Durlas Óg …………………..... 0-14

Loughmore-Castleiney …….0-6

Durlas Óg following a great second half display defeated Loughmore-Castleiney to retain the Kevin Darmody Ltd. Under 16 ‘A’ hurling title at Holycross on Monday. Durlas Óg were fortunate to be leading by a point at the interval as Loughmore-Castleiney had much more possession but were guilty of hitting a total of eight wides. The Thurles lads struck over some delightful second half points especially Aidan McCormack who hit five points from play and finished as top scorer with ten points.

The sides were level at 0-2 each at the end of first quarter. Aidan McCormack opened the scoring with a Durlas Óg point from a free. Noel McGrath was on target with a Loughmore free and then Cian Hennessy who was very prominent at centre forward had the first point from play before McCormack levelled the match with another point. Loughmore were getting on top in the half back line where Aidan McGrath was dominant at centre back while Noel McGrath was hitting much ball from centre field. Loughmore took the lead when following a great catch Liam Treacy turned and struck over the bar. Noel McGrath pointed a free from his own ‘65’ to increase the lead. Loughmore’s advantage would have been extended further but for some poor shooting by their attackers. Durlas Óg kept in touch with a Michael Russell point and two injury time pointed frees from Aidan McCormack had his side in front by 0-5 to 0-4 at half time. Durlas Óg lost their centre forward John Shortt through injury close to half time and Darragh Ronayne replaced him.

McCormack started the second half as he had finished the first when he struck over two points inside the opening five minutes. Noel McGrath kept Loughmore in touch with a point from a free. Kevin O’Gorman who was having a storming game had a great Durlas Óg point from near the right hand sideline some 50 metres from goals. Aidan McCormack had three further points from play to give the Thurles side an 0-11 to 0-5 advantage at the end of the third quarter. One of McCormack’s points was a brilliant effort from a very acute angle near the sideline. Loughmore who made some positional changes tried very hard to get back into the match. However the Durlas Óg defence that was well marshalled by Brian Stakelum and Denis Maher in the centre and with Bill McCormack in excellent form in goals stood up to challenge. McCormack deflected a piledriver from a Noel McGrath 20 metre free over the bar with five minutes remaining. Durlas Óg scored three further points with Denis Maher pointing a free from inside his own half, substitute Darragh Ronayne hitting a point and it was fitting that Aidan McCormack had the last point of the match.

Durlas Óg who were completing five in a row of titles in this grade were well pleased with this victory. Bill McCormack was a very dependable goalie. Brian Stakelum, Denis Maher and David Maher were excellent defenders. Kevin O’Gorman was very influential at midfield and in defence while Robert Murphy and Cian Treacy tried hard in attack with Aidan McCormack giving a man of the match performance with his accurate striking from both frees and play.

Loughmore-Castleiney were very disappointed especially with their second half display. They had top class performances from Aidan McGrath, Noel McGrath, Eamonn Connolly, Cian Hennessy and Liam Treacy.

Teams and scorers:

Durlas Óg: Bill McCormack; Stephen Maher, Brian Stakelum, Liam Cullen; Shane Dempsey, Denis Maher (0-1), David Maher; Kevin O’Gorman (0-1), Michael Russell (0-1), Robert Murphy, John Shortt, Damien Grimes; Cian Treacy, Aidan McCormack (0-10), Barry McCormack. Subs: Darragh Ronayne (0-1) for John Shortt; Tommy Doyle for Barry McCormack.

Loughmore-Castleiney : Ray Moore; Thomas McGrath, Patrick Moynihan, John Meagher; Willie Eviston, Aidan McGrath, Henry Maher; Noel McGrath (0-4), Eamonn Connolly; Denis Leahy, Cian Hennessy (0-1), Michael Ryan; Liam McGrath, Liam Treacy (0-1), Thomas Quinn.

Referee: Patsy Ralph (Upperchurch-Drombane).