County MFC ‘B’ Final
Inane Rovers 1-3 Cahir 0-5
Cahir narrowly lost out on a county title when going down by a single point to Inane Rovers in the County MFC ‘B’decider at Holycross on Saturday.
This showpiece played in gale-force winds and driving rain, watched by good size attendance that included new County Minor Football manager Charlie McKeever, never reached the heights that these two sides had shown in the earlier rounds. Both sets of players struggled to hold onto the ball and it resulted in continuous petty fouling that kept referee Richard O’Connor busy throughout the contest.
Cahir with members of the successful Tipperary u-17 side that won the recent Munster Tournament, goalkeeper Bartosz Opala, midfielder Liam Casey and forwards Keelan Hickey and Michael O’Connor failed to turn plenty of possession especially in the opening half into scores and it proved costly.
Inane Rovers from Roscrea rode their luck on numerous occasions and trailed by 4 points at the start of the second half, but hit a purple patch that saw them score a fortuitous goal midway through the half that turned the game on its head and proved to be the winning score. It was the North Champions, despite playing into the elements that registered the first score through Alan Tynan in the 4th minute.
Cahir were back on level terms in the 6th minute when a Keelan Hickey free-kick split the posts. Cahir began to gain the upper hand with Liam Casey winning the midfield high balls With Inane Rovers using unlawful tackles to prevent Cahir from scoring and it saw placed ball-specialist Keelan Hickey putting the South Champions ahead from a free-kick in the 17th minute. Niall McKenna scored after Michael O’Connor had done the spadework a minute later before Keelan Hickey with another free in the 22nd minute saw Cahir leading by 0-4 to 0-1. The last action of the half saw a Keelan Hickey free-kick come back of the post into the path of Neville Flynn, but Inane Rovers goalie Enda Moloney produced a super reflex save pushing the ball away for a ’45’ that wasn’t converted.
On the resumption Cahir extended their lead as Inane Rovers’ Cian Rigney did well to prevent Neville Flynn from scoring but the loose ball fell to Niall McKenna who made no mistake. Unfortunately for Cahir it was their only score of the second half. With Cahir unable to break through the North Champions it saw Inane Rovers gain the upper hand. Tynan was the catalyst that saw the North Champions turn this game in their favour adding 1-2 between 34th and 42nd minutes.
In the 34th minute, Alan Tynan added his and Inane Rovers second point of the game following good work by Robbie Ryan. Then a free-kick from Joe Moloney after Robbie Ryan was fouled reduced it to two points in the 39th minute. With the North Champions putting two further efforts wide of the target it was looking like their chance was slipping away and Cahir were being left off the hook as another Joe Moloney free-kick was pushed away for another ‘45’. However, it was from this placed ball in the 42nd minute that Joe Moloney’s effort that caught both defenders and attackers ball watching as it sailed past them into the top right hand corner of the net to the delight of the Inane Rovers supporters.
With Cahir reeling from that setback they brought on Ian Flannery and he was immediately involved putting a ball across the face of the North Champions goal, but the ball was cleared. With the South Champions trailing by that single point successive free kick out on the right wing from the hands of Keelan Hickey drifted wide of the target and it proved costly.
The only ugly incident of this hard fought contest came in the 50th minute when Inane Rovers’ Colin Hassett was given a straight red card for an off the ball incident. Despite Cahir having the numerical advantage, the South Champions failed to breakdown an Inane Rovers side who rode their luck over the final ten minutes.
Inane Rovers: Enda Moloney; Colin Hassett, Cian Rigney, Peter Wright, Joe Moloney (1-1 both frees), Michael Campion, Riely Collins, Simon Meagher, Ethan Flynn, Sam Conlon, Daryl Ryan, Robbie Ryan, Alan Tynan (0-2), Conor Sheedy, Brian Kealy
Subs used: Fergal Flanagan for B. Kealy, Brian Abbott for P. Wright , Darren Wren for D. Ryan (50)
Cahir: Bartosz Opala, Gavin McCarthy, Oisin Moloney, Cormac Looby, Liam Howard, Eoin Donaghy, Brendan Donaghy, Conor Casey, Liam Casey, Kieran Davis, Niall McKenna (0-2), Michael O’Connor, Ryan Murphy, Neville Flynn, Keelan Hickey (0-3 all frees)
Subs used: Ian Flannery for C. Casey, Aaron Murphy for R. Murphy
Referee: R. O’Connor