The weekend of 12th/13th October 2002 will be remembered for a very long time as Dúrlas Óg recorded an historic under 16 double by winning both the 'A' and 'C' county hurling titles. It was also the first time in our history that a Dúrlas Óg 'B' team won a county title.
County Under 16 'A' Final
On Saturday the 'A' final against a fancied Carrick Swans side was played in Cashel. We got a dream start with a goal from Cian Gleeson in the third minute and Eoin Russell scored another goal after ten minutes to leave the score - Dúrlas Óg 2-4 Carrick Swans 0-1. We played some excellent hurling for the remainder of the first half with our forwards very sharp and the backs and midfield giving nothing away. We were leading at half time on a scoreline of 3-8 to 1-4.
Carrick Swans got a great start to the second half with two points inside the first three minutes. The, after further Carrick pressure, we broke from defence and Richard O'Gorman raced through to score our fourth goal. Despite Carrick Swans best efforts there was no way through a resolute Dúrlas Óg defence and when the final whistle sounded the scoreline read - Dúrlas Óg 5-10 Carrick Swans 2-9.
This was a truly memorable victory for a very determined and skillful Dúrlas Óg side. Barry O'Donovan was a confident goalkeeper all through. The full-back line of Andrew Fogarty, Brian White and Michael Collins was tigerish in its play and never gave their opponents time to settle on the ball. Wing-backs Tom Dorney and Conor Murphy played with skill and determination while center-back and captain Tom King led by example and made many lengthy clearances.
The midfield pairing of Kevin O'Halloran and Stephen Lillis covered every blade of grass on the field and gave quality ball to the forwards. Stephen Lillis finished with a personal tally of 1-5, his goal coming from a penalty in the first half and his freetaking was excellent. Kevin O'Halloran scored a great first half point. The half-forward line of Liam Bannon, Richard O'Gorman and Eoin Russell never allowed the Swans half-backs to dominate. Eoin Russell finished as our top scorer with a tally of 2-3 and Richard O'Gorman scored 1-1, his point from near the sideline in the first half was one of the highlights. John Maher, Greg Bowe and Cian Gleeson in the full-forward line always looked dangerous and their movement both on and off the ball had the Carrick backs under severe pressure. Substitute Mark Ruddy also played his part when he came on.
It was most disappointing for our two injured players, Barry O'Loughlin and Barry Maher, that they couldn't play in the final. Both players played major roles all through the year and we wish them a speedy recovery.
Tom King received the cup from county chairman, Michael Lonergan, after the final whistle amid scenes of great jubilation.
County Under 16 "C" Final
Sunday morning we headed for New Inn to play Clonmel Óg in the 'C' final. The first half was played in heavy rain and was a very tight affair. Goals from Paddy Bourke and Morgan Gleeson were crucial to leave the half time score - Dúrlas Óg 2-4 Clonmel Óg 0-8. Scores were at a premium in the second half and both defences were on top. We scored two points through David Shannon and John Joe Bourke to leave the final score Dúrlas Óg 2-6 Clonmel Óg 0-10.
This victory secured an historic under 16 double for Dúrlas Óg and there were many a tear shed at the final whistle. Michael Gleeson never put a foot wrong in goals and our backs, Muiris O'Sullivan, Garret Foxton, David Morris, Ronan Walsh and Ian Maher, played with skill and determination and defended magnificently especially in the second half. Stephen Fewer and Justin Cleary at midfield held their own against a very strong Clonmel Óg pairing and cleared a lot of ball out of defence. Our forwards, Joseph Mahony, Paul Kennedy, David Shannon, Morgan Gleeson and top scorer Paddy Bourke (1-4) played with purpose and determination all through. John Joe Bourke, who came on as a substitute late in the game, scored a great point to seal victory. The other panel members were Shane Dorney, Shane Meagher and Paul Connors.
For the second day running county chairman, Michael Lonergan, presented the cup to a Dúrlas Óg captain. On this occasion, Muiris O'Sullivan was the recipient.
Our thanks to our team mentors, Paddy Moore, Michael Maher, Phil O'Halloran and Jim Dwyer for all their efforts which resulted in an historic double.