All-Ireland Cups visit Scoil Ruáin
Scoil Ruáin was in festive mood on the afternoon of Thursday, December 8th when three of our past students returned triumphant with the Liam McCarthy and Irish Press cups in celebration of Tipperary’s marvellous All-Ireland double on September 4th.
A loud cheer greeted minor manager, Liam Cahill, when he held the Irish Press cup aloft on entering the stage followed by an even louder crescendo when John “Bubbles” O’Dwyer followed with the Liam McCarthy cup raised in victory in company with Senior Hurling selector and former Tipperary stalwart, Declan Fanning.
Principal, Mr. McGill welcomed these former students and the other special guests, Tipperary ETB CE, Ms. Fionuala McGeever, Tipperary Co. GAA Board PRO, Mr. Joe Bracken, County Games Development Officer, Mr. Andy Ryan and newly appointed member of the Scoil Ruáin staff, Mr. Daire Quinn who was a panelist on this year’s Tipperary Senior Hurling squad. Mr. McGill lauded the achievements of these men in bringing glory on themselves, their families, their clubs and communities and their school in Tipp’s great All-Ireland double. He said that it was a landmark achievement for the school to have such involvement in Tipp’s historic year.
Mr. Francis Kearney spoke on behalf of the staff and students in recognition of the fantastic achievements of these past students last September. In his address he said that Tipperary would have won no All-Ireland without the contribution of John O’Dwyer who was sprung from the bench in the semi-final against Galway to score a sensational goal “that only someone with his sublime skills could score”. He also commended John on his huge contribution of 1-05 in the All-Ireland final saying that “his goal in the 50th minute was the score that put the first chink of daylight between the sides”. He went on to recall some of John’s hurling career in Scoil Ruáin and wished John many more successful years in the blue and gold and, indeed, in the red and yellow of Killenaule.
John spoke of his time in Scoil Ruáin and was very appreciative of the efforts of the staff of the school in influencing his future. He wished the school well in the future saying that it was an honour to return to the school with both trophies.
Next Frank complimented Declan Fanning for his role in the Tipperary victory saying he “brought a wealth of experience and know-how to the management set-up”. He said that the school was immensely proud of Declan as a past pupil and said he was a great ambassador for the school in everything he does.
In a brief address Declan encouraged the students to persevere in all they endeavour to achieve. He stressed the importance of self-belief and a burning desire to succeed. He wished the school well in the future.
Frank also congratulated Liam Cahill as manager of the triumphant Tipperary minors, saying he was “the mastermind behind this great victory”. He recalled Liam’s playing days with the school saying that “he led by example and demanded the same do or die effort from his teammates”. He lauded Liam for his loyalty to the school jersey over the years saying he regularly went down with cramp at the end of school games, such was the effort he put in.
Liam also spoke to the students and listed some of the qualities he looked for in potential county players, traits such as honesty, courtesy, respect, the willingness to work hard and take constructive advice on board and so on. He said that there were two Scoil Ruáin players presently at trials for next year’s minor team and looked forward to even more in future years. He wished next week’s team the best of luck in the Under 16 ½ Munster final.
Presentations of Scoil Ruáin jerseys signed by the different Hurling Scholarship squads were to all the Tipp guests as well as specially commissioned commemorative wooden plaques featuring the 2016 All-Ireland medal and the Scoil Ruáin crest embossed on the wood.
The celebration ended with a rousing rendition of Slievenamon to send everyone home in top form!
Munster Post Primary Schools
Under 16½ “C” Hurling Final (Corn Uí Dhonnabháin)
Scoil Ruáin, Killenaule 1-10
St. Anne’s, Killaloe 1-08
Scoil Ruáin, Killenaule bounced back to prominence on the Munster stage with a thrilling two point win in the Under 16½ “C” hurling final against St. Anne’s of Killaloe at The Ragg on Wednesday last.
Having had a six week break since their semi -final win against St. Declan’s, Kilmacthomas, the South Tipp side were hoping their form had not waned while awaiting the winners from the other side of the draw which had been delayed for different reasons. Killaloe were fresh from a single point victory over Rathkeale in the other semi-final plated only a week ago.
Following heavy overnight rain the underfoot conditions at the mid venue were soft and tricky but did not prevent an excellent display of hurling from two well matched sides. Luckily, the rain stayed away for the duration of the game which was played in calm conditions.
It looked as if St. Anne’s were off to a dream start with the ball in the Killenaule net within a minute, only for the “score” to be disallowed for a small ‘square’ infringement. The Clare school opened the scoring with a point from industrious midfielder, Eoghan Power, in the fourth minute.
Scoil Ruáin responded with a point from co-captain, Padraig Maher, from a free in the fourth minute following a foul on Darragh Fitzgerald and a score from play from Frank Meagher in the seventh minute. Killaloe responded with a point from captain, Dylan McMahon, in the eleventh minute.
Scoil Ruáin full-forward, Michael O’Shea, looked threatening every time the ball came his way and, following a neat delivery from Padraig Maher, found the St. Anne’s net in the fifteenth minute despite the best efforts of Matthew Power in goals. McMahon replied almost immediately with a point from a free but this was to be his last contribution to the cause as he had to leave the field injured shortly afterwards. This was a hammer blow to St. Anne’s as McMahon was their leader and most influential player.
Scoil Ruán capitalized on their opponents’ misfortune adding two points from Padraig Maher, one from play, and another from Frank Meagher in the last ten minutes of the first half. St. Anne’s sole response was a 33rd minute point from Eoghan Power to leave the score 1-05 to 0-04 at the interval.
Scoil Ruáin got the perfect start to the second half with a delightful point from wing-forward, Kyle Shelly, in the first minute. This score was cancelled by a David Broadford free for Killaloe in the fifth minute. Michael O’Shea followed with nice points in the sixth and ninth minutes to stretch the Killenaule lead to six. At this stage the South Tipp boys were firmly in control on the run of play but failed to press home their advantage on the scoreboard.
Gradually, St. Anne’s gained a foothold in the game. Points from another Broadford free and Eoghan Power in the nineteenth minute gave the Shannonsiders hope. Padraig Maher again stretched the Killenaule advantage with a twentieth minute point before Darragh Lynch went on a barnstorming run from midfield and unleashed a rasper that goalkeeper, Matthew Power did exceptionally well to deflect over his crossbar.
This was Killenaule’s final score and seemed to seal victory but the Clare school had other ideas. Referee, Richard Moloney, awarded a twenty metre free to St. Anne’s a minute later which was powerfully dispatched to the net by centre half-back, Conor Bourke. A goal now separated the sides and At. Anne’s threw everything into attack. A dangerous ball was cleared by the Scoil Ruáin defence only for play to be halted by the referee who awarded the Killaloe side a penalty for an indiscretion by corner-back, Danny Gleeson. Bourke again struck a mighty drive that seemed bound for the top corner only to be denied by a magnificent reflex save from Rhys Shelly in the Killenaule goal. The resultant ‘65 was pointed by Bourke but that was to be the last score of this enthralling contest.
Amid scenes of unbridled joy, Munster Council’s Mike Nash, presented the cup to co-captains, Brian Maher of Gortnahoe-Glengoole and Padraig Maher of Ballingarry.
Scoil Ruáin had a well-balanced team on the day in which every player played his part manfully. Rhys Shelly was soundness personified in goal and his lengthy puck outs were a feature of this game. Full-back, Conor Harrington gave a faultless display in a very solid rearguard. Brian Maher really impressed at centre-back and was ably assisted by Hassett and Campion on the wings. Jason McQuail got through an amount of hard graft at midfield with Darragh Lynch providing stylish touches all through. Padraig Maher and Michael O’Shea stole the limelight in attack but Frank Meagher’s points were well taken in an all-action display and Darragh Fitzgerald’s work-rate was noteworthy. A word of praise for team manager, Mr. Paul O’Dwyer, for having his charges in prime physical and mental condition for the fray and to his able assistant, Mr. Michael Guinan.
Killaloe, powered by eight Ballina clubmen, are to be commended for a never-say-die attitude despite losing their captain so early in the game. They could easily have snatched victory in the end but that would have been an injustice to Scoil Ruáin who were the better team on the day. Tigerish full-back, Liam Hart and impressive centre-back, Conour Bourke fought manfully all through as did Eoghan Power at midfield. Their problems stemmed from an attack that got little space from a very well-organised Scoil Ruáin defence.
Scoil Ruáin: Michael O’Shea 1-02; Padraig Maher 0-04 (0-02 f); Frank Meagher 0-02; Kyle Shelly 0-01; Darragh Lynch 0-01.
St. Anne’s: Conor Bourke 1-02 (1-01 f ; 0-01 ’65); E. Power 0-2; D. Boland 0-02 (f); D. McMahon 0-02 (0-01 f)
Scoil Ruáin: Rhys Shelly (Moycarkey-Borris); Danny Gleeson (Killenaule0; Conor Harrington (Fethard); Eoin Walsh Killenaule); Jack Hassett (Killenaule); Brian Maher (Gortnahoe-Glengoole); Padraig Campion (Gortnahoe-Glengoole); Darragh Lynch (Fethard); Jason McQuail (Ballingarry); Kyle Shelly (Moycarkey-Borris); Padraig Maher (Ballingarry); Darragh Fitzgerald (Killenaule); Dillon Butler (Gortnahoe-Glengoole); Michael O’Shea (Mullinahone); Frank Meagher (St. Patrick’s).
Subs: Eoghan O’Brien (Mullinahone) for Butler; Paddy Gaynor (Killenaule); Stephen Crotty (Fethard); Harry Cummins (Killenaule); John Mulcahy (Clerihan); Lorcan Troy (Gortnahoe-Glengoole); James Fitzgerald (St. Patrick’s); Pauric O’Brien (St. Patrick’s); Aidan Lonergan (Moyle Rovers); Ben Purcell (Killenaule); Cillian White (Mullinahone); David Hayes (Killenaule); Robert Gleeson (Gortnahoe-Glengoole); David McCormack (Killenaule).
St. Anne’s: M. Power (Ballina); T. Walsh (Clonlara); L. Hart (Ogonolloe); E. Connolly (Smith O’Briens); S. Loughran (Ballina); C. Bourke (Ballina); Mikey Gough (Smith O’Briens); D. McMahon (Clonlara); E. Power (Ballina); C. O’Donnell (Ballina); E. Power (Smith O’Briens); C. Power (Ballina); D. Boland (Broadford); D. Slevin (Ballina); R. Breen (Ballina).
Subs: J. Power (Ballina); D. King (Ballina); D. Moloney (Smith O’Briens); A. Mason (Broadford); D. Lawlor (Smith O’Briens); N. Helebert (Portroe); D. Nolan (Smith O’Briens).