Kilcormac/Killoughey captain Ter Guinan about to accept the Offaly Minor Hurling trophy watched by his team mates and supporters
A HUGELY talented Kilcormac/Killoughey side blitzed St Rynagh's to capture their fourth Offaly Minor A hurling title in a row with a superb team performance in the final played at St Brendan's Park, Birr on Saturday.
Offaly Minor A Hurling Championship Final
ST RYNAGH'S 0-11
At times Kilcormac/Killoughey were simply awesome as they ripped St Rynagh's apart with a great display of skill and talent and they simply outclassed the opposition from start to finish.
This was Kilcormac/Killoughey 19th minor title and they move into second place on the roll of honour just one behind St Rynagh's who have 20 titles.
On this day there was only one team in it. Kilcormac/Killoughey started brightly and led 0-3 to 0-1 by the sixth minute. St Rynagh's did get the next three scores to lead for the only time but thereafter it was all Kilcormac/Killoughey. They hit the next seven points in a row to lead by six and then in the final few minutes of the half found the net twice to lead by 2-14 to 0-5 at half time.
A third goal two minutes into the second half stretched the lead and they continued to push on throughout the half building up a 29 point lead at one point before Rynagh's got the last three points of the game to narrow the gap to 26 at the final whistle.
An impressive statistic from Kilcormac/Killoughey's total is that they scored 6-16 from play. All six starting forwards and one midfielder found the target from play and while Adam Screeney led the way with 3-6, the threat came from all over the field.
In contrast St Rynagh's struggled to score from play. All five points in the first half came from placed balls and while they scored their first point from play in the first minute of the second half, they didn't score from play again until three minutes into injury time. They continued to fight hard but they were just unable to match the power of the opposition.
Kilcormac/Killoughey were so strong all over the pitch. Their skill levels, first touch, ability to create space and take scores was outstanding. There was great understanding between them and they never seemed to panic. They had the ability to pick out a man in space and and St Rynagh's were just unable to counteract them. The delivery from the backs to the forwards was often instrumental in creating that space and their hurling ability was very evident throughout the team.
The Kilcormac/Killoughey forwards tormented the Rynagh's rearguard and in truth, they could have inflicted an even bigger defeat on their opponents as they also shot 13 wides and spurned a couple more goal opportunities.
It was a sobering experience for St Rynagh's and it is probably of little solace to them that they came up against such an outstanding team, who have dominated throughout this championship. Apart from a three point victory over Ferbane/Belmont (who ironically failed to make the quarter finals), their victory margins in their other games were 23 points, 22 points, 32 points and 15 points, indicating how far ahead they were of everyone else.
Adam Screeney opened the scoring a minute in and after Ciaran Daly had levelled Richard Bracken and Ter Guinan pointed for Kilcormac/Killoughey. Ciaran Daly then pointed three in a row, two frees and a '65', to put this side in front but Kilcormac/Killoughey then hit form and Adam Screeney pointed three times (one free), Alex Kavanagh hit two and Ter Guinan and Daniel Hand (free) also pointed and they were six points up after 21 minutes.
Ciaran Daly pointed another free for St Rynagh's but Daniel Hand replied and then a minute before the break Alex Kavanagh flicked a lovely overhead pass to Ter Guinan near the left sideline and he made ground before offloading to Adam Screeney and he finished to the net. Stephen Gleeson and Ter Guinan added points before Daniel Hand came in from the right and fired low to the net and added a point straight from the puck out to give his side a 2-14 to 0-5 half time lead.
Seventeen seconds into the second half Conor Gaughan scored Rynagh's first point from play and two minutes later Adam Screeney shot low to the net for Kilcormac/Killoughey's third goal. Shane Rigney pointed a Rynagh's free but Daniel Hand and Colin Spain replied at the other end. Ten minutes into the half Alex Kavanagh's shot was saved on the goal line but the rebound fell nicely for Adam Screeney and he found the net from close range. Three minutes later great persistence by Alex Kavanagh resulted in the fifth goal and Colin Spain and Adam Screeney (2) stretched the lead with further points.
Ciaran Daly pointed a 65m free but a long range shot from Stephen Gleeson found its way to the net for goal number six. In injury time Ciaran Daly pointed a '65' and then hit two from play but it was Kilcormac/Killoughey who were celebrating at the final whistle.
KILCORMAC/KILLOUGHEY: Morgan Bennett; Mark Mulrooney, James Mahon, Oisin Guinan; Donnchadh Kilmartin, Eoin Leonard, Brecon Kavanagh; Leigh Kavanagh, Daniel Hand; Stephen Gleeson, Ter Guinan, Colin Spain; Richard Bracken, Alex Kavanagh, Adam Screeney. Subs. Luke Bracken (for Richard Bracken, 46 mins), Harry Sweeney (for Daniel Hand, 46 mins), Eoin Moylan (for Mark Mulrooney, 52 mins), Brian Guinan (for Stephen Gleeson, 57 mins), Brendan White (for Donnchadh Kilmartin, 59 mins).
ST RYNAGH'S: Kevin O'Connell; Eric Rigney, Caoimhin Malone, Daire Daly; Niall Daly, Korbin Dolan, Kian Costello; Paddy McGuckin, Paddy Mahon; Shane Rigney, Conor Gaughan, Ciaran Daly; Jack Slevin, Alex Finn, Niall Flannery. Subs. Cormac Butler (for Kian Costello, half time), Aaron Molloy (for Alex Flynn, half time), Darren O'Rourke (for Niall Flannery, 52 mins), Paul Cannon (for Daire Daly, 61 mins), Tomas Kelly (for Jack Slevin, 62 mins).
REFEREE: Kyle Waters.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Kilcormac/Killoughey had lot of contenders, Mark Mulrooney, Brecon Kavanagh, Eoin Leonard and Alex Kavanagh, but the man who did the bulk of the damage was Adam Screeney. From the very first minute he was in the thick of the action. His movement, turn of pace and nose for goal were apparent for all to see and while he might have hit a few wides, he still finished with 3-6, all bar two points from play.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Kilcormac/Killoughey's first goal was a lovely score and really signalled the end of the road for Rynagh's. Alex Kavanagh gathered the ball on the left sideline about 45m and flicked a lovely overhead pass to Ter Guinan who raced goalwards before passing inside to Adam Screeney and he slapped the ball to the net.
Kyle Waters didn't have too many difficult issues to deal with here. He liaised well with his linesmen and umpires and controlled the game well.
Kilcormac/Killoughey dominated this championship and the frightening thing for every other club is that 12 of this starting line up is underage again next year. They played six games in the championship and won five of the games by margins of 15 points or more and were clearly the best team in the championship
It's the end of the season for both teams with Kilcormac/Killoughey crowned champions for the fourth year in a row while St Rynagh's must go back and get ready for next year.
St Brendan's Park was in good condition for this game. The pitch was a bit soft in places but for the time of year, the surface was good. There were plenty of stewards on duty and they hosted the game well.
Wides; Kilcormac/Killoughey 13 (8 in first time) St Rynagh's 8 (3 in first half)
Yellow Cards: Kilcormac/Killoughey 2 (Mark Mulrooney, Daniel Hand) St Rynagh's 1 (Niall Daly)
Red Cards: None
Kilcormac/Killoughey; Adam Screeney (3-6, 0-2 free), Daniel Hand (1-4, 0-1 free), Alex Kavanagh (1-2), Stephen Gleeson (1-1), Ter Guinan (0-3), Colin Spain (0-2), Richard Bracken (0-1).
St Rynagh's; Ciaran Daly (0-9, 0-5 frees, 0-2 '65s'), Conor Gaughan (0-1), Shane Rigney (0-1, free).
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