The West Tipperary minor football championship A final, played at Sean Treacy Park was blighted by a nasty melee about midway through the second half involving about twenty players. Starting off with some harmless enough pushing and shoving, it soon descended into a display of unexpected viciousness, which necessitated one Aherlow-Lattin-Cullen player being removed to hospital after the game. When tempers cooled referee Michael Duffy issued straight reds to Golden-Kilfeacle’s Brian Roche, and, after consultation with his umpires, to Golden-Kilfeacle captain JJ Burns, and Aherlow-Lattin-Cullen’s Cormac O’Donoghue.
Following the melee the game petered out as a contest even though Golden-Kilfeacle tried hard to reduce a big deficit, scoring 1-4 in the process. This was offset somewhat in the end by 1-1 to the winners for a final scoreline of 3-9 to 1-7.
Aherlow/Lattin-Cullen had the breeze in the first-half and they dominated the game through some delightful passing movements and a great ability to find their men. They were powerful in defence and outstanding going forward. This coupled with good freetaking by Tommy Frewen gave them a lead of 2-8 to 0-2 at half-time.
The goals were scored in the first and the 27th minutes. In the opening minute Darren Neville lofted in a high ball into the Golden-Kilfeacle goal. It appeared to be going over the bar but dropped over the keeper’s head for the best possible start for the combination. The second goal came from a sizzling shot by Tommy Frewen from about twenty metres out. Golden didn’t appear on the scoreboard until the 28th minute when Seanie O’Halloran pointed a free. He had a second three minutes later.
Golden had the breeze in the second-half but had only one point scored by the time the melee took place. They added 1-4 between then and the end, the goal scored in the 27th minute by Brian McLoughlin, who had been introduced as a replacement. Aherlow-Lattin-Cullen failed to score until the final minutes when they got 1-1, the goal coming from Anthony Leahy
After the game the O’Dwyer Cup was presented to winning captain, Tommy Frewen, by board chairman, Roger Kennedy.
Golden-Kilfeacle were five minutes late coming on to the field at the start of the game and didn’t appear in the second-half for eight minutes after Aherlow-Lattin-Cullen had taken the field. Golden were short three or four key players for the game.
Aherlow-Lattin-Cullen: Eoin O’Connell, Liam Cunningham. John Moloney (A), David Cooney, Sean Cunningham, Ed O’Meara (A) Anthony Leahy (0-1), Mark Russell, Cormac O’Donoghue, Darren Neville (1-1), Thomas O’Donoghue (0-1), Thomas Ivory (A) (0-2), Jamie Franks, Tommy Frewen (A) capt. (1-5), Shane Ryan. Subs: John Valance (A) for Darren Neville, Stephen Moloney for Jamie Franks.
Golden-Kilfeacle: Niall Fogarty, Eyhan Rogers, J.J. Burns (capt.) Alan Wade, Darren Moloney, Shane O’Connell (0-1), David Wade, Daniel Currivan, Joshua Keane (0-1), Keith Landy, Brian Roche, Patrick O’Connell, Dale Collins, Seanie O’Halloran (0-5), Evan Hayde. Subs: Killian Farrell for Dale Collins, Brian McLoughlin (1-0) for Evan Hayde.
Referee: Michael Duffy (Arravale Rovers)