Swans players Kevin Lanigan and Danny O'Hanlon who contributed a combined 1-9 for Swans in their defeat to Kilruane MacDonaghs.
County Senior Hurling Championship Group 3 Round 3
KILRUANE MacDONAGH 3-21 1-17 CARRICK SWANS
Kilruane MacDonaghs guaranteed themselves runners-up spot in Group 3 of the County Senior Hurling Championship with a 10-points victory over Carrick Swans at Boherlahan on Sunday evening last.
The victory for the Cloughjordan side guarantees them a place in the last 12 of the Championship, while a third consecutive defeat for the Swans now means they must engage in a relegation play-off to try and hold on to their top flight senior status and avoid falling into the Seamus Ó Riain Cup for 2018. The other three teams in that play-off will be, Ballina, Kiladangan and Burgess.
Against a strong breeze, Kilruane had the better start and after county senior player Niall O’Meara had opened the scoring in the fifth minute they had the tonic of a goal a minute later. A long delivery by Kieran Cahill wasn’t properly gathered by the Swans keeper and Declan Barrett ground stroked the sliothar to the net.
By the 10th minute the North side had extended their lead to 1-3 to 0-0 with points from James Williams and Cian Darcy as the Swans looked to be struggling in choppy waters.
But the Carrick side responded magnificently and were all square at 1-4 apiece six minutes later.
Gavin O’Halloran settled the Suirsiders with their opener, a 65, in the 11th minute, instantly cancelled by a sweet point from Cian Darcy. But then a goal arrived when Danny O’Hanlon got on the end of a Dean Waters delivery to volley home.
Three unanswered points all from Gavin O’Halloran (a free, from play, and a 65) put the Swan right back into this game after their shaky start.
The remainder of the first half was a fairly even affair, Kilruane outscoring their oppents by eight points to five in an entertaining and fast-flowing encounter.
Cian Darcy was the main man in this period striking six points, including four frees and two excellent efforts from tight angles; the other pair of Kilruane points came from Niall O’Meara and a Seamus Hennessy free from the half-way line.
Danny O’Hanlon kept the Swans tally ticking over with three frees of his own, added to by an excellent Kevin Lanigan point and a late point from Dwaine Fogarty after Dean Waters’ goal effort had been well-saved by Thomas Williams.
With the wind at their backs for the second period Kilruane were expected to push on and they did. Danny O’Hanlon sent over an early free for the South Tipp side, but in the fourth minute of the second period Cian Darcy got on the end of a long ball and blasted home Kilruane’s second goal to extend their advantage to 2-12 to 1-10.
That lead was at out to seven points by the three-quarters mark before a third Kilruane goal put the game to bed. A long range free fell short of the target and Thomas Cleary took full advantage to score and stretch his side’s cushion to 10 points.
Between those two green flags Kilruane had added four points from Justin Cahill, Conor Cleary, Niall O’Meara and a Cian Darcy free; with Kevin Lanigan and a Danny O’Hanlon free for Swans in reply.
The last ten minutes or so saw both sides tag on five points apiece.
In that period all Kilruane’s scores came from play and over the course of the game all six forwards contributed; their late points came from Thomas Cleary (2), James Williams (2) and Justin Cahill. From their total of 3-21, 3-15 came from play.
Swans hung in as best they could with five points of their own, including another Danny O’Hanlon free, two further 65s converted by Gavin O’Halloran and the game’s last two scores from play via Gavin O’Halloran and Kevin Lanigan. In contrast to Kilruane they scored by 1-6 from play over the hour, with 0-11 coming from placed balls.
The MacDonaghs can be well pleased with their night’s work and sealing their place in the knock-out stages. They responded to the challenge mounted by Swans in the first half and pulled away on the turnover and even had the luxury of not needing to use substitutes. Cian Darcy was top scorer with 1-8, while the likes of Niall O’Meara, James Williams and Thomas Cleary also chipped in. Around the middle the three Cahills, Justin, Jerome and Kieran were prominent as was Seamus Hennessy,
Swans, in the process of rebuilding a side, were much improved on previous games in this group despite losing by 10 points. They had some fine performances from Dale O’Hanlon, Darren Fahey, Colin Waters, Gavin and Eric O’Halloran, Kevin Lanigan and Danny O’Hanlon. They will have a fight on their hands to hold on to their top flight status but can take heart from this showing.
Prior to the game a minute’s silence was observed for former Carrick Swans player M.J. Walsh, who died during the week. May he rest in peace.
Kilruane MacDonaghs: Thomas Williams, Eoin Hogan, Jack Peters, James Cleary, Craig Morgan, Kieran Cahill, Seamus Hennessy (0-1F), Justin Cahill (0-2), Jerome Cahill, Conor Cleary (0-1), Niall O'Meara (0-3), Cian Darcy (1-8, 0-5F), James Williams (0-4), Declan Barrett (1-0), Thomas Cleary (1-2).
Carrick Swans: Kieran Lonergan, Scott Hogan, Dale O’Hanlon, Darren Fahey, Colin Waters, Gerry Walsh, Gavin O'Halloran (0-7, 3x65, 0-2F), Dwaine Fogarty (0-1), Eric O'Halloran, Damien McCarthy, Kevin Lanigan (0-3), Luke O'Dwyer, Danny O'Hanlon (1-6, 0-6F), Dean Waters, Aaron Dunne.
Subs: Lee Dunne for Walsh (inj, 37 mins); Shane Torpey for O'Dwyer (48 mins).
Referee: Fergal Horgan (Knockavilla / Donaskeigh Kickhams).