09/2011 Cahir Ballybacon Grange 3.19 Cashel King Cormacs 3.17 Johnny Ryan AET
Tipperary GAA Yearbook, 2012 pp59-65