Tourin/Glen Rovers 1-15; Kill 1-12
The men of Tourin/Glen Rovers annexed the Junior Hurling County title for the first time in 32 years when they saw off Kill in the curtain raiser at Walsh Park last Sunday. In the end, it was a fortuitous goal from Daithi Wilkinson which was the difference between the sides. Lucky or not, Tourin/Glen Rovers will not mind as they now turn their attentions to the Munster club championship.
It was appropriate that the first score of the game should be a free from Dara Fives as the accuracy of the young Tourin man from placed balls was one of the keys to this victory.
However, for much of the first half, Kill were in control, and took the lead in the 6th minute when centre-forward, Mick Ahearne added to Ben Gallagher’s earlier free.
Another free from Dara Fives levelled the scores again before Conor Hennessy put the Eastern side back in front after a fine pass from Anton Lennon.
Once again, Fives equalised with a free before Kill opened up a three point lead with two points from Ben Gallagher and one from Ray Hennessy.
A huge long-range free from senior county panellist, Shane Fives narrowed the deficit to two points, but Kill regained their three point lead when Mick Ahearne scored his second of the game.
Tourin/Glen Rovers were then level within two minutes when Brian Hennessy, Sean Leahy and Dara Fives all fired over. Hennessy’s point came after a long run out of defence by Shane Fives.
Tourin/Glen Rovers could have had a goal in the final minute of the half when Raymond McGlone found himself in the clear. Unfortunately for Tourin/Glen Rovers, McGlone’s shot came off the inside of the post, went across the goal and wide on the far side.
The final point of the half came from former county footballer, Ray Hennessy who sent Kill in at half-time with a one-point lead.
Playing with the advantage of the strong breeze, Tourin/Glen Rovers were level within two minutes of the restart when Dara Fives scored another free. Once again, Kill enjoyed a purple patch and opened up a three-point lead when the dangerous Ben Gallagher, Anton Lennon and Mick Ahearne scored.
Thinking that the title was slipping away from them, Tourin/Glen Rovers put the shoulder to the wheel and were soon level following points from Dara Fives, Sean Leahy and Dara Wilkinson. Another converted free from Fives put Tourin/Glen Rovers back in front for the first time since the 4th minute.
This lead was short-lived as Ben Gallagher equalised with a free for Kill.
Tourin/Glen Rovers then forged two points ahead when firstly Dara Fives scored a free and then he set up impressive wing-back Brendan Scanlon for a long-range, wind-assisted point.
With nine minutes left, Kill went back into the lead when they scored a goal. An attempt for a point by Brian Mooney dropped short and was batted down by Tourin/Glen Rovers goalkeeper, Colm Bennett. The ball dropped straight in front of Kill substitute, Jack Power whose first time effort hit the back of the net.
Tourin/Glen Rovers replied with yet another long range free from Dara Fives which levelled the scores yet again as the game ticked down towards injury time.
In an effort to win the game, Tourin/Glen Rovers moved Shane Fives into attack, just as they had in the Western final. Fives looked to have won the game for Tourin/Glen Rovers when he fired over what looked like a certain point. However, to the amazement of the vast majority of the crowd, the umpire waved the ball wide.
The men from the west were not to be denied as a minute later, Daithi Wilkinson gained possession 40 yards from goal. Aiming for a point, Wilkinson struck his shot badly. As Kill goalkeeper, Peter Torpey was about to gain possession, the ball struck a divot, changed direction and rolled over the line for the cruellest of goals. Seconds later, John Condon blew the final whistle and Tourin/Glen Rovers were champions.
This was yet another enthralling game and was indicative of how standards have risen across the county in all grades. Tourin/Glen Rovers owe a debt of gratitude to Dara Fives who was unerring from placed balls all afternoon. Further back the field, Brendan Scanlon had a spectacular hour and was very impressive in the air. Up front for the westerners, Sean Leahy and Daithi Wilkinson were lively and dangerous throughout.
For Kill, Fergal Whelan was by far and away their best player on the day. In the forwards, Mick Ahearne scored three points off no less a player than Shane Fives while Ben Gallagher and Ray Hennessy chipped in with vital points.
Tourin/Glen Rovers: C Bennett, S Dalton, C Leahy, M Landers, D Leahy, S Fives, B Scanlon, B Leahy, D Fives, S Leahy, M Scanlon, R McGlone, D Leahy, D Wilkinson, B Hennessy. Subs: D Nugent for D Leahy, D McGrath for C Leahy, S O’Grada for B Hennessy.
Scorers: D Fives 0-9 (0-8f), D Wilkinson 1-1, S Leahy 0-2, S Fives 0-1f, B Hennessy 0-1, B Scanlon 0-1
Kill: P Torpey, F Cleary, A Power, K Regan, L Lennon, A Whelan, F Whelan, N Hennessy, A Kiely, C Ryan, M Ahearne, B Gallagher, C Hennessy, A Lennon, R Hennessy. Subs: B Mooney for C Ryan, J Power for C Hennessy, M Hennessy for A Lennon.
Scorers: B Gallagher 0-5 (0-3f), M Ahearne 0-3, J Power 1-0, R Hennessy 0-2, C Hennessy 0-1, A Lennon 0-1.
Referee: John Condon (An Rinn).