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CLANCY’S GOAL BRIDGES 7 YEAR GAP

West Senior Hurling Championship final

Granagh-Ballingarry…1-14

Adare…1-13

In wet and windy conditions at Seán Finns Park, Rathkeale on bank holiday Monday an opportunist goal by David Clancy in the final minute from a Donal O'Grady long delivery earned Granagh-Ballingarry a thrilling one-point victory over unlucky Adare to claim their first West Senior Hurling Championship title since they won the 2008 final, also against Adare. The Rathkeale club had their pitch in top class condition for this final played in front of a small crowd for a final, with Jason Mullins of St Kieran's in charge. Both sides lined out minus some key players but the men on duty provided 60 minutes of exciting fare with the issue in doubt right to the final whistle.

Granagh-Ballingarry with wind advantage made all the early running with four points courtesy of Cathal O'Keeffe from a placed ball on 2 minutes, Denis O'Connor on 4 and David Condron on 6 and 9 minutes before Willie Griffin opened Adare’s account from a placed ball to close the gap to three, Granagh-Ballingarry 0-4 Adare 0-1 on 12 minutes. Cathal O'Keeffe extended Granagh-Ballingarry’s lead from a placed ball on 13 minutes before a long delivery by Willie Griffin was stopped from going over the bar by Granagh-Ballingarry keeper but the rebound sent to the back of the net by Declan Hannan, to close the gap to one, Granagh-Ballingarry 0-5 Adare 1-1 at the end of the first quarter.

Then Willie Griffin had points for Adare on 16 and 18 minutes before points were traded by Cathal O'Keeffe from a placed ball on 20 minutes and John Fitzgibbon on 22 to leave Adare one ahead 1-4 to 0-6 on 22 minutes. Then points by Donal O'Grady on 24 minutes and Cathal O'Keeffe on 26 put Granagh-Ballingarry ahead before Willie Griffin pointed from a placed ball on 28 minutes to level the sides for the first time. With no more scoring before half-time the teams went in for the break still level, Granagh-Ballingarry 0-8 Adare 1-5.

Adare with the wind at their backs dominated the first eight minutes after the interval with four points by Declan Hannon on 32 and 43 minutes, Luke Buckley on 36 and John Fitzgibbon on 38 to leave the boys in red and black four ahead 1-9 to 0-8. Then Cathal O'Keeffe opened Granagh-Ballingarry’s second-half account from a placed ball on 40 minutes, cancelled out by John Fitzgibbon on 42 before points were traded by David Clancy on 45 minutes and Willie Griffin on 47 to leave Adare still four ahead, 1-11 to 0-10 on 47 minutes. Granagh-Ballingarry, now with Limerick captain Donal O'Grady sweeping up in defence, upped their game with four points by supersub Eoin Casey on 48 and 51 minutes and Cathal O'Keeffe from a 65 on 54 minutes and from play on 57 to close the gap to one, Adare 1-11 Granagh-Ballingarry 0-14. Granagh-Ballingarry then created two chances to level the score which they failed to convert before Willie Griffin after a good solo run hit what was like the insurance point for Adare on 59 minutes.

Then drama unfolded at Seán Finns Park, when Donal O'Grady collected from Denis Noonan’s puck-out and sent a long delivery into the Adare goal which was finished past keeper Joey Shire on 30 minutes to put Granagh-Ballingarry one ahead. It took some great, great defence work by Granagh-Ballingarry to prevent Adare getting the equaliser in added time but at Jason Mullins’s final whistle Granagh-Ballingarry were worthy winners if only just of their first West Senior Hurling Championship title since they beat Adare in 208.

Overall a highly entertaining game with the boys from Knockfierna making the better use of their scoring chances, particularly in the final quarter, but the losers must be regretting their missed opportunities especially in the second half with the wind behind them. The whole Granagh-Ballingarry team were heroes that day and they can look forward with confidence to meeting newly crowned county Junior A champions Dromcollogher-Broadford in the West Intermediate Championship semi-final in a few weeks’ time. Full marks to both teams and to Jason and his officials for their part in such an exciting contest and the Rathkeale club for having the field in such fine condition for the end of October.

Granagh-Ballingarry scored 1-9 from play, 0-4 from frees and 0-1 from a 65; Adare scored 1-10 from play and 0-3 from frees.

Granagh-Ballingarry: Colm Noonan, Niall Cahill, Donagh McCarthy, Niall McCarthy, Bobby Houlihan, David Clancy 1-1,Jack Cagney, Seán Lenihan, Eoin Kennedy, David Condron 0-2, Donal O'Grady 0-1, Brendan Lynch, Pat Carroll, Denis O'Connor 0-1, Cathal O'Keeffe 0-6. Sub used: Eoin Casey 0-2. The other panel members present were Michael Carroll, Jack O'Donoghue, Brian Noonan, Cian Cagney, Patrick Shelton, John Carroll, Kevin O'Connor, Michael Clancy, Jimmy Shiels, Bert Hanley, Padraig Lynch, Niall Kennedy, Darren Clifford and Richie O'Keeffe.

Adare: Joey Shire, David Connolly, Jody Hannon, Seán Hogan, Ross Kennedy, Wayne McNamara, Liam Costello, John Fitzgibbon 0-4, Eoin Ryan, Shane Burke, Declan Hannon 1-2 Luke Buckley 0-1, Aidan Scanlon, Willie Griffin 0-6, Charlie McCarthy.

Referee: Jason Mullins, St Kieran's.

Presentation

Amid unprecedented scenes of excitement Gerry Molyneaux, chairman of the West Board, congratulated both teams on a fine display. He congratulated Granagh-Ballingarry on winning their first title since 2008 and commiserated with Adare. Then Dan O'Donovan of Rathkeale House Hotel presented the Hough Cup to winning captain Denis O'Connor. Denis complimented the referee and his officials and the Rathkeale club on a job well done. He thanked Donal Mulcahy, the players, manager Seamus Stapleton, coach John Touhy, selectors Paddy Hennessey, Darragh O'Grady and Willie Power and first aid officials Breda and Laura O'Keeffe and the supporters before calling for three cheers for sporting Adare.

Path to the title

Quarter-final Granagh-Ballingarry 0-13 St Kieran's 0-11

Semi-final Granagh-Ballingarry 3-11 Newcastle West 1-11

Final Granagh-Ballingarry 1-14 Adare 1-13

Finals of the past

Teams from Granagh/Ballingarry have played in eight West Limerick Senior Hurling Championship finals and can now lay claim to four titles won under two different club names. The scoreboard of finals of the past where parish teams have played shows that the first West Senior Hurling Championship title came to Granagh-Ballingarry when Ballingarry, captained by Henry McDonnell, beat Rathkeale 4-3 to 0-7 in 1904. Granagh-Ballingarry contested the 1943 final but were beaten by Croom 0-5 to 1-1. The second title came Knockfierna’s way when Granagh-Ballingarry beat Croom 4-6 to 3-2 in 1945 only to lose to Ahane in the county final of that year. Granagh-Ballingarry also contested the West Senior final again the following year only to lose it to neighbours Rathkeale 2-7 to 2-5. They had to wait till 1981 for their next one, which ended in disappointment for Granagh who were beaten 2-9 to 1-5 by Tournafulla in Dromcollogher. The following players were in it: Donie O'Connor, Billy O'Connor, Davy Hartigan, Dinny Ahern, John Power, Tossie O'Donovan, Don Hanley, Mick Chawke, Tommy Treacy, Noel Lynch, John Chawke, Richie Chawke, Joe Noonan, Jimmy Chawke, Willie Power, subs used Martin O'Riordan, Noel O'Connor and Ned Cullinane. Then there was a long wait to 2000 before the next West Senior Hurling Championship final when Granagh-Ballingarry were most unlucky to lose to Killeedy by one point, 1-13 to 2-9 at Tournafulla. The Granagh-Ballingarry team on that sunny Friday evening in May was David Clancy, Stephen Stapleton, Seamus Stapleton, Aidan Mulqueen, Ed O'Brien, Mick Sheehy, Darren Clifford, Neville O'Donnell 0-1, Peter Stapleton, John O'Sullivan, Donal O'Grady, John Paul Morrison 0-6, Kieran Mulqueen, Conor O'Keeffe 1-2, Billy O'Connor. Granagh-Ballingarry were back in the final again in 2008 when they won their third West senior title defeating Adare 0-13 to 0-11 at Templeglantine; that winning Granagh-Ballingarry side was Conor Mulqueen, Michael Carroll, Donagh McCarthy, Bobby Houlihan, John Carroll, Bert Hanley, Darren Clifford, Donal O'Grady, Niall McCarthy, Kevin O'Connor, Michael Corrigan, Niall Kennedy 0-4, subs used Paul Kennedy and Martin Treacy. Granagh-Ballingarry were back in the final in 2012 and played a thrilling 1-18 to 0-21 draw with Killeedy at Templeglantine with Killeedy winning the replay 2-16 to 0-11 at Askeaton on 1st July; that Granagh-Ballingarry side was John O'Grady, Niall McCarthy, David Clancy, Cian Cagney, Niall Cahill, Bobby Houlihan, Mike Carroll, Pat Carroll, David Condron 0-1, Eoin Chawke 0-4, Bert Hanley 0-1, Kieran O'Keeffe 01, subs used Kevin Trainor, Thomas O'Donovan, Eoin Casey, Eoin Kennedy and Padraig Lynch. Congratulations to the boys in black and green who brought the fourth West Senior Hurling Championship title to the Paris on Monday with that thrilling victory.

O'Connor seals final spot

County Minor A Hurling Championship semi-final replay

Granagh-Ballingarry/Rathkeale…1-11

South Liberties…1-10

At Ballybrown G.A.A. grounds in Clarina on Sunday a point from a placed ball from all of 65 metres by last year’s national Feile na nGael skills champions Seán O'Connor in the final minute of normal time earned West champions Granagh-Ballingarry/Rathkeale a hard fought one point victory over unlucky South Liberties and a place in the county minor A Hurling Championship final against Claughaun/Old Christians on Saturday, 31st October, in Bruff at 10.15am.

The game was played on a well laid out pitch in front of a good crowd who gave good support to two teams who produced fine passages of hurling, good movement, great scores and a very exciting finish. Cathal O'Keeffe of Granagh-Ballingarry opened the scoring from a 30 metre placed ball on 2 minutes cancelled out on 5 minutes by Brian Ryan: 0-1 each. A 50 metre placed ball by Barry Nash of South Liberties went all the way to the Granagh-Ballingarry net to leave it 1-1 to 0-1 in favour of South Liberties on 10 minutes. A couple of wides were exchanged before five points for Liberties in ten minutes courtesy of Brian Ryan from a free on 12 minutes, Mark Walsh on 14, Brian Geary on 16, Niall Gannon on 18 and Eoghan Godfrey on 20 minutes to leave it 1-6 to 0-1 in favour of South Liberties. Unfazed, Granagh-Ballingarry had a cracking goal scored by Darragh O'Grady on 22 minutes followed by points by Cathal O'Keeffe from a placed ball on 25 minutes and Mickie Morrissey on 27 to reduce the gap to two on 28 minutes, and the sides went in with South Liberties still two ahead 1-6 to 1-4.

The first 7 minutes after the interval were again close and exciting with points traded by Brian Ryan and Cathal O'Keeffe to leave South Liberties still two ahead 1-8 to 1-6 on 37 minutes.the next five minutes saw both sides miss chances before points for Granagh-Ballingarry by Mickie Morrissey on 43 minutes and Cathal O'Keeffe on 45 levelled the score 1-8 each at the end of the third quarter. Then points were traded by Brian Ryan on 45 minutes and Cathal O'Keeffe on 47 and from placed balls by Seán O'Connor on 50 minutes and Brian Ryan on 54 to level for the fourth time in this thrilling hard fought contest at 1-10 each. Granagh-Ballingarry/Rathkeale had five wides in as many minutes from both play and placed balls before 2014 national Feile na nGael skills champion Seán O'Connor pointed a 65 metres placed ball on 30 minutes to put his side ahead for only the second time.

We thought this thrilling replay would go to extra time when referee Seamus Hayes awarded a free to South Liberties 50 metres from goal, but the placed ball awarded was hit left and wide by Brian Ryan. Seamus Hayes sounded the final whistle from the puck-out to the relief of Granagh-Ballingarry/Rathkeale who held out if only just for a thrilling one point 1-11 to 1-10 victory to qualify for the final on Saturday, 31st October, in Bruff.

Granagh-Ballingarry/Rathkeale scored 1-5 from play and 0-6 from frees; South Liberties scored 0-7 from play and 1-3 from frees.

Granagh-Ballingarry/Rathkeale: Eoin O'Kelly, Paudie Power, Gearóid Mulcaire, Darragh Curtin, Andrew White, Brendan Lynch, Aaron Smith, Edward Sheehy, Mike Morrissey 0-2, Seán O'Connor 0-2, Cathal O'Keeffe 0-7, Conor O'Donoghue, Richie O'Keeffe, Darragh O'Grady 1-0, Brian Keating, subs used Barry Coleman, Cormac Snow and Mark qilmott.

South Liberties: Ciarán Kennedy, Joe Gannon, Brendan Ahern, Stephen kilcoyne, John Noonan, Brian Nash 1-0, Jack Fitzpatrick, Seán Keane 0-1, Shane Brosnahan, Niall Gannon 0-1, Brian Ryan 0-5, Brian Geary 0-1, Cillian Reynolds, Eoghan Godfrey 0-1, Mark Walsh 0-1, sub used John Hickey.

Referee Seamus Hayes, Mungret-St Paul's.

Goals vital as Monaleen bridge 13-year gap

County Junior B bur Championship final

Monaleen …3-9

Granagh-Ballingarry…1-13

Goals by Alan Kitson on 2 minutes, David Hennessey on 18 and Darrell Smith on 36 cuopled with a penalrty save by foemerNewcastle West keeper Ollie McCoy from John O'Grady on 52 minutes helped enormously in acquiring a hard fought two-point win for Monaleen over gallant Granagh-Ballingarry at Pairc na nGael on Saturday to claim their second Sounty Junior B Hurling Championship title and first since 2002 when they also beat the boys from Knockfierna by two points, 2-6 to 2-4, at Fedamore. Willie Mulcahy had the pitch in top class condition for this final played in front of a fine crowd who gave great support to both teams with Paddy Lyons of Staker Wallace in charge.

Brian Fitzgerald of Granagh-Ballingarry playing in his fourth final opened the scoring with a pong range point from play in the opening minute before a defensive error by Granagh-Ballingarry allowed Alan Kitson through for the simplest of goals to leave it 1-0 to 0-1 to Monaleen on 2 minutes. thenpoints were traded b Eoin Casey on 3 minutes and Paddy O'Halloran from a placed ball on 6 before David Hennessey got inside the Granagh-Ballingarry defence for the city side’s second goal to leave it Monaleen 2-1 Granagh-Ballingarry 0-2 on 7 minutes.

Granagh-Ballingarry raised their game to dominate the next eight minutes with four points, two by John O'Grady from placed balls and two by Eoin Casey from play, to reduce the gap to the minimum, Monaleen 2-1 Granagh-Ballingarry 0-6 at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter was dominated by Monaleen with five points courtesy of DavidHennessey on 18 minutes, Pa McCarthy on 21, Jamie Power on 27, David Hennessey on 28 and Alan Kitson on 29 to send the city side in leading by six, 2-6 to 0-6.

Granagh-Ballingarry dominated the first five minutes after the interval with a point by Mark Snow and two from placed balls by John O'Grady to reduce the gap to three, 2-6 to 0-9 on 35 minutes. then the game turned once more in favour of Monaleen when a long delivery by their no. 7 Darrell Smith went all the way to the net on 36 minutes before John O'Grady landed his fifth point from a placed ball a minute later to leave it Monaleen 3-6 Granagh-Ballingarry 0-1-0 on 37 minutes. The game was held up for three minutes and when play got under way again a couple of points were exchanged before John O'Grady landed twpoints from placed balls on 46 and 49 minutes to close the gap to three Monaleen 3-6 Granagh-Ballingarry 0-12. Then Paddy O'Halloran ended 14 scoreless minutes for Granagh-Ballingarry when he pointed from a placed ball on 51 minutes to extend their advantage to four.

Drama unfolded when Granagh-Ballingarry were awarded a penalty on 52 minutes which former Newcastle West keeper saved from John O’Grady to the joy of the Monaleen support before Paddy O’Halloran tacked on his third point from a placed ball for Monaleen on 54 minutes to extend their advantage to five 3-8 to 0-12.

Granagh/Ballingarry far from being overawed had a point from a placed ball by John O’Grady on 57 minutes followed by a Kevin Forde goal on 62 minutes before Jamie Power landed a smashing point from out near the sideline three minutes into added time to seal a thrilling two point victory for Monaleen and a second county junior B hurling championship title, a first since 2002 if only just on a full time score of 3-9 to 1-13. The Granagh/Ballingarry boys were gutted to have lost their third County Junior B Hurling Championship final since 2002 but were very sporting in defeat and played on the field as County Board Youth Officer Mike Cunningham presented the cup to winning captain NiallMacken. Monaleen scored 3-6 from play and 0-3 from frees. Granagh/Ballingarry scored 1-5 from play and 0-8 from frees.

Monaleen: Ollie McCoy, Finbarr Nash, Pa Ryan, Niall Macken, John Griffin, John Bertley, Darrell Smith 1-0, Daniel Power, Pa McCarthy 0-1, Peter Griffin, Paddy O’Halloran 0-3, Podge Pond, Jamie Power 0-2, Alan Kitson 1-1, David Hennessy 1-2. Subs used: Fergal Kegee and Leo Morrison.

Granagh/Ballingarry: Conor Mulqueen, Michael O’Keeffe, Eoin Cahill, Stephen Hickey, Mark Tierney, Captain, Michael Walsh, Edward Sheehy, Kieran Condron, Kevin Forde 1-0, Brian Fitzgerald 0-1 John O’Grady 0-8, Kevin O’Kelly, Eoin Casey 0-3, Pádraig Lynch. Subs used: Michael O’Rourke, Marcus Moore, Patrick Potter.

Referee Paddy Lyons (Staker Wallace).

Conclusion

Over the past seven months Granagh/Ballingarry Junior B hurlers and management team have put in a lot of effort winning fourteen of their seventeen games played, winning the West League and Championship reaching the County League Final where they were most unlucky to go under to All Ireland Champions Doon and Monaleen in last Friday’s County Championship Final after playing a lot of good hurling on the way. On behalf of the club and the people of Granagh/Ballingarry I congratulate the players on the many great displays they have given. Well done to the management team of Conor O’Keeffe, Manager, Tony Delaney, Coach, Liam Carroll, Andrew Holmes, Niall McCarthy and Stephen Stapleton selectors, Breda and Laura O’Keeffe, First Aid officials who give a lot of time to the team. I am sure if most of this team and management are together they will again be a match for the best again in 2016.

Preview of Saturday’s County Minor A Hurling Championship Final

Saturday, October 31st in Bruff at 1.15p.m. are the arrangements for the eagerly awaited clash of champions of the West Granagh/Ballingarry and City/East Kingpins, Claughaun/Old Christians in the Minor A Hurling Championship Final. A mouth watering clash awaits us with both sides in the final, neither side fearing the other and both confident of victory.

Path to the Final

Claughaun/Old Christians

City/East Championship

Round 1: Claughaun/Old Christians 2-11, Cappamore 1-13.

Round 2: Claughaun/Old Christians 7-18, St. Lawrence’s 1-9.

Round 3: Claughaun/Old Christians 4-17, Kildimo/Pallaskenry 1-10.

Round 4: Claughaun/Old Christians 2-13, Monaleen 0-14.

Round 5: Claughaun/Old Christians 1-10, Ahane 0-10

Round 6: Claughaun/Old Christians w.o. South Liberties Scr.

Round 7: Claughaun/Old Christians 3-14, Ballybrown 0-7

Round 8: Claughaun/Old Christians 5-14, Ballybricken/Bohermore 3-8

Semi-final: Claughaun/Old Christians 3-13, Ballybricken/Bohermore 2-3

Final: Claughaun/Old Christians 4-18, South Liberties 1-10

County Semi-final: Claughaun/Old Christians 2-12, Garryspillane 3-8.

Granagh/Ballingarry

West Championship: Round 1: Granagh/Ballingarry/Rathkeale 2-24, Daithí Brudairs 2-9;

Round 2: Granagh/Ballingarry/Rathkeale 3-27, St. Kieran’s 0-2;

West Final: Granagh/Ballingarry/Rathkeale 3-20, DaithíBrudairs 2-9

County semi-final: Granagh/Ballingarry/Rathkeale 3-12, south Liberties 3-12.

County Semi-final Replay: Granagh/Ballingarry/Rathkeale 1-11, South Liberties 1-10.

Sympathy

Granagh/Ballingarry GAA Club officials, players and members extend sympathy to the Kennedy family, Ballingarry, on the death of Michael Kennedy in Wales. May he rest in peace.

Club Diary

Friday November 30th: County Junior A Hurling League Final, Croagh/Kilfinny v Na Piarsaigh in Páirc na nGael at 6.45pm.

County Senior Hurling League Final, Na Piarsaigh v Patrickswell in Páirc na nGael at 8.15pm.

Saturday October 31st: County Minor A Hurling Championship Final, Granagh/Ballingarry/Rathkeale v Claughaun/Old Christians in Bruff at 1.15pm.

County Minor Hurling 13 a side competition final, Glenroe v Bruree in Kilfinane at 2pm.

County Junior B Football League Final, Ballybricken/Bohermore v Ballysteen in Clarina at 3pm.

City/East Minor B Hurling Championship final, Ballybrown v Kildimo/Pallaskenry in Adare at 3pm.

Sunday November 1st, County U21 Hurling 13 a side Competition semi-final, Ballybricken/Bohermore v Killeedy in Ballyagran at 12 noon, Glenroe v Staker Wallace in Knocklong at 12 noon.

Munster Senior Club Football Championship Quarter Final, Newcastle West v Clonmel Commercials (Tipperary) in Clonmel at 2pm.

Munster Junior Club Hurling Championship quarter final, Drom/Broadford v Dr. Crokes in Dromcollogher at 2pm.

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