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Abbeyknockmoy Crowned Connacht Tain League Champs

posted 23 Apr 2013, 02:18 by Unknown user

Abbeyknockmoy defence holds out for Connacht GAA League title

Connacht GAA Tain League Final Division 1 2013


One of the best games played in the inaugural Connacht GAA Tain league was reserved for the final game in the series at the windswept Connacht GAA Centre on Saturday last as Abbeyknockmoy withheld a determined second half fightback from Tooreen to gain their first piece of silverware for the season.
In what has been acclaimed by all involved as an inspired creation the Connacht GAA Tain league has helped to invigorate hurling in Connacht counties at seasons beginning with a fitting final for all concerned. Whoever played with the strong wind in the Connacht GAA Centre required absolute accuracy otherwise a difficult second half would be their lot. Abbeyknockmoy, managed by Galway hurling icon Michael Coleman were without the services of Galway senior panellist Brian Flaherty whilst Tooreen bemoaned the loss of NUI, Galway Sigerson player Cathal Freeman, who missed the game due to a shoulder injury.
The Galway side played with the elements in the opening period but it was Tooreen who had as many chances to score but were off target from placed balls and in the final analysis this was crucial to the final outcome. Padraig O'Donnell opened the scoring with a free for the Galway side after 3 minutes. Kenny Feeney responded for Tooreen before Padraig O'Donnell struck three in a row (2 frees) in a four minute spell as Abbeyknockmoy realised that a double digit lead would be welcome at the break. A constant feature of the game was the inability of either side to carve out clear goal chances and had one or the other done so success would have been theirs with ease. Shane King sent Abbeyknockmoy into a short lived four point lead before Tooreen wing forward David Kenny with a well created score gave hope to the Mayo men who had spurned four scoring chances in the first ten minutes. At the other end of the field Abbeyknockmoy were creating a sizable tally of wides giving Adrian Hession a relaxed first half in the Tooreen goal. Under tremendous pressure in the last ten minutes of the first half Tooreen held out to concede a paltry four points to Abbeyknockmoy with Danny Mullins, Sean McCarthy and O'Donnell (2) on target. Tooreen on the one hand went in at the break happy to be only (0-9) to (0-2) in arrears but from the other viewpoint disappointed that they themselves had hit seven wides against the breeze with at least three eminently scorable.
The standard of play increased considerably in the second half as Abbeyknockmoy defended well allowing little concession of frees after what had been a free ridden first half. Both sides upped their efforts in the physical stakes as the entertainment value was now at an optimum. As the second half matured and Tooreen were finding it difficult to score from frees and play and the magical goal looking impossible they allowed Abbeyknockmoy off the hook for a crucial segment of the second half and in that timespan Padraig O'Donnell struck three vital second half Abbeyknockmoy scores. Kenny Feeney did the most that could be expected with half a dozen second half scores (2 frees) as Fergal Boland, Pat Morris and Ciaran Finn also tagged on minors to leave the minimum between the sides entering the final moments.
Great scenes of jubilation greeted Gus Chapman's final whistle as Abbeyknockmoy accepted that they had used up all their good fortune in securing the title and could thank a mean defence and a marvellous freetaking exhibition by Padraig O'Donnell. Likewise for Tooreen who showed great honesty in defence just fell short in the first half when an extra score or two would have garnered the odds. As a consequence and such tiny margins champions are created.

Abbeyknockmoy: Declan Molloy, Tommy Farragher, Tom Blade, Mike Gannon, Paddy Flaherty, Steven Ruane, David Carton, Ronan Cooley, Colman Maher, Ger Ruane, Padraig O'Donnell (0-9), Shane King (0-1), Sean McCarthy (0-1), Brian O'Donnell, Danny Mullins (0-1)

Tooreen: Adrian Hession, Paul Hunt, Shane Morley, Brian Delaney, Joey Ganley, Michael Morley Conor English, Ciaran Charlton, Gary Nolan, David Kenny (0-1), Kenny Feeney (0-7), Ciaran Finn (0-1), Dylan Lynskey, Sean Ganley, Pat Morris (0-1). Subs: Conor Henry for J Ganley, Shane Boland for S Ganley, Fergal Boland (0-1) for D Lynskey.

Referee: Gus Chapman (Sligo)

2013 Tain League Champions

After the game the Connacht GAA Tain League division 1 cup was presented by Connacht GAA Council president Frank Burke to Abbeyknockmoy captain Padraig O'Donnell in the presence of National Hurling Development Committee Chairman Tommy Langan (James Stephens, Kilkenny), and Committee member Mary Kenny (Liam Mellowes). The Man of the match award was presented to Abbeyknockmoy's Danny Mullins.

Captain Padraig O'Donnell receiving Shield                                            Man of the Match - Danny Mullins