2021 County Junior ‘A’ Hurling Championship Final:
This Saturday afternoon the Junior Hurlers make the journey south to Kilmallock for the 2021 County Junior ‘A’ Hurling Championship final where east Limerick side Caherline will be our opponents. This will be our first county final appearance since 2012 when we were crowned West and County Junior A’ Hurling champions following victories over Monagea in both finals. Following that success, we enjoyed a very fruitful Munster club championship campaign amassing victories over Kerry champions Kenmare Shamrocks and Tipperary representatives Kilsheelan/Killcash before succumbing to the impressive Cork County champions Kildorrery in the Munster final in Mallow. We returned to the Junior ‘A’ ranks in 2017 following a five year stay at intermediate level which saw us contest two county cup finals. In 2013 against a Monaleen side which have subsequently risen to the senior ranks before defeating Caherline in the 2014 decider. The team has gone through a period of transition over the past number of years with many of the 2012 winning panel no longer involved through retirement and emigration. Twelve members of the 2012 panel remain this year with the likes of McCarthy’s, Jack Harnett and Anthony Molyneaux once again playing influential roles within the set up while John Greaney, Ian Mackessy, Mike Flynn, Darragh Treacy, Donie Nolan, Billy and Mikie Breen will all be looking to add a second County Junior ‘A’ Hurling Championship medal to their repertoire on Saturday afternoon. Unlike 2012 we do not go into the 2021 decider as West champions following the disbandment of the divisional championships in 2020 in favour of the new all-county format which has seen us face-off against teams, we traditionally have not faced at championship level. 2020 saw the introduction of the new All-County championship format and it is fair to say we struggled throughout the 2020 championship only enjoying one win over Garryspillane and a draw against Castletown/Ballyagran. The 2021 championship has seen a complete change of fortunes for this new Kieran’s side with the introduction of a new generation of younger players to complement our plethora of seasoned campaigners. No fewer than seven players have got their first taste of championship action this term and it is evident that they have gone from strength to strength and grown in confidence with each game which will stand the team in good stead long into the future. Our 2021 season began with the West League campaign which saw us contest the final against Rathkeale. After a titanic battle which went to extra-time it was our neighbours who took the spoils to capture the honours. We were drawn in a difficult championship group against two of the pre-championship favourites in Kilteely/Dromkeen and St. Patrick’s, as well as fellow west Limerick side Monagea and Garryspillane and Ahane. We got off to the worst possible start in the opening round suffering a heavy defeat to a slick Kilteely side, but the team showed great character in round 2 to overcome St. Patrick’s. Our championship kicked into life after this as further wins were secured over Garryspillane in round 3 and Monagea in round 4 following a slow start which saw us trail by five points at the first water break before turning the game on its head in the second quarter with two goals to see us come away with a six-point win. In round 5 with qualification on the line we came away with a strong win over a depleted Ahane side to top the group and set up a quarter final encounter with Doon. Both sides met in the opening round of the 2020 championship in Clarina, on that occasion the east Limerick men had seven points to spare but to the lads’ credit despite missing four first team regulars they turned the tide on their opponents and came away with a three-point victory to set up a semi-final berth with another east Limerick side Ballybricken/Bohermore. In the eyes of many we went into our semi-final clash as underdogs due to the fact Ballybricken/Bohermore had proved to be extremely potent in their six previous championship games, scoring sixteen goals en route. While Ballybricken/Bohermore had been lethal in front of goal we had been equally disciplined at the back in our six games, having kept a clean sheet in three of our six games. Our semi-final performance was undoubtedly our strongest, in the first half everything went right for us as Johnny McCarthy and Anthony Molyneaux rolled back the years up front to give us an eight-point lead at the interval. This would rise to ten at the second water break before a Ballybricken/Bohermore comeback in the final quarter saw them reduce their deficit to four points at the final whistle. The return of a number of important players to the team from injury including Mossie Shine, Jack Harnett and Darragh Treacy was of vital importance to the semi-final victory. Added to this the extra weeks preparation was vital as for many players they had been on the road for six successive weeks between senior football and junior hurling championship. Unfortunately, we will be without the services of ace marksman Donie Nolan for the 2021 decider due to a cruciate ligament injury. Over the past ten years Donie has played a vital role within this team with his free taking and general attacking play being the cause of much of our success. We would like to wish him a speedy recovery and hopefully he can make his return to the Kieran’s jersey in 2022. The management of Chris Madigan, Aidan O’ Rahilly, Noel Hennessy and Donal Balfe deserve great credit for the manner in which they have assembled this team together. There is an excellent blend of youthful exuberance along with guile and experience. In addition, the team is playing a very positive blend of attacking, honest and hardworking hurling which is very easy on the eye. Both Kieran’s and Caherline have a strong rivalry since 2013, having met on four previous occasions in the championship. Caherline will no doubt be buoyed by their 2020 championship victory, but we hold the overall advantage with victories in 2014 and 2015, while there was no separating the two sides in our first championship encounter in 2013. Both clubs will undoubtedly see this Saturday’s clash as a glorious opportunity to earn county championship success and return to the intermediate ranks in 2022. A further prize on offer for Saturday’s winner is a Munster club junior hurling championship semi-final clash with the Cork champions in December. Saturday’s game throws in at 2pm in Kilmallock your support is greatly appreciated by all concerned. We will be having live WhatsApp and twitter updates throughout for those unable to attend.
Paths to the final:
St. Kieran’s
Round 1: St. Kieran’s 1.14 Kilteely/Dromkeen 4.18
Round 2: St. Kieran’s 2.12 St. Patrick’s 0.15
Round 3: St. Kieran’s 2.16 Garryspillane 2.10
Round 4: St. Kieran’s 3.9 Monagea 1.9
Round 5: St. Kieran’s 5.15 Ahane 0.8
Quarter Final: St. Kieran’s 1.11 Doon 0.11
Semi Final: St. Kieran’s 2.12 Ballybricken/Bohermore 0.14
Round 1: Caherline 3.22 Templeglantine 1.19
Round 2: Caherline 0.24 Old Christians 2.11
Round 3: Caherline 0.17 Ballybricken/Bohermore 1.17
Round 4: Caherline 4.11 Drom/Broadford 1.9
Round 5: Caherline 1.21 Crecora 1.16
Quarter Final: Caherline 2.19 Ballybrown 2.14
Semi Final: Caherline 1.13 St. Patrick’s 0.13
Previous Championship Encounters:
2013: County Intermediate Hurling Championship St. Kieran’s 1.12 Caherline 1.12
2014: County Intermediate Cup Final: St. Kieran’s 0.16 Caherline 0.7
2015: County Intermediate Hurling Championship: St. Kieran’s 1.11 Caherline 0.10
2020 County Junior ‘A’ Hurling Championship: St. Kieran’s 0.9 Caherline 1.17
St. Kieran’s West & County Junior ‘A’ Hurling Champions 2012 and Munster Club Finalists
: David Woulfe, Jonathan Ruttle, Jack Harnett, James Windle, John O’ Connor, John Ahern, Mike Breen, Timmy Carroll, Padraig Trant, Darragh Treacy, Mike Flynn, Donie Nolan, Jason Mullins, Mike Windle, Chris Madigan, Tony Doyle, Sean Windle, Ivan Neary, Sean O’ Sullivan, Noel Broderick, Mike O’ Connor, Dr. Mel Fulham, John Ryan, Seanie Hayes, Paudie McCarthy, Danny Collum, Ger Donovan, Owen Hayes, Patrick Windle, John Greaney, Donal Balfe, Anthony Molyneaux, Ray Cahill, Johnny McCarthy, James Muckell, Kenneth Greaney, Brendan McCarthy, Ian Mackessy, Billy Breen, Timmy Madigan.
County Premier U21 Football Championship Round 1:
St. Kieran’s 0.11 Fr. Casey’s 0.11
Our u21 footballers made the long journey to Rhebogue to play fellow west Limerick club Fr. Casey’s on Friday evening last for the opening round of the County Championship. Backboned by a sprinkling of players with senior championship experience as well as a wealth of players from the successful minor championship winning team we went into the game as marginal underdogs against an Abbeyfeale side that has been dominant at Premier minor level over the past decade. We began the game brightly with John Hayes opening our account. The opening quarter was a keenly contested affair with our full back line of Eoin Burke, Aaron Heffernan and Mike Shanahan soon getting to grips with their men despite some early difficulties. There was no separating the sides at the first water break as both teams brought a high intensity to the game. We doubled our tally in the second quarter but trailed at the interval by a point, 7-6 but were managing to put together some excellent passages of play which were duly punished by John Hayes on free taking duties. The game was a frantic, hard-hitting affair with tensions high between two ultra-competitive sides. As the third quarter developed the Fealesiders began to get a stranglehold on the game, and it looked as if we were heading to defeat as they increased their lead to two at the second water break as we struggled to get our hands on the ball. To the players and managements credit there was never an element of panic and following a few brief words of encouragement at the water break there was a noticeable change in attitude in the final quarter. Our chances were boosted massively when Fr. Casey’s were reduced to fourteen men following a second yellow card for a cynical foul. From here confidence grew as the game was there for the taking. We were soon level with scores from John Hayes following an excellent run inside from the impressive Cathal McEnery and a well struck point from Liam Kennedy. Casey’s kept their hopes alive thanks to an excellent penalty save from their keeper. Dubiously we had a goal disallowed for what appeared to be a square ball, had that gone in then we would have been in a very strong position. With the game in the dying moments, we held a one-point lead. Casey’s mounted one final attack resulting in a free and from here the game concluded in a draw. All in all, a draw was a very promising result and hopefully the team can build on this performance into their next two games against Monaleen and Na Piarsaigh. Elsewhere in the group Monaleen overcame Na Piarsaigh by eight points in Friday evenings other encounter.
Car Flags
St. Kieran’s Junior Hurlers are running a fundraiser in advance of this Saturday’s County final with funds raised going straight back into the team. The club will be selling St. Kieran’s crested car flags, as well as larger flags in two styles- checkered and crested. These can be bought in preparation for the upcoming county final and driven with pride around the locality. Car flags are €15 each or two for €25. Larger flags(5X3) are €15 for the checkered and €20 for the crested. Car flags can be bought in Neary’s & Greaney’s butchers in Ardagh and in Moloney’s shop in Carrigkerry. We really hope that people will get behind this club initiative, looking forward to seeing club colours traveling around the county
Upcoming Fixtures:
· Saturday November 13: County Junior ‘A’ Hurling Championship final St. Kieran’s vs Caherline in Kilmallock @2pm
· Tuesday November 16: County U21 ‘B’ Hurling Championship round 1 St. Kieran’s vs Caherline in Rhebogue @8pm
· Friday November 19: County Premier U21 Football Championship round 2 St. Kieran’s vs Monaleen in Caherdavin (Na Piarsaigh GAA) @8.15
· Sunday November 21: County Minor ‘B’ Hurling Championship final St. Kieran’s vs Kildimo/Pallaskenry in The Bog Garden, Rathkeale @2pm
· Friday November 26: County Premier U21 Football Championship round 3 St. Kieran’s vs Na Piarsaigh in Knocklong @8pm
Ardagh Development Association & St Kierans GAA Club Lottery Draw
Results for Monday 8th November 2021 as follows.
Jackpot €5200.00
Numbers Drawn 5, 19, 26, 27
Lucky Dips
€40 Ann Greed Askeaton
€40 Brendan Molyneaux Askeaton
€40 Maeve Enright (Online)
€40 Philip Clifford (Online)
€40 Michael Curley Reens
Next Draw Monday 15th November with a jackpot of €5300.00