Wednesday, 17 December 2014

A look back at Waterford hurling in 2014 - Part 2

In the last number of years we are possibly spoiled when it comes to the success of our underage teams in the county.

The two teams entered into the Tony Forristal and Sony Walsh Tournament has seen an improvement in their results. For many years while effectively not true, Waterford could be seen to be there to make up numbers. However in the past number of years we have seen our teams, especially in the Tony Forristal section of the competition reach and win finals.

We have also seen our under 16 teams do well in the Tipperary Supporters Club under 16 Hurling championship (Still often referred to as the Nenagh Co-Op tournament by many). On the colleges scene we have seen results also improve. De La Salle got the ball rolling winning successive Dr. Harty and Dr. Croke Cups. Since then colleges sides from right across the county have been performing well at different levels which all bodes well for Waterford hurling than our best players are able to hold their own against the best in Munster and indeed nationally at the same age levels, while we also have a number of players involved with college sides outside the county and even outside the province who are more than holding their own as well.

What it is all meaning is that with almost a decade now, Waterford are putting together some good minor teams, who are now regularly involved in provincial finals and even bigger games, going as far as winning an All-Ireland in 2013.

No silverware was won in 2014 in the grades of Inter county hurling played beneath senior level down to and including minor level, but it is important to realise the while winning is nice and it breeds confidence that only one team can win each competition. It is also important to realise that the important thing from taking part in such competitions is that the best players are developed so that they can go on to play at the highest level in the years that follow.

While no silverware was won at Minor, Under 21 or Intermediate levels in 2014, it was none the less a good year, especially at minor levels. Maybe it could be argued that the next two levels, the year was a disappointment.

Waterford began the defence of the All-Ireland title won in September 2013 with a game against Clare at Ennis.

With a good number of the 2013 panel still available to new manager Derek Lyons for the year ahead, Waterford went into the game as the favourite’s something that does not always suit Waterford teams.

Waterford started the game very sluggishly and it was no surprise that Clare retired at the break with a 0-7 to 0-5 advantage on the score board but Waterford finished the game surge of 1-5 without replay to win the game 1-13 to 0-11.

In the first half lead by goalkeeper Jason Loughnane, Jamie Arthur, Seamus Downey, Rory Hayes, Brian Guilfoyle and the brilliant Aaron Shanagher Clare took the game to Waterford.

Waterford however in the second half came out a much hungrier side hitting points from Shane Ryan and Patrick Curran to level matters early in the second half.

Clare however with Darragh Walsh, Michael O’Malley and Ian Galvin to the fore lead 0-11 to 0-8 at the end of the third quarter.

Waterford however bossed the final quarter. Waterford began to empty their bench and one of the introduced played Eddie Meany proved to be the hero of the night hitting 1-1 the goal coming two minutes from the end of normal time.

The two sides met again in the semi final at Fraher Field after Clare came through the qualifiers.

If the first meeting of the two sides was close, this one was even closer.

At the end of the hour just one point (2-13 to 2-12) separated the sides in Waterford’s favour.

Patrick Curran was the hero for Waterford at one end of the field hitting 1-7 to help Waterford reach a fifth Munster Final in six years. At the other end, Waterford had an even bigger hero in Roanmore Club man Billy Nolan between the posts who pulled off an incredible injury time save to keep Waterford in the competition.

This was a reverse of the first meeting of the two sides. In the first game it was Clare who proved to be the better side in the first half, here it was Waterford.

Waterford retired at the break leading 2-8 to 2-2. Patrick Curran hit the first goal of the game on six minutes but it was cancelled out with an Aaron Shanagher double.

Waterford hit an important second goal just before the break when Sean Hogan found Patrick Curran who in turn found Shane Bennett and the Ballysaggart club man made no mistake in hammering the ball past Jason Loughnane.

Clare had their numbers cut by one when Michael O’Malley was sent off on a straight red but you could be forgiven for thinking that Clare were playing with a numerical disadvantage as they came tight back into the game with Colin Corbett, David Fitzgerald, Aaron Shanagher, Brian Guilfoyle and Ian Galvin all landing important scores.

With Clare in front Waterford steadied the ship with a Patrick Curran point followed by another vital score from Eddie Meaney which leveled matters and would later add the scores that would secure their passage to a meeting with Limerick in the final.

The final was a repeat of the 2013 final. That was a game that Waterford looked as though they were going to win, but took their eyes off the ball in the closing minutes and Limerick fought back to earn a draw. In the replay, Limerick proved too strong for Waterford and ran out worthy winners at Thurles.

Twelve months on, the two sides with many players involved on both sides that played in the final twelve months earlier again involved, the two sides fought out a game that a winner could not be found in on the day.

Limerick looked as though they would retail the title as the game drew to its conclusion, as they lead by three points, but just as happened to Waterford twelve months earlier when they looked certain winners and it was not they that took their eye off the ball, allowing Waterford to slip in for a late goal from Shane Ryan (to level matters Waterford 2-17 Limerick 3-14) who was on the field only moments.

There was plenty of drama in the replay at Semple Stadium. Both sides scored 42 scores, but the final outcome was the same as in 2013, a win to Limerick on a 0-24 to 0-18 score line.

Waterford lead by two at the break and eight minutes into the second half after Shane Ryan dodged two challenges Waterford lead 0-17 to 0-15 and it was looking good for Waterford, but Waterford would only hit one more score in the game.

In the final quarter of the game, the winners outscored Waterford nine points to one to run out deserved winners.

Ronan Lynch hit ten points on the night for Limerick. Tom Morrissey hit half that tall and Barry Nash also impressed.

For Waterford Patrick Curran was scorer in chief, hitting eight points. Colm Roche hit four double what Eddie Meaney and Shane Ryan hit for Derek Lyons men on the night.

There was a quick turn around for Waterford as there was twelve months earlier after loosing a Munster Final replay as Dublin laid in the long grass in an All-Ireland Final replay.

Maybe having a few days between a Munster Final replay and an All-Ireland quarter final is not ideal and maybe is something that the Munster Council could look at.

It’s hard to find a balance when it comes to games. Maybe the ideal situation would be for the Munster Council to play a replay the Thursday or Friday evening after a drawn Munster Final if the senior game does not also end in stalemate, allowing teams’ greater time to prepare and recover from the replay to the All-Ireland quarter final.

Maybe another solution might be for the Munster Council to bring their finals forward a week, allowing teams who may need a replay to find a winner of a competition a week and a half between the drawn game and a replay and another week and a half between the replay and the All-Ireland quarter final for the side that looses out.

Against Dublin at Thurles, Shane Ryan fired a brace of goals which helped Waterford to a 2-18 to 0-19 victory.

Waterford lead 1-8 to 0-8 at the break, the goal coming just before the half way point in the first half, a score that helped Waterford into a 1-4 to 0-2 lead.

The crucial second goal of the game came 12 minutes into the second half when Shane Ryan again hit the net after he was set up by Colm Roche to give Waterford a 2-13 to 0-13 lead.

Dublin managed by Waterford man Pat Fanning did come fighting back and to go within thee of Waterford (2-16 to 0-19) but Waterford finished strong with Peter Hogan and Shane Bennett landed points to set up an All-Ireland semi final for the second year in a row against Kilkenny.

Twelve months earlier Waterford beat Kilkenny at the same stage of the competition, but this year the Cats had a much stronger outfit to pick from, being able to call on several of the Kilkenny CBS and St Kieran’s College sides that contested the All-Ireland Colleges final for the Dr. Croke Cup.

At the end of the hour, the sides could not be separated, thanks in no small part to Alan Murphy if you were a Kilkenny supporter on the day as he put over a late ’65 to force the game to an extra 20 minutes beyond the hour mark.

Kilkenny lead 0-19 to 1-14 at the break in added time and in the final ten minutes of the game they continued to dominate as they ran out 1-23 to 1-14 winners, the goal coming from Mullinavat’s John Walsh six minutes from time.

At under 21 level, the year was a very disappointing one for Waterford.

Having reached five of the last six Minor Munster finals, Waterford would have been expected to field a strong team, and in truth they did, but the problem for Waterford is a lack of time together as a unit to prepare.

With a great deal of the senior panel to choose from, many were not released to train together with the under 21’s that were not part of the senior panel.

On the night, Cork had a five star performance from teenager Patrick Collins between the posts who made upwards of at least half a dozen great saves. The on-looking Jimmy Barry-Murphy could but not be impressed by the Ballincollig club man and surly it is only a matter of time that he will have him challenging Anthony Nash for the number 1 shirt in the rebel county.

Waterford went to the dressing rooms leading 0-11 to 0-10 but on another night that led would have been a double score one as Collins made terrific saves from senior players Austin Gleeson, Donie Breathnach and Jamie Barron to deny the goals.

An Aidan Cadogan goal in the third quarter turned the game. He did well to field a Cormac Murphy delivery between two defenders, beating both and fired home from close range.

Cork were reduced to 14 players for the final quarter as an umpire called the attention of the referee who sent off Cormac Murphy for an off the ball incident.

However as we have seen many times before playing with fourteen can often prove to be an advantage as the onus is on the opposition as to how to best deploy the spare man, something many find hard to work out what to do (for what its worth I would play a regular 3-3-2-3-3 formation with the forwards rotating to keep the opposing backs on their toes, keeping one man free and playing a lot of ball to him).

Cork in the final quarter added two more goals both from Anthony Spillane, the first coming about as a result of a disastrous short puck out, and he added a second three minutes from time which proved to be the icing on the cake as Cork ran out 3-18 to 0-16 winners.

At Intermediate level, Cork just like at Senior and Under 21 level eliminated Waterford from the Munster Championship.

On the day Peter O’Brien was outstanding for The Rebels in Thurles hitting 13 points from his side’s tally of 1-21.

Waterford went in at the break trailing 1-9 to 2-4 despite a perfect start where there was two quick goals scored by the Dungarvan duo of Gavin Crotty and Ryan Donnelly. But a Jamie Wall goal on twenty minutes proved crucial it drew the side’s level (2-3 to 1-6).

Waterford just as they had in the first half had a dream start to the second half as Ryan Donnelly cracked his second goal of the game while Killian Fitzgerald and Thomas Ryan also hit important scores to give Waterford a 3-8 to 1-11 lead with 40 minutes played.

But Waterford would collapse after this as they would hit just one more point in the closing twenty minutes, while Cork would average one point every two minutes of the last third of the game.


Tuesday, 16 December 2014

A look back at hurling in Waterford in 2014 - Part 1.

2014 was a disappointing year for Waterford on the Inter county hurling scene many of us will agree.

No silverware was won in a year that promised so much.

In 2013 Waterford were unlucky to loose to Kilkenny in the Championship after extra time, Waterford’s best championship result against ‘The Cats’ since 1959.

In 2013 Waterford won a first minor hurling All-Ireland since 1948 and some of the players involved in this side were expected to feature on the Waterford Under 21 and Intermediate teams in the championship as were members of the Dungarvan Colleges, Dungarvan CBS and Colaiste na Déise sides that proved successful in the past few years and some were expected to make the break through into the senior set up.

It was no surprise that some of the players involved in these successes made an impact. Colin Dunford, Austin Gleeson and Tadhg de Búrca were the ones that got their chance and took it.

Stephen Bennett was unlucky. He was brought into the panel and was expected to get game time in the early stages of the year, but Ballysaggart’s run in the club championship robbed him of playing early in the year for Waterford but he did manage to make his debut late in the year.

Waterford’s interest in all competitions ended sooner than any of us would have likes. But while no silverware will be displayed when the county board meet this week at its annual convention, there is some things that can be taken as pluses as we head into another year.

In eleven games (1 Waterford Crystal, 6 league, 2 Munster Championship and 2 All-Ireland Qualifiers) Derek McGrath used 35 players. 14 of these played all or a part in seven or more games.

Waterford put up some good scores. However while some good scores were put up, there was a problem at the end of the field.

Modern coaches have a tendency to fill as much space as is possible in their own half of the field, but if they do this and are leaving in big scores past them, when you don’t have enough players in the opposition’s side of the field you are always going to struggle for results.

Another problem Waterford had in 2014 was a lot of scores were coming from placed balls. When you are struggling to find the range from play it is going to be hard to win. Another problem was that from the chances Waterford were creating from open play the ball often went wide of the uprights.

Waterford’s year began with a game in the Waterford Crystal Cup against the Students of UL at Carriganore.

Waterford started well on what was a difficult day to play in and went to the dressing rooms at the break with a two point lead, but a goal three minutes into the second half from Jonathan Glynn turned the game and the students went on to win 1-11 to 0-10.

The League began for Waterford with a trip to Thurles to play Tipperary.

At the break things were going well for the visitors, as they went to the dressing rooms holding a 0-8 to 0-5 advantage with all but two of Waterford’s scores coming from Pauric Mahony.

The Ballygunner man would tag on another four points in the second half, but he was powerless to stopping Waterford from going under.

A goal from Seamus Callanan on 47 minutes drew the sides level 1-7 to 0-10 and when Darren Gleeson who made the number 1 shirt his own following the retirement of Brendan Cummins sent a long range free all the way to the Waterford net it ensured that the home side secured a 2-13 to 0-16 victory.

Galway travelled to Walsh Park in round two. A week earlier the Tribes men had trounced Dublin and were travelling on a high.

For the third game in a row, Waterford turned around at the break with an advantage. The question now was if Waterford could reverse previous trends and go on and win a game for the first time in the calendar year.

On the day, Waterford played possibly as well as they did all year. There were some excellent performances all around the field. Pauric Mahony again finished as top scorer with eleven points, half a dozen of which came from frees. Seven other players also got on the score sheet sharing tallies ranging from one to four points giving hope that the tide was beginning to turn.

A 0-22 to 1-13 win over the Tribesmen was followed up with another win against Dublin in Walsh Park.

However, it was not easy for Waterford who had their numbers cut when Michael Walsh was sent off on a straight red card.

For the fourth game in a row, Waterford went in at the break with an advantage on the scoreboard, and with each player on the field putting in an extra shift to make up for the absence of the Michael Walsh, the home side in the second half held the visitors scoreless for 28 minutes.

Pauric Mahony again finished top scorer for Waterford with 1-8, 0-7 of which came from placed balls while Seamus Prendergast, Brian O’Sullivan, Ryan Donnelly and Kevin Moran also got on the score sheet as Waterford won out 1-13 to 1-10.

There was an expectation now amongst Waterford supporters that 2014 could well be a memorable year. Another win in Waterford’s last two games would secure a place in the quarter finals and once playing knockout hurling, anything could happen.

Waterford’s penultimate league game was in Ennis.

The game was over as a contest at the break. In truth it was over as a contest well before the break. Clare went to the dressing rooms holding a 4-15 to 0-4 lead and would only go through the motions in the second half.

Waterford did manage to put in a better second half, hitting 16 scores with the home side hitting just 4 scores in 35 minutes, one of which resulted in a fifth green flag being waved.

Pauric Mahony again finished top scorer for Waterford with eight points, six of which came from frees. Brian O’Sullivan, Maurice Shanahan, Stephen Molumphy, Ryan Donnelly, Kevin Moran and Shane Roche shared the rest.

After defeat to Clare, Waterford hoped to get back to winning ways and secure their place in the quarter finals of the league when they took on Kilkenny at Nolan Park, but the final outcome was very similar to the one recorded at Ennis.

In what was a close first half the home side at the break held a 1-7 to 0-8 advantage, but in the second half Brian Cody’s charges hit the ground running putting 3-15 past Waterford.

Pauric Mahony finished the game with five points, all from frees in the first half. Ray Barry proved to be Waterford best player on the day hitting four points all from play after he came in for fellow Lismore man Maurice Shanahan.

Three defeats in five games meant Waterford were in a relegation play off with Dublin.

Waterford won the toss for home advantage. Having beaten Dublin at Walsh Park weeks earlier expectations were that Waterford would win again and retain their place in Division 1A for 2015.

But for a side to beat the same opposition twice in a short space of time is always a big ask. The looser of the first game is often the side that learns most and give them an advantage heading into the second game.

Just as happened in the first meeting between the sides Waterford had their numbers cut during this game as Shane O’Sullivan was dismissed.

Waterford started the game brightly as Ray Barry and Brian O’Sullivan hit scores inside the opening 51 seconds, a lead that stretched when Pauric Mahony hit three points to give Waterford a 0-5 to 0-0 lead after 10 minutes.

The visitors pulled a goal back three minutes later when Paul Ryan blasted a 21 metre free to the Waterford net.

Seamus Prendergast caused Dublin all sorts of problems and on 21 minutes he set up Darragh Fives for a goal, just moments after he replaced Stephen Molumphy. Colm Cronin four minutes from the break gathered from Mark Schutte and he buried past Ian O’Regan to help his side to a 2-6 to 1-8 lead at the turn around.

A brace of Danny Sutcliffe goals in the third quarter put Dublin in command and went on to win 4-13 to 1-17 and retain their Division 1A status.

Between the end of the league and the championship, no stone was left unturned to get Waterford ready. A number of challenge games were played and some players who were not regular starters in the league came into contention for a place in the team.

When June 8 came around, expectations were high amongst some.

The game with Cork ended 1-21 to 1-21, but Waterford will be disappointed not to have won.

Waterford fielded a youthful team. This was partly due to necessity and partly due to the fact that some of the up and coming players in the county had done enough in the weeks leading up to the game to earn a place in the team.

On his championship debut Clashmore’s Tadhg de Búrca was magnificent. Austin Gleeson announced his introduction to big time hurling with a suburb goal, one that would rival John Fenton’s goal for Cork against Limerick in the 1980’s as one of the greatest ever scored at the Thurles venue.

Waterford seldom looked in trouble in defence, except for a moment just before the break when Barry Coughlan was deemed to have pulled down Pat Horgan as he bore down on goal.  Brian Gavin awarded Cork a free, which Patrick Horgan struck over for a point, a score that was cancelled out by Austin Gleeson to give Waterford a 0-13 to 0-7 lead at the interval.

Cork on the resumption increased the tempo and succeeded in reducing the deficit when they hit four of the first six points in the half.

However the tide would turn again when Austin Gleeson, crashed a memorable goal fit to grace any occasion. Taking possession on the Cork 45m line he left three defenders for dead and proceeded to plant the ball into the top corner of Anthony Nash’s net.

Waterford added further scores from Shane Walsh and Pauric Mahoney before the game turned thanks to a Bill Cooper goal after Stephen O’Keeffe did well to deny Horgan but when the Waterford defence failed to clear the loose ball, the Youghal man scrambled to the net.

After this Cork were the better of the sides. They drew level with time ticking down but Seamus Prendergast edged Waterford back in front with the game in stoppage time.

No game however is over till the final whistle sounds

Austin Gleeson was deemed to have fouled Anthony Nash as he made a clearance and as a result a free was awarded from where the ball dropped. From 30 metres Patrick Horgan was going to make no mistake ensuring that the two sides would have to return to Thurles for a second clash.

Were Waterford good for the first meeting with Cork at Thurles or did the rebels play beneath the standard they are capable of. The answer to that will never be decided upon by a unanimous vote.

Which ever is true, there could be no disputing who the better team was for the second game between the two sides.

Just under 22,100 people saw Cork prove forever too strong winning the game by a double score tally.

Patrick Horgan was vital for Cork on the day as he hit ten of his sides twenty-eight points.

Cork lead 0-14 to 0-5 at the break. The sides were level on three occasions in the opening minutes but Cork never allowed Waterford to build up a head of steam like they had in the first game.

Patrick Horgan, Bill Cooper, Conor Lehane and Seamus Harnedy all shun for the winners.

Waterford again relied on Pauric Mahony for much of their scores. He hit five points, four of which came from placed balls. Newcomers Austin Gleeson and Colin Dunford also shared five points, while Shane O’Sullivan, Brian O’Sullivan, Shane Walsh and Richie Foley also got on the score sheet.

Cork ran out convincing winners (0-28 to 0-14) to end Waterford’s hopes of winning a fifth Munster title since 2002. Waterford if they were to be in Croke Park in September would have to do it the scenic way.

Laois provided the opposition for Waterford at Walsh Park in the first round of the qualifiers.

The Midlanders reached the quarter finals of the league playing out of Division 1B and along the way they made things difficult for many sides along the way.

They were expected to put up stiff opposition for Waterford and for much of the game this is what happened.

Waterford won 2-22 to 1-15 in front of just over 5,000 spectators but it was only in the closing minutes that the game was won.

Pauric Mahony was again top scorer for Waterford with eleven points, all but one of which came from frees, while Shane Walsh bagged a brace of goals.

The visitors could not have asked for a better start to this game. Neil Foyle finished to the net with just 57 seconds on the clock, but Waterford responded well after leaving in the early goal and went to the dressing rooms at the break leading 2-10 to 1-5.

The first of the Waterford goals came on ten minutes after Colin Dunford cut in from the right touchline and supplied Shane Walsh with a perfect pass.

Waterford struck a second goal again through the Fourmilewater club man and five more unanswered points were struck to give Waterford a double score lead at the interval.

Waterford could have been even further in front at the break but for the fact they hit ten wide’s in the opening 35 minutes and early in the second half it looked as though they could be made to pay for these misses as Laois began well as Willie Hyland began the second half with a brace of points.

After Waterford went 2-17 to 1-9 in front, Laois hit back with five points in a row with Willie Hyland and John Purcell playing vital rolls.

This was as good as it got for the midlander’s  as Waterford finished strong and could have won by more in the end but for Eoin Reilly pulling off a magnificent save to divert a Jake Dillon effort over the crossbar.

In the second round of the qualifiers Waterford were handed a game against Wexford at Nolan Park.

19,000 people say the Model County side record a 3-15 to 2-15 win in this game.

Paul Morris was the hero for Wexford shooting 1-6 with Conor McDonald and David Redmond also raising green flags.

The games first goal came in 12 minutes went in the way of the Leinster side as Paul Morris gave Stephen O’Keeffe no chance to give his side a 1-4 to 0-3 lead.

Waterford were awarded a chance to cancel out the score just a minute later when they were awarded a penalty, but Austin Gleeson had his effort saved by Moore and the ball was put out for a ’65 which Pauric Mahony converted.

Wexford held a lead till the twenty fourth minute of the game when Colin Dunford and Austin Gleeson landed points to draw the sides level 1-6 to 0-9 and two minutes later, Waterford took the lead when Pauric Mahony put over a free and that lead was extended when Jake Dillon and Austin Gleeson landed scores to give Waterford a 0-12 to 1-7 lead after 28 minutes.

Wexford would draw level as Paul Morris and Liam McGovern landed points with 33 minutes played.

Wexford would retire at the break 2-9 to 0-12 in front as Conor McDonald cracked an unstoppable shot past Stephen O’Keeffe one minute into added time at the end of the first half.

Wexford began the second half as they ended the first. Podge Doran stuck the first score of the second half on 38 minutes and just three minutes later Wexford hit a third goal through David Redmond. Wexford could have been even further in front at this stage as just a minute earlier Stephen O’Keeffe did brilliantly to keep Paul Morris at bay.

This was the wake up call that Waterford needed as Pauric Mahony landed a point on 44 minutes, Kevin Moran with a brilliant pass found Colin Dunford three minutes later and he made no mistake in hitting the Wexford net and a minute later Austin Gleeson struck again to leave Waterford trailing 3-10 to 1-14 with 48 minutes played.

A quick exchange of scores soon followed as Colin Dunford again hit the Wexford net again to give Waterford a one point lead but it was soon wiped out when Paul Morris dissected the Waterford uprights to level matters at 2-14 to 3-11.

Paul Morris hit Wexford’s next three points and Stephen Molumphy hit one for Waterford which gave Wexford a 3-14 to 2-15 lead with 16 minutes still to play.

After this both sides began to slow down and so did the scores with both sides missing chances to change the score board.

In the closing minutes one further score was registered, an Ian Byrne point with four minutes left on the clock which gave Wexford a three point advantage.

That loss ended what some might call a disappointing year for Waterford. However a new year is around the corner. There is lots of changes in 2015 but we can for now hope that the year ahead will be a good one and that this time next year there will be some silverware, even Crystal-ware on show for the effort put in during the course of the year.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Devine Inspiration for Modeligo

They went into the game as Western and County Junior Hurling Champions, and on Sunday last Modeligo made sure that 2014 was going to end on a high for them when they became only the second Waterford club to win Divisional, County and Provincial titles in the one year when they beat Cork champions Castlemartyr at Mallow.

While the Cork side went into the game as the favourite’s to win, there was many, possibly more in Waterford than anywhere else who believed that Pa Kearney’s Modeligo charges could win this game, repeating what Ballysaggart did twelve months earlier, but few could have anticipated that the score difference between the two would be as wide as it was at the end of sixty minutes of hurling.

It’s possibly fair to say that at the start of the year that few could have envisaged that the year Modeligo had would end the way it did.

They would be second favourite’s earlier in the year to win Divisional honours even though it was they had run last years champions Ballysaggart closest on their run to an All-Ireland final appearance in Croke Park, and for the county title there would be three or four teams more fancied to win ahead of Modeligo.

But from the off this year they have impressed under the guidance of Ballyduff Upper man, Pa Kearney who in his mid 20’s is already regarded as one of the best up and coming coach’s not just in Waterford but in Munster and it would be no surprise to hear his name getting linked to positions at a higher standard in the near future.

Sunday’s win was the fifth competition that Modeligo have won this year. While some may talk down the side in green and white winning the Western League Final, remember they were a junior club playing against Intermediate clubs, some who had serious ambitions of playing senior in the near future, and winning the Western Junior Football League Final, it is worth reporting that a win is a win, no matter what it is in and that winning instills confidence into a side and all year Modeligo did not lack confidence.

They will have a short break from the game now before returning to prepare for their All-Ireland Quarter Final early in the new year against the British champions Fullen Gaels who last year reached the semi final’s where they played eventual All-Ireland winners Creggan Kickhams from Antrim, and should they come through the game with the Manchester Club in Birmingham, a game against Monaghan Senior Hurling Championship and League as well as Ulster Junior Champions Castleblayney in the All-Ireland semi final at the end of January. (Castleblayney, like St Joseph’s from Sligo last year, play in the junior championship owing to the level their senior inter county play at).

On the day of this game, Modeligo put in a magnificent team performance. Each and every player that got to taste action on the day played their part, as did the subs that were not called upon on the day.

But on the day one player above all stood out.

For Tom Devine the past year and a half have proven to be a special time.

He was part of a St. Augustine’s College side that won a Munster and All-Ireland Football title in early 2013. He was the captain of the Dungarvan Colleges side that won the Dr. Harty and Dr. Croke competitions. He was part of a Waterford Minor team that took Limerick to a replay in the Munster Final, part of a Minor Football team that helped the county to a win over Limerick championship and put up an terrific battle against Kerry in their own back yard in Killarney. He was part of the Waterford team that won a first minor All-Ireland final since 1948, hitting a score late on in the game which turned the game just as Galway were coming string against the Waterford defense. He was part of the Modeligo side that make Ballysaggart dig as deep as they did in last years Western Junior Hurling semi final. But his performance last Sunday would equal, maybe better what he had achieved in the past number of months.

He was magnificent on Sunday afternoon last. He scored two goals and helped set up two more. In fact he could have ended this game with a hat-trick if luck was on his side. All Modeligo did against the East Cork side at Mallow on Sunday last he was involved in or was never too far from been involved.

Modeligo opened the scoring in this game within ninety seconds of the game starting thanks to an effort from Kieran McCarthy who was back in the side after picking up an injury in the county final win over Bunmahon.

Barry Lawton was the player that Modeligo most had to keep quiet if they were to win this game. He was their scorer in chief all year winning the East Cork and County Championship and again in their only game in the Munster Championship prior to this game, a quarter final win over Kerry Intermediate Champions Kenmare.

It was he who got the Cork side off the mark with a pointed free on two minutes which leveled the scores on the score board.

Jamie Troy and Lawton would swap scores before the first of five goals scored in this game was registered on nine minutes. Not surprisingly Tom Devine played a part in the goal. It was he who picked out Michael Troy who drilled the ball past Eanna McGovern to give his side a 1-2 to 0-2 lead.

Barry Lawton pulled back a point for the Cork Champions two minutes later, but in the thirteenth minutes Modeligo would have the umpire reaching for a green flag again, this time Tom Devine turned from goal provider to goal scorer as he flicked over the advancing Eanna McGovern having been set up by former inter county hurler Pat Fitzgerald to give his side a 2-2 to 0-3 advantage.

Kieran McCarthy and Jamie Troy tagged on further points to give them a 2-4 to 0-3 lead with eighteen minutes on the clock.

Castlemartyr would pull points back through Barry Lawton and Briain Ó Tuama but Modeligo would end the half the stronger of the two sides as they were for much of the game to this point as Nicky O’Donovan set up by his older brother Pa and Jamie Troy from a free landed points and just before the half time whistle, Modeligo would add a third goal, a second in the game for Michael Troy following some good work by Kieran McCarthy and Tom Devine in the build up.

Whatever was said in the Castlemartyr dressing room at the break looked as though it was going to work in the second half, as they came out all guns blazing, hitting four points inside the first five minutes of the second half, three from Barry Lawton and one from his brother Brian to leave five between the sides.

But just as they had done at crucial points in the opening half, Modeligo hit back with another timely struck goal on thirty eight minutes.

Thomas and Pa Walsh linked up and when an effort from the latter was not dealt with properly by the Castlemartyr defense Jamie Troy bounced and with a ground stroke, Eanna McGovern was beaten for the fourth side.

Castlemartyr through Barry Lawton pulled a point back, but Modeligo would soon hit another purple patch when it came to scoring as Jamie Troy, Pa O’Donovan, Jamie Troy (again) and Kieran McCarthy in a eight minutes spell, a period of which the Cork side would only hit once score through Barry Lawton from a free which gave Modeligo a 4-10 to 0-12 lead with just over ten minutes to play.

There was still plenty of time for the East Cork side to come back into the game, but it was important that they scored next and it was important that the next score for them would be a goal, but it did not work out as they would have wanted.

It was Modeligo that scored next, and that score was a fifth goal. In fact it was the score of the game and it was no surprise that Tom Devine was involved.

The talented teenager bore down on the Castlemartyr defense with ten minutes to play and directed a bullet of a shot in the direction of the Castlemartyr goal which Eanna McGovern was powerless to keep out. This score gave the side in green and white a 5-10 to 0-12 lead and in effect made sure that there was going to be no late fight back.

Both sides in the final ten minutes tagged on a further two point’s each. Jamie Troy had the umpire reaching for the white flag on fifty five and fifty seven minutes. Either side of these scores Eddie Clifford and Colin Bowens both second half subs tagged on scores for Castlemartyr.

Next up for Modeligo as already pointed out is a trip across the Irish Sea and a meeting with Fullen Gaels in Birmingham.

This will not be an easy game for Modeligo and the winners will have just two weeks off before they play Castleblayney in the semi finals. Galway champions Annaghdown and competition favourites Bennetsbridge meet in the second semi final.

Modeligo will have taken much inspiration from Ballysaggart last year. The 2013 divisional, county and provincial champions could and possibly should have collected silverware on the steps of the Hogan Stand last February. Modeligo will know having run Ballysaggart so close last year they can go that step further this year.

A lot of water must travel under the Bridge between now and then if it is to happen. The Kilkenny champions may be favourites to win in Croke Park but Modeligo know they not favourites to win Divisional, County and Provincial titles a few months back, but they have come out on top in the games they have played up to now and now have to believe that they can come out on top in the games that are to due to be played.  

MODELIGO: Donal O’Keeffe; Johnny McGrath, Brian McCarthy, Robbie Buckley; Shane Troy, Pat Fitzgerald, Seanie O’Donovan; Tom Devine, Thomas Walsh; Kieran McCarthy, Jamie Troy, Nicky O’Donovan; Michael Troy, Pa O’Donovan, Pa Walsh. Subs: Rian Reddy for Pa Walsh, 53; Sean Hennessy for Robbie Buckley and Louis Queally for Thomas Walsh, both 55; Paudie McCarthy for Johnny McGrath, 59.

Scorers: Jamie Troy 1-6 (0-4 fs); Michael Troy, Tom Devine 2-0 each; Kieran McCarthy 0-3; Nicky O’Donovan 0-2; Pa O’Donovan 0-1.

CASTLEMARTYR: Eanna McGovern; Ollie Smiddy, Robert O’Donovan, Eoin Roynane; Donnacha O Tuama, Brian Smiddy, Adrian Bowens; Briain O Tuama, Barra O Tuama; Damien McAuliffe, Brian Lawton, Jamie Stack; Cian Haines Mike O’Neill, Barry Lawton. Subs: Eddie Clifford for Cian Haines, 40; Colin Bowens for Mike O’Neill 47; Peter Horgan for Jamie Stack, J. Lawton for Donnacha O Tuama, both 54; Jimmy Smiddy for Damien McAuliffe, 55.

Scorers: Barry Lawton 0-10 (0-8 fs, 0-1 65); Brian Lawton, Barra O Tuama, Colin Bowens and Eddie Clifford 0-1 each.

Referee: Johnny Murphy (Limerick).

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Modeligo and Castlemartyr's paths to 2014 Munster Junior Club Hurling Final

Modeligo’s path to the Munster Final:
Modeligo 1-16 Colligan 1-16: (West Waterford Championship Round 1)
Brian McCarthy; Robbie Buckley, Jamie Troy, Sean Hennessy; Shane Troy, Kieran McCarthy, Johnny McGrath; Thomas Walsh, Tom Devine; Pat Fitzgerald, Pa Walsh, Michael Troy; Nicky O’Donovan, Pa O’Donovan, Tom Cashman. Subs Used. Paudie McCarthy, Rian Reddy.
Scorers: Pa Walsh 0-8 (8f), Tom Devine 0-4, Pat Fitzgerald 0-3, Nicky Donovan 1-0, Michael Troy 0-1.

Modeligo 0-21 Geraldine’s 0-11: (West Waterford Championship Round 2)
Brian McCarthy; Robbie Buckley, Jamie Troy, Paudie McCarthy; Sean O’Donovan, Pat Fitzgerald, Shane Troy; Thomas Walsh, Tom Devine; Pa Walsh, Kieran McCarthy, Nicky O’Donovan; Michael Troy, Pa O’Donovan, Rian Reddy. Subs Used: Tom Cashman.
Scorers: Pa Walsh 0-11 (10f), Pa O’Donovan 0-5, Thomas Walsh 0-3, Tom Devine, Michael Troy 0-1 each.

Modeligo 2-12 St Mary’s 1-13: (West Waterford Championship Round 3)
Donal O’Keeffe; Paudie McCarthy, Brian McCarthy, Robbie Buckley; Johnny McGrath, Pat Fitzgerald, Sean O’Donovan; Thomas Walsh, Jamie Barron; Nicky O’Donovan, Kieran McCarthy, Sean Hennessy; Michael Troy, Pa O’Donovan, Rian Reddy. Subs Used. Shane Troy, Louis Queally.
Scorers: Pa O’Donovan 1-4, Kieran McCarthy 1-0, Michael Troy, Jamie Troy 0-3 each, Thomas Walsh, Nicky O’Donovan 0-1 each.

Modeligo 1-19 Colligan 0-10: (West Waterford Championship Round 4) – repeat of games in Round 1
Donal O’Keeffe; Paudie McCarthy, Brian McCarthy, Robbie Power; John McGrath, Pat Fitzgerald, Shane Troy; Sean O’Donovan, Thomas Walsh; Nicky O’Donovan, Jamie Troy, Louis Queally; Michael Troy, J.P. Ryan, Rian Reddy. Subs Used: Sean Hennessy, Tom Cashman, Micheal Power, Richard McGrath, Gary Power.
Scorers: Jamie Troy 0-13 (13f), Michael Troy 1-1, Nicky O’Donovan 0-2, Thomas Walsh, Louis Walsh, Rian Reddy 0-1 each.

Modeligo top the group and go straight to the Western Final. Colligan and Geraldine’s contest semi final. 

Modeligo 1-19 Colligan 0-11: (Western Final)
Donal O’Keeffe; John McGrath, Brian McCarthy, Robbie Buckley; Shane Troy, Pat Fitzgerald, Sean O’Donovan; Tom Devine, Thomas Walsh; Kieran McCarthy, Jamie Troy, Nicky O’Donovan; Rian Reddy, Pa O’Donovan, Michael Troy. Subs Used: Pa Walsh, Sean Hennessy, Louis Queally.
Scorers: Tom Devine 1-5 (0-2f), Jamie Troy 0-6 (5f), Kieran McCarthy 0-5, Nicky McCarthy, Rian Reddy, Pa O’Donovan 0-1 each.

Modeligo 2-25 Bunmahon 0-8 (County Final)
Donal O’Keeffe; John  McGrath, Brian McCarthy, Robbie Buckley; Sean O’Donovan, Pat Fitzgerald, Shane Troy; Kieran McCarthy, Thomas Walsh; Nicky O’Donovan, Jamie Troy, Pa O’Donovan; Michael Troy, Tom Devine, Rian Reddy. Subs Used: Pa Walsh, Louis Queally, Sean Hennessy, Paudie McCarthy, Richie McGrath.
Scorers: Jamie Troy 0-9 (3F), Pa O’Donovan 0-6, Tom Devine, Michael Troy 1-3 each, Kieran McCarthy 0-2, Nicky O’Donovan, Sean O’Donovan 0-1 each.

Modeligo 2-17 Feohanagh Castlemahon 2-12 (Munster semi final)
Donal O’Keeffe; Robbie Buckley, Brian McCarthy, Sean O’Donovan; Johnny McGrath, Pat Fitzgerald, Shane Troy; Pa Walsh, Thomas Walsh; Nicky O’Donovan, Pa O’Donovan, Jamie Troy; Rian Reddy, Tom Devine, Michael Troy. Subs Used. Louis Queally.
Scorers: Jamie Troy 0-8 (5f, 2 ’65), Tom Devine 1-3, Michael Troy 1-1, Pa O’Donovan 0-3, Pa Walsh 0-2.

Castlemartyr’s path to the Munster Final
Castlemartyr 2-15 Sarsfields 1-12 (East Cork Preliminary Round)
Eanna McGovern; Ollie Smiddy, Robert O’Donovan, Brian O’Tuama; Damien McAuliffe, Brian Smiddy, Adrian Bowens; Barra O’Tuama Donnacha O’Tuama; Jimmy Smiddy, Seanie Hennessy, Brian Lawton; Liam Martin, Mike O’Neill, Eddie Clifford. Sub used: Barry Lawton
Scorers: Eddie Clifford 1-1, Brian Lawton 0-4, Jimmy Smiddy 0-4 (2f) Barra O’Tuama 0-3, Mike O’Neill 1-0, Adrian Bowens 0-2(1f), Liam Martin 0-1.

Castlemartyr 1-18 St. Ita’s 3-11(East Cork Quarter Final)
Eanna McGovern; Ollie Smiddy, Robert O’Donovan, Brian O’Tuama; Donnacha O’Tuama, Adrian Bowens, Brian Smiddy; Peter Horgan, Barra O’Tuama; Brian Lawton, Seanie Hennessey, Barry Lawton; Eddie Clifford, Mike O’Neill, Liam Martin. Subs Used: Damien McAulliffe, Jamie Stack, Jimmy Smiddy
Scorers: Barry Lawton 0-9 (7f), Brian Lawton 1-2, Eddie Clifford 0-4, Brian Smiddy, Seanie Hennessey, Jamie Stack 0-1 each.

Castlemartyr 0-21 Sarsfields 0-18 (East Cork Semi Final)
Eanna McGovern; Ollie Smiddy, Robert O’Donovan, Brian O’Tuama; Donnacha O’Tuama, Brian Smiddy, Adrian Bowens; Peter Horgan, Barra O’Tuama; Damien McAulliffe, Brian Lawton, Barry Lawton; Eddie Clifford, Seanie Hennessey, Jamie Stack. Subs Used: Liam Martin, Jimmy Smiddy.
Scorers: Barry Lawton 0-8 (4f), Brian Lawton 0-7, Eddie Clifford 0-2, Brian Smiddy, Adrian Bowens, Seanie Hennessey, Jamie Stack 0-1 each

Castlemartyr 1-16 Cobh 2-11 (East Cork Hurling Final)
Eanna McGovern; Ollie Smiddy, Robert O’Donovan, Brian O’Tuama; Donnacha O’Tuama, Brian Smiddy, Adrian Bowens; Barra O’Tuama, Peter Horgan; Jimmy Smiddy, Brian Lawton, Damien McAulliffe; Eddie Clifford, Seanie Hennessey, Barry Lawton. Subs Used: Liam Martin, Jamie Stack, Colin Bowens
Scorers: Barry Lawton 1-8 (0-5f), Brian Lawton 0-2, Barra O’Tuama, Jimmy Smiddy, Damien McAulliffe, Eddie Clifford, Seanie Hennessey, Liam Martin 0-1 each.

Castlemartyr 0-22 Newcestown 2-16 (County Quarter Final)
Eanna McGovern; Brian O’Tuama, Robert O’Donovan, Ollie Smiddy; Donnacha O’Tuama, Brian Smiddy, Adrian Bowens; Peter Horgan, Barra O’Tuama; Damien McAulliffe, Brian Lawton, Barry Lawton; Eddie Clifford, Seanie Hennessy, Liam Martin. Subs Used: Jamie Stack, Jimmy Smiddy. 
Scorers: Barry Lawton 0-12 (7f), Barra O’Tuama, Eddie Clifford, Jimmy Smiddy 0-2 each, Brian Smiddy, Damien McAuliffe, Brian Lawton, Liam Martin 0-1 each.  

Castlemartyr 2-10 Newcestown 1-11 (County Quarter Final Replay)
Eanna McGovern; Eoin Ronayne, Robert O’Donovan, Brian O’Tuama; Donnacha O’Tuama, Brian Smiddy, Adrian Bowens; Barra O’Tuama, Peter Horgan; Brian Lawton, Damien McAulliffe, Jimmy Smiddy; Seanie Hennessy, Barry Lawton, Liam Martin. Subs Used. Jamie Stack, Eddie Clifford, Cian Haines, Colin Bowens, Mike O’Neill.
Scorers: Barry Lawton 0-7 (4f, 1 ’65), Brian Lawton 1-1, Cian Haines 1-0, Barra O’Tuama, Jamie Stack 0-1 each.

Castlemartyr 0-19 Cloughduv 1-16 County Semi Final
Eanna McGovern; Eoin Ronayne, Robert O’Donovan, Ollie Smiddy; Donnacha O’Tuama, Brian Smiddy, Adrian Bowens; Brian O’Tuama,  Barra O’Tuama; Damien McAulliffe, Brian Lawton, Barry Lawton; Cian Haines, Seanie Hennessey, Liam Martin. Subs Used: Jamie Stack, Jimmy Smiddy, Colin Bowens
Scorers: Barry Lawton 0-6 (3f), Brian Lawton 0-5, Seanie Hennessey, Cian Haines 0-3 each, Brian Smiddy 0-2.

Castlemartyr 2-14 Cloughduv 0-15 (County Semi Final Replay)
Eanna McGovern; Eoin Ronayne, Robert O’Donovan, Ollie Smiddy; Donnacha O’Tuama, Brian O’Tuama, Adrian Bowens; Brian Smiddy, Barra O’Tuama; Donnacha McAuliffe, Brian Lawton, Barry Lawton; Cian Haines, Seanie Hennessy, Jamie Stack. Subs Used: Peter Horgan, Liam Martin, Jimmy Smiddy, Colin Bowens
Scorers: Barry Lawton 0-9 (4f, 1 ’65), Cian Haines, Jamie Stack 1-0 each, Brian Lawton 0-3, Barra O’Tuama, Donnacha McAuliffe 0-1 each.

Castlemartyr 0-18 Ballinhassig 0-10 (County Final)
Eanna McGovern; Ollie Smiddy, Robert O’Donovan, Eoin Ronayne; Donnacha O’Tuama, Brian Smiddy, Adrian Bowens; Brian O’Tuama, Barra O’Tuama; Damien McAuliffe, Brian Lawton, Barry Lawton; Jamie Stack, Seanie Hennessy, Cian Haines. Subs used: Liam Martin, Jimmy Smiddy
Scorers: Barry Lawton (0-9, 3fs, 2 65s), Brian O’Tuama, S Hennessy (0-2 each), J Stack, Barra O’Tuama, Brian Lawton, L Martin, D McAuliffe (0-1 each).

Castlemartyr 1-16 Kenmare 0-10 (Munster Club Quarter Final)
Eanna McGovern; Ollie Smiddy, Robert O’Donovan, Eoin Ronayne; Donnacha O’Tuama, Brian Smiddy, Adrian Bowens; Barra O’Tuama, Brian O’Tuama, Barry Lawton, Brian Lawton, Damien McAuliffe; Jamie Stack, Mike O’Neill, Cian Haines. Subs used. Liam Martin, Jimmy Smiddy, Peter Horgan, S Collins, J Lawton.
Scorers: Barry Lawton 0-7, Brian Lawton 0-4, Jamie Stack 1-1, Mike O’Neill 0-2, Barra O’Tuama, Liam Martin 0-1 each.

Castlemartyr received a bye in the Munster Semi Final as the Clare Championship was not complete in time.

Family Connections in Modeligo

Pa, Seanie and Nicky O’Donovan are brothers. Their father Nicky and his brothers Vince and Ger were key Modeligo players in the past and won honours with the club.

The O’Donovan brothers are first cousin’s to Pat Fitzgerald. Pat was involved with Waterford during Justin McCarthy’s time in charge of Waterford, winning Munster and National League medals. He has also played senior hurling in both Waterford and Kilkenny.

Shane, Jamie and Michael Troy are brothers. There father John is a selector with the team. John in the past was one of Modeligo’s finest players and won honours along with his brothers. Shane, Jamie and Michael’s sister Marian has played Ladies football with Waterford in the late 90’s and early 00’s.

Kieran and Brian McCarthy are also brothers. John and Richie McGrath are also brothers.

A fifth set of brothers on the Modeligo panel are Stevie and Mike Bumster. Their uncle Michael Power is also part of the Modeligo panel and is the current club PRO. Michael’s son Gary is also part of the panel.

Another family connection for Modeligo is that former player and current selector Kenny Reddy’s son Rian is also part of the team throughout the year.

Castlemartyr’s Roll of Honour (underage titles not included)

Junior 'A' Hurling East Cork Champions:
1935, 1946, 1950, 1951, 1954, 1963, 1964, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014

Junior 'A' Hurling Cork County Champions:
1951, 1964, 2014

Junior 'C' Hurling East Cork Champions:

Intermediate County Football League Champions:

Junior 'A' Football East Cork Champions:
1982, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991

Junior 'B' Football East Cork Champions:

Modeligo’s Roll of Honour (underage titles not included)

Junior Football Western Champions:
1986, 1990, 1992, 1996, 2007

Junior Football County Champions:

Junior ‘B’ Hurling Western Champions:
1986, 1991,

Junior Hurling Western Champions:
2008, 2014,

Junior Hurling County Champions:
2008, 2014

Western hurling Champions:

Western Junior Football League Champions:

Every effort is made to have information correct. Information is taken from a number of Club and Newspaper and other websites.