MID TIPPERARY BORD NA nÓGMid Under 16 ‘A’ Football Final
TREACY POINTS LOUGHMORE-CASTLEINEY TO VICTORY
Loughmore-Castleiney edged out Durlas Óg in an exciting Mid Under 16 ‘A’ football final sponsored by Ray Ralph Carpentry at Templemore on Monday. There was little between the teams throughout the match with some excellent football being played by both teams.
It was score for score in the first half with Durlas Óg going in at the interval leading by a point. Durlas Óg increased their lead to four points early in the second half. Loughmore came back to equalise and then take the lead. Durlas Óg levelled again with two minutes remaining but two late Loughmore points gave them the title. Liam Treacy played a captain’s part for Loughmore contributing six points and being a dominant figure at midfield. If Treacy was Loughmore’s top marksman Durlas Óg had an equally impressive sharpshooter in full forward Gary Lanigan who ended the match with a personal tally of 1-4.
Loughmore had most of the early possession and kicked three wides in as many minutes before Durlas Óg in their first attack won a free which Gary Lanigan pointed. Liam Treacy replied with two Loughmore points to give them the lead at the end of the first quarter. Durlas Óg gradually got a grip on the game and they kicked three unanswered points through Gary Lanigan (2) and Aidan McCorcmack to lead 0-4 to 0-2 as half time approached. It was Loughmore and Liam Treacy who had the last score of the half when he expertly pointed a free to leave the minimum between the sides at the interval.
The teams were level within four minutes of the restart when John McGrath had a Loughmore point. Gary Lanigan replied for Durlas Óg with a pointed free and in the 38th minute following a high ball from Patrick Dunne into the Loughmore goal area Kevin Smith knocked the ball into the path of Lanigan who finished to the net to give Durlas Óg a 1-5 to 0-4 lead. Loughmore responded immediately and what a response. Centre back John Meagher gained possession at midfield and he soloed through the Durlas Óg defence and hit an unstoppable shot past goalie Brian O’Connor for a goal that would do justice to any occasion. Liam Treacy kicked three Loughmore points with David Corbett pointing for Durlas Óg to give Loughmore a slender one point lead (1-7 to 1-6) with seven minutes remaining. It looked game over two minutes later when Liam McGrath was fouled in the Durlas Óg square and a penalty was awarded. Durlas Óg placed top scorer Gary Lanigan in goal for the penalty and he brilliantly saved John McGrath’s spot kick. This save lifted the Thurles side and they went down the pitch and Philip Purcell kicked the equalising point. There were two minutes remaining and a draw looked on the cards. Loughmore attacked with Liam McGrath winning possession and he split the posts for what looked like being the winning point. Brian McGrath sealed victory in the first minute of injury time when he kicked a good point from play. There was no time left for a Durlas Óg comeback and Loughmore were Mid champions.
Loughmore-Castleiney who last won this title in 2006 were more than pleased with this victory. Liam Treacy as already mentioned got some great points and he was well supported by John Meagher, his goal was to prove crucial in the end, Tomas McGrath, John McGrath, Joseph Hennessy and Liam McGrath.
Durlas Óg contributed to a great final and they had notable displays from Brian O’Connor who brought off a number of good saves, Sean Moroney, Patrick Dunne, Aidan McCormack and top scorer Gary Lanigan who was always dangerous.
Teams and scorers:
Referee : Brian Barrett (Holycross-Ballycahill).