Clonoulty/Rossmore overcome Cashel King Cormacs to make it six in a row
Clonoulty/Rossmore claimed their second six in a row of Tipperary Co-Op West Senior Hurling Championship titles when they overcame a Cashel King Cormacs side playing in their first West Final since 2005 on Saturday evening. The evening held up well with only slight rain on a perfect field in Golden. James Hammersley’s goal before the water break eventually gave them breathing space over their opponents while their experience and substitutions played a key part in their twenty second West Senior title success.
Clonoulty/Rossmore lined out without experienced centre back John O’Keeffe and Enda Heffernan dropped in there from the off with Ronan Heffernan dropping back to wing back. Timmy Hammersley got the scoreboard moving in the opening minute before an Eoghan Connolly effort tied up the game. Both sides tried to get a foothold on the game with neither side giving in. Hammersley added his second but then Cashel hit the front. Ross Bonnar won possession before playing the ball across the end line to the unmark Aaron Moloney and he gave Jimmy Maher no chance in the Clonoulty goal from close range. Thomas Butler having a good effect on the wing pulled one back for Clonoulty/ Rossmore as both sides struggled with the radar. Daniel Moloney doing an amount of work with Ger Browne trying hard while at the other end Dillon Quirke was having a good battle with Eoghan Connolly. Ross Bonnar and Ger Browne added to Cashel’s tally as the goal remained between the sides. Clonoulty struggling for scores pointed their first score in five minutes but it was cancelled immediately from the puckout at the other end by Devon Ryan. Again, Hammersley was the go-to man to keep Clonoulty in touch but an Eoghan Connolly pointed free had Cashel King Cormacs four up at the water break, 1-6 to 0-5.
Clonoulty/Rossmore upped their game in the second quarter as they cut the Cashel space out and closed down their men, outscoring their opponents 0-5 to 0-2. Three in a row from Timmy Hammersley, Jack Ryan and the hard-working Conor Hammersley at midfield had the gap back to a point. Cashel also lost Conor O’Dwyer to injury and he was replaced by Lee Burke. Devon Ryan and Timmy Hammersley swapped pointed frees but another from Conor Hammersley who was fearless in the tackle had Clonoulty/ Rossmore level. Devon Ryan pointing a late free to give Cashel King Cormacs a slender one-point advantage at the break, 1-8 to 0-11.
Jack Ryan took over free taking duties for the Clonoulty/Rossmore men and he immediately hit the target on the resumption. An Eoghan Connolly sideline cut kept Cashel ahead but they were now coming under pressure. Conor Hammersley forced a great save from Aaron Browne before he produced another great save in the follow up attack. Timmy Hammersley levelled with his seventh of the game, 1-9 to 0-12. Further points from Jack Ryan (free) and the hard- working Michael Ryan Winnie now had the Clonoulty men to the fore. Cashel got a huge boost when Ger Browne found the net in the eighth minute of the half. Browne coming in from the stand side to take a pass from Ryan O’Dwyer and finish to the net. It was a huge boost for Cashel who had managed just three points since the water break. Gradually Clonoulty took over with Jack Ryan on target from place balls and seemed stronger in most areas of the field. Their defence limited the Cashel attack with a strong half back line of Ronan and Enda Heffernan and Sean O’Connor. The all-important score came just before the water break. James Hammersley being set up by his brother Timmy striking low past the advancing Aaron Browne. Conor Hammersley was getting through an amount of work and he was the main leader on the field for Clonoulty/Rossmore in attack as well as dropping back. Clonoulty/Rossmore lead 1-18 to 2-11 at the second water break.
Scores were at a premium on the resumption
Paddy Fahey was introduced for Cashel King Cormacs and he certainly caused problems running at the Clonoulty/Rossmore goal. Jack Ryan and Stephen Ferncombe stretched the lead to five with Clonoulty/Rossmore always looked threatening in attack while they closed out the attacking options for Cashel getting the numbers back. Jimmy Maher was forced into a good save but it was Clonoulty/Rossmore’s day on a final score of 1-21 to 2-13.
Both sides were fairly even on the wides tally, 12 to 11 in Clonoulty/Rossmore’s favour. They outscored Cashel 1-14 to 2-5 from play. The first water break was a major turning point and they outscored Cashel King Cormacs 1-15 to 1-7 from there to the end.
AfterwardsMichaelRyanC,Chairmanof the West Board presented the O’Dwyer Cup to Clonoulty/Rossmore captain Thomas Butler in the presence of Tom Moher (Agri Trade Manager Tipperary Co-Op) and Willie Ryan (Chairman Tipperary Co-Op)
Thomas Butler in his speech remembered the late Philip Maher who went to his eternal reward just a few weeks previous and the work he did for Clonoulty/Rossmore. He said winning a West title was very important to this bunch of players and the West Championship was important to the people of the division. He reflected that these moments need to be enjoyed as they won’t last forever and the wheel will eventually turn and we will be coming looking at West finals. Cashel have done impressive work at underage and they soon will reap the benefits of that.
Clonoulty/Rossmore: Timmy Hammersley (0-7, 0-2f )), Jack Ryan (0-7, 0-5f )), James Hammersley (1-0), Michael Ryan W (0-2), Conor Hammersley (0-2), Dillon Quirke (0- 1), Thomas Butler (0-1), Stephen Ferncombe (0-1)
Cashel King Cormacs: Devon Ryan (0-7, 0-6f)), Ger Browne (1-2), Eoghan Connolly (0-3, 0-1f )), Aaron Moloney (1-0), Ross Bonnar (0-1),
Clonoulty/Rossmore: Jimmy Maher, Joey O’Keeffe, Robert Doyle, James Ryan C, Ronan Heffernan, Enda Heffernan, Sean O’Connor, Michael Ryan W, Conor Hammersley, Jack Ryan, Dillon Quirke, Thomas Butler, Tommy Ryan, Timmy Hammersley, James Hammersley
Subs Used: Stephen Quinn, Stephen Ferncombe
Cashel King Cormacs: Aaron Browne, Ciaran Quinn, Nathan Ryan, Cormac Ryan, James Cummins, Eoghan Connolly, Conor O’Dwyer, Conn Bonnar, Cathal Quinn, Devon Ryan, Ger Browne, Dan Moloney, Aaron Moloney, Ryan Dwyer, Ross Bonnar Subs Used: Lee Burke, Mickey Coleman, Paddy Fahey, Jack McGrath
Referee: Phil Ryan (Knockavilla Donaskeigh Kickhams)