Skeheenarinky’s Finest Hour

Spirit and Passion win through as Skeheen’ win historic first Junior County  title

Tipperary Junior A Hurling County Championship Final
Skeheenarinky    1-14
Nenagh Eire Og  1-12

There was Skeheen’ people who have waited a lifetime to see it, and no better representative for those who thought they might never see this day,  than proud Skeheen’ captain John Martin to raise aloft the first ever Junior A County trophy to resounding cheers from the delighted supporters.  A day when skill and passion combined to produce a gripping encounter but thankfully see Skeheenarinky emerge as victors and a place in a Munster quarter final to contend with this Sunday.


Proud Skeheenarinky captain John Martin raises aloft the County Junior hurling Championship trophy. This is the first time in the clubs history to secure the title so a truly memorable day for all who witnessed it. A Muster quarter final awaits this Sunday.

The path to the final saw us beat Thurles sars in the County quarter final on a 1-18 to a 3-10 scoreline and Kildangan from north Tipp in the semi final on a 1-15 to 0-16 scoreline. So after two great victories where we came back from being four and five points down and scoring an injury time winning goal against Kildangan, it was no surprise to see a large number of supporters displaying the blue and orange travelling to Cashel last Saturday where a  thrilling and nerve wracking match lay in store.

With Nenagh winning the coin toss they would choose to play against the very strong wind in the first half and within  twenty seconds would be on the scoreboard with a point from play. Our first score came in the third minute when Paudi Fitzgerald intercepts a sideline cut and passes neatly to Conor Sweeney who would swing over his shoulder and split the posts. A minute later Nenagh would win their own puckout and score a point from play.  Paudi yet again anticipates a poor sideline cut in the fifth minute and passes to the oncoming Tommy Sweeney who made no mistake in pointing. The next two points would be Nenaghs, the first a free and the second from play after  Neil Barret and John O’Callaghan almost combined for a perfect score but the handpass would be a fraction high, no fault of either and  reminiscent of Lar’s pass in this years all Ireland. What could have easily been a Skeheen’ score sees  the sliothair  cleared up the field, and breaking kindly for the Nenagh no. 10 he finished expertly to the net.

But a great response from Skeheen’ as from the ensuing puckout,  Jason Cahill  in goal would pick out Noel  Vaughan who taking on the defence in his trademark style, would make the space  to take his point. The score now 1-3 to 0-3. Conor Sweeney would strike the next two points, the first from a free he won himself and the second from play. Nenagh were exerting pressure on our goalmouth at this stage, with Jason scooping out a shot over the endline. The resulting 65’ would drop short but is cleared out of danger  with Eoin Kearney quickest  to react. In the fifteenth minute John Martin would rise highest and pick the ball from the sky, then send  a pass from the hurl to Seamus O’Callaghan who points in his stride.

A minute later it would be Riain O’Callaghan clearing his lines who would pick out Seamus again, this time Nenagh sense the danger he poses and push him to the ground, Conor Sweeney points the resulting  free.  In the Eighteenth minute we would trade frees, the first for Nenagh after a harsh decicion on our backs and the second when yet again, Seamus O’Callaghan is fouled, chopped down this time running at the Nenagh goal,  and Fionnan steps up and points this free.  This would see us creep a point ahead and whilst Noel Vaughan would see the umpire raise the white flag in the 21st minute,  the sideline official would over-rule it as a wide ball, and no hawkeye yet in Cashel to prove him wrong!  The next five minutes or so would see a period of ferocious hooking, blocking and and full on commitment from both teams with neither breaking the deadlock untill Fionnan O’Sullivan would point from play in the 26th minute and would add another pointed free to his tally in the 28th minute. This free was the result of yet another foul on the tenacious Seamus O’Callagahan who was a major cause of problems  for  the Nenagh defence. The final minutes of the first half would see us exerting good pressure on the Nenagh backline but with no reward, but still  leaving us a vital three points ahead at the interval having played with the wind, the score 0-10 to 1-04. This meant we had held  Nenagh to five scores in the first half and they had gone without a score in the final fourteen minutes of the half,  so the omens were good but alot of hurling still to do and against the wind.

Nenagh had it back to a one point deficit within three minutes of the restart with a free and a point from play despite great defensive work from the Skeheen’ backline. In the 34th minute Skeheen’ would receive a huge confidence boost with some fantastic hurling skills on display. Starting with a terrific catch from John Martin, with Conor Sweeney in support passing on to Tommy Sweeney, who in turn lays off a handpass to Noel Vaughan who  rattles the net for the second game in succession.  Nenagh point a free in the 35th minute followed by a Fionnan free after who else but Seamus O’Callaghan is fouled again. At this stage the Nenagh goalie was getting tremendous distance on his puckouts with the aid of the breeze and keeping the pressure on the Skeheen defence. Riain O’Callaghan typified the spirit being shown when in the 38th minute he burst out of the half back line and passes to Noel Vaughan who is fouled and Fionnan calmly points the free. A Nenagh free in the 40th minute is pointed but Conner Sweeney soon cancels this out with a point from play a minute later.

This would leave us five points to the good but Nenagh would then threaten to break the lines with two attempts on goal. Jason saves the first but Nenagh secure the break and score a cracker of a point and then Jason and Shane Molan stop a certain goal but are forced to parry the shot over the endline for a 65’ which is also pointed. The next five minutes would see Nenagh hit three wides in quick succession before scoring a point from play in the 49th minute leaving the score 1-13 to Skeheen’, 1-11 to Nenagh… a dangerous lead.  Six nervous minutes would pass before an Eoin Morrissey hook sees the ball find its way to Noel Vaughan who is fouled whilst on a mazey run through the defence. Fionnan scores the free and that would be Skeheen’s last score of the match, although our forwards were creating lots of chances and working hard for possession. With Paudie fitzgerald acting as provider, Darragh Lyons and Noel Vaughan were unlucky not to get a goal each but the Nenagh goalie was on top form.

As the clock ticked into injury time the tension was ratcheted up with balls raining down on our full backs. Davy Hyland would rise majestically to avert the danger in the 62nd minute but in the ensuing melee for possession Nenagh would win close a range free. With their goalie called in to try and send this game to a replay, he would blast the ball just over. Nenagh would get one more chance to upset the cardiac rhythms of the Skeheen’ supporters but Davy Hyland again would clear the lines and his would be the last touch of the game. The referees full time whistle saw the players engulfed by delighted Skeheen’ supporters and nobody was in a rush to leave the field…this moment was to be savoured.

If there was to be a decision for man of the match it would be a debate that would have to be abandoned for no one man could take the prize such was the completeness of this Skeheen’ performance. Every man on the Skeheen’ side fulfilled the task assigned to him and then some. We send our congratulations to all the team and panel  who have all played a part in this achievement and also to the management team and all those who have worked with these teams at juvenile and underage levels for the past number of years. Without your efforts we would not have arrived at this day.

Team and Scores: Jason Cahill, Shane Molan, Eoin Kearney, Dave Hyland, John O’Callaghan, John Martin(Captain), Riain O’Callaghan, Fionnan O’Sullivan(0-5 frees,0-2 play), Paudie Fitzgerald, Seamus O’Callaghan(0-1), Conor  Sweeney(0-3 frees,0-1 play), Eoin Morrissey, Neil Barrett, Noel Vaughan(1-1), Tommy Sweeney(0-1)  Darragh Lyons  Extended panel: William English, Anthony Crotty, Mikey Sweeney, Tom Martin, John Ryan, Ceallach Hennessey, Shane Lynch, Brendan English, Cian Duggan, Darragh O’Sullivan.

Report by ; Kevin Russell

The victorious team and management: Back row L-R:Eamon Maher,Fergal McLoughlin,Neil Barrett,Dave Hyland,Eoin Morrissey,Wm English,John O’Callaghan,Tom Martin,Shane Lynch,Darragh lyons,Paudie Fitzgerald,Noel vaughan,Fionnan o’Sullivan,John Ryan,Eoin Kearney,Tommy Sweeney,Jason Cahill,Joe English,John Goff,Ned Carey
Front row L-R:Eddie Maher,Declan Hickey,Anthony Crotty,Seamus O’Callaghan,Riain O’Callaghan,Shane Molan,John Martin(capt),Conor Sweeney,Ceallach Hennessey,Mikey Sweeney,Breda Fitzgibbon,Johnnie Bourke,Conor O’Farrell


This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 11:48 am and is filed under GAA News.