Disappointing Carrick Swans lose to Kilruane MacDonaghs

Carrick Swans bowed out of the County U-21 ‘A’ Hurling Championship on Sunday last when losing by 19 points to 
Kilruane at Templemore.

Carrick Swans bowed out of the County U-21 ‘A’ Hurling Championship on Sunday last when losing by 19 points to 
Kilruane at Templemore.

For the recently crowned South champions this was a most disappointing end to their campaign. Quite simply on Sunday last they were outclassed by a more skilful and physically stronger Kilruane side and the ‘early’ final whistle came as a merciful relief to the Carrick contingent.

After an exchange of points in the first five minutes when Mikey Loughman’s 40 metre free equalised Niall O’Meara’s opening ‘65 for MacDonaghs, it was all one-way traffic.

By the 10th minute the North champions had extended their advantage to 0-5 to 0-1 as Kieran Cahill and Justin Cahill began dominating around the middle of the park. Nice points by Robert Austin and David Williams were bookended by a pair of Niall O’Meara frees.

The game was effectively done and dusted by 13 minutes with Kilruane rattling the Swans net twice in a two minute spell to stretch the lead to 11 points.

Thomas Hogan’s long delivery was won by David Williams and his pass set up Conor Cleary for the first goal.

Within two minutes the other wing-forward Thomas Cleary gave Kieran Lonergan no chance with a screamer from 14 metres.

As best they could Swan struck to the task and in the second quarter they had their best period of the game with three points from play via Declan White, an exquisite sideline cut from 30 metres by Jack Walsh and a well-finished point by Bill Walsh after Dale O’Hanlon first won a high ball and then delivered a pin point pass to the centre-forward.

However, the constant pressure on the Carrick defence was forcing the concession of too many frees and for each point that the Swans could labouriously eke out the MacDonaghs replied with frees, one from Niall O’Meara and then three from ciotóg Justin Cahill as freetaker O’Meara recovered from a blow.

At half-time, even after shooting 10 wides, the Cloughjordan side led by 2-9 to 0-4.

Swan moved Bill Walsh in to full-forward at the commencement of the second half and within a minute he had a half -chance at goal smothered out. The boost that was badly needed by the Carrick boys never came and in the whole of the second period they could only muster two points from frees, both from Mikey Loughman; the second a goal effort deflected over.

On the other hand Kilruane, North champions for the second year in a row, went through the motions and added 10 points at will as the Swans’ heads bowed.

Justin Cahill and Niall O’Meara, sharing the free-taking responsibilities, had three points apiece, one a free from O’Meara and one a 65 from Cahill after Kieran Lonergan got down low to pull off an excellent save from Niall O’Meara in the 56th minute.

The final point of the game, and the ninth in succession without a reply, was scored by Kilruane’s Robert Austin.

With it, and mercifully almost, referee Phil Ryan brought proceedings to a conclusion 90 seconds early.

Kilruane will be hoping to go on and claim the county crown next weekend but may not have learned too much from this encounter as they prepare to face Thurles Sarsfields.

In Kieran Cahill, Justin Cahill and Niall O’Meara they had outstanding performances, all of the forward line scored and the backs dealt capably with any threat that came their way.

For Swan it was a hard lesson but they can take heart in some battling performances most notably from Dale O’Hanlon and Colin Waters in the half-back line. The full-back line of Jamie Torpey, James Barrett and Gavin O’Halloran will rarely be as busy but all tried manfully to the end. Lee Wall had some moments too before being forced off after a ‘bad pull.’

The choice of venue too didn’t help the Carrick Swans cause either. The round trip of close-on 100 miles to Templemore in the month of December affected their loyal support base. It seems the Swans were not met half-way in any sense of the meaning.

Kilruane MacDonaghs: David Reddan, Stephen Cleary, Eanna Hogan, Jack Peters, Thomas Hogan, Kieran Cahill (0-1), Conor Austin, Justin Cahill (0-6, 0-3F 1x65), Alan Darcy, Thomas Cleary (1-1), Niall O’Meara (0-7, 0-4F 1x65), Conor Cleary (1-0), Robert Austin (0-2), Eoin Williams (Capt) (0-1), David Williams (0-1).

Subs: Aidan Boyle for T. Hogan; Bob Dooley for C. Cleary; Caoilainn for E. Williams; David Mooney for C. Austin; Paddy Ryan for Niall O’Meara.

Carrick Swans: Kieran Lonergan, Jamie Torpey, James Barrett, Gavid O’Halloran, Colin Loughman, Colin Waters, Dale O’Hanlon, Jack Walsh (0-1), Lee Wall, Declan White (0-1), Bill Walsh (0-1), Mikey Loughman (0-3), Luke Gahan, Dean Murphy (Capt), Martin Griffin.

Subs: Evan Hogan for Lee Wall (inj.); Bill Barrett for L. Gahan; Dean Waters for M. Griffin, Sean Dunphy for D. White; Derek Burrows for M. Loughman.

Referee: Phil Ryan (Knockavilla/Kickhams).