20 Year Anniversary – Mid Tipperary Intermediate Hurling Champions 2003

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Clonakenny 2-17 Moyne-Templetuohy 2-10


Thirty-six years of pent up emotion exploded over Templemore on Saturday evening last as Clonakenny reached their holy grail by defeating rivals Moyne-Templetuohy in the MacLochlainn Roadmarkings Mid intermediate hurling final in fantastic fashion to claim the coveted title.

Many of the hurlers on the field were not even born when the Clonakenny side of 1967 last won the title with four Smiths, four Cramptons and current County Board vice-chairman, John Costigan, in the line-up. A lot of hurling has been done since then and little did the club officers of the time think that it would be more than three and a half decades before they would lift the trophy again.

It has taken quite an effort to get the club back to this glorious platform and they don't want to stop here. Having been promoted to intermediate this year on the strength of their junior success it is a real tribute to them that they captured the crown at the first time of asking. Their spirit and will to win was never in question, but Coach Declan Pilkington - the former Offaly star - has brought a methodology and purpose to their play which certainly played no small part in their success.

The marvelous scenes which greeted referee Noel Cosgrave's final whistle were wonderful to see. Here was a parish at one, celebrating wildly the success of their brave hurlers. Moyne-Templetuohy , despite their huge disappointment, were as sporting as ever and congratulated the victors before applauding their wonderful achievement.

The Clonakenny men really took the game to Moyne-Templetouhy from the start and despite the fact that they gave away two goals in the opening half they still led by a point at the break 1-6 to 2-2. Crucially though it was seven scores to four - an indication of the level of dominance of the Clonakenny men.

Full forward Donncha Murray had a fine game for Clonakenny bagging 1-6 of their total from play. He started the ball rolling for them with a point in the 6th minute. However Moyne-Templetouhy with Dan Egan and Damien Bergin doing a lot of work at midfield, goaled in the 10th minute through Simon Everard after Enda Everard had set him up.

Eddie Kelly followed up with a pointed free but the game was level a minute later when Willie MoLoughney poked the ball to the Moyne-Templetuohy net after the ball bounced high from keeper Joe Leahy.

The Clonakenny men really took over at this juncture with points from Donncha Murray (2), Michael Bourke, Alan Abbott and Gerard Byrne giving them a four point lead. The Moyne-Templetuohy lads had lost Michael Ryan through injury but they were fortunate to have had the returned county player Colm Everard to come into the fray. Their defence had to be re-shuffled though and it took time for them to settle again.

A John Hassett goal in injury time after some good work fron Simon Everard left Moyne-Templetuohy just one behind at the break and they were flattered to be so close really. They were not playing with the same purpose as their opponents but were still in with a real shout. Within three minutes of resumption Moyne-Templetuohy had reclaimed the lead.

John Sweeney struck a fine point after just 10 seconds and Eddie Kelly followed up with a pointed free to shove his side in front for what was to be the last time. Gearoid Byrne came into the game for Clonakenny and had three pointed frees to add to Michael Bourke's effort to restore the lead again - Simon Everard struck one for his side in between.

Moyne-Templetuohy sub Tomas Egan had the ball in the Clonakenny net with his first touch in the 13th minute, but he was adjudged to have been in the square and the goal was disallowed. This was to prove crucial as three minutes later the ball was in the Moyne-Templetuohy net. Donncha Murray who was causing huge problems at full forward struck another beauty and in the 16th minute he latched onto the ball and struck to the net despite the attention of a number of defenders. This was a real rousing goal and it gave the victors a six point lead.

John Sweeney replied instantly for Moyne-templetuohy and he added another two minutes later. However Gearoid Byrne and Gerard Byrne had two pointed frees to steady the Clonakenny ship and from then onwards it was score for score. John Hassett (2) and John Sweeney traded points with Donncha Murray (2), Gerard Byrne and Gearoid Byrne to give Clonakenny the seven point victory.

From the time they got their second goal the Clonakenny win was never in doubt. They were not going to relinquish a six point advantage - instead they built on it. Moyne-Templetuohy were guilty of some needles fouling and Clonakenny punished them to the full.

This was a marvellous win for Clonakenny and one which will go down as another wonderful chapter in their history. Some real leaders emerged on the day including Donncha Murray, Gerard Byrne, Martin Joe Murray, Eoin Ryan, Bobby Martin, Michael Smith and Michael Bourke.

But they were backed extremely well by their colleagues and everyone played a really big role in this fantastic win. It was great to see many of the men of '67 revelling in the success afterwards as well.

Clonakenny will take some beating in the county championship if they apply themselves as they did in the Mid Final. They showed great hunger and their supporters will hope that their insatiable appetite has not yet been satisfied.

Teams and Scorers: Clonakenny: S Nolan, J Costigan, M. J. Murray, J Madden, B Martin, M Smith, M Ryan, Gerard Byrne 0-3, M Talbot, Gearoid Byrne 0-4, E Ryan, A Abbott 0-1, W Moloughney 1-0, D Murray 1-6, M Bourke 0-2.
Sub: J Stapleton for J Costigan.

Moyne-Templetuohy: J Leahy, L Everard, T Bergin, C Ely, M Esmonde, M Costigan, M Ryan, D Egan, D Bergin, E Kelly 02, P Costigan, J Sweeney 0-4, J Hassett 1-2, E Everard, S Everard 1-1.
Subs: C Everard for M Ryan; T Egan for P Costigan; J Doyle for E Everard.

Referee - N Cosgrave (Clonmel).

The Clonakenny panel that defeated Moyne-Templetuohy in the MacLochlainn Road Markings sponsored Mid Tipperary intermediate hurling final.

Back row (l. to r.) Walter Byrne, Michael Murray, Gearoid Byrne, Michael Burke, Mark Ryan, Gerard Byrne, Joe Bourke, Bobby Martin, Declan O'Dwyer, Eoin Ryan, John Stapleton, Peter Jennings, Brian Bourke, David Crampton.

Front row (l. to r.) Leo Crampton, Michael Leamy, William Moloughney, Seamus Nolan, Michael Smith, Allan Abbott, Mark Talbot, Martin Joe Muray, Johnny Madden, Donnacha Murray, Jim Costigan, Colm Murray, Thomas Carroll, Sean Madden (mascot).

Johnny Madden receiving the Michael Maher Cup as captain of the victorious Clonakenny team in the Mid Intermediate Hurling Championship Final 2003.

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