South Tipp SH Championship
Report by Ricky Sheehan
Carrick Swan 4-13 Carrick Davins 1-10
The South Tipp senior hurling championship advanced a stage further with two derby games over the weekend. On Saturday evening it was early season pacemakers Ballingarry and neighbours Killenaule making their seasonal debut. In the early afternoon on Sunday it was the oldest of the south Tipp derbies between Davins and Swan for bragging rights in Carrick-on-Suir. Saturday night saw Killenaule make a winning seasonal debut and Sunday afternoon saw Swan take the bragging rights in Carrick if the two sides don’t meet again in this year’s championship. Among the Swan lads the hero of the hour was Bill Walsh. His three goals made a huge difference against the Davins. The two winning teams had also something else in common. Over the weekend they saw the difference when their best centre back played in that position. In Fethard it was Declan Fanning of Killenaule while in Carrick it was Kevin Lanigan of the Swan who returned to the No.6 spot from forward duties. The game in Carrick was played in front of a good sized crowd and the early start seemed to be popular.
The Davin Park was in fine condition for hurling with a strong diagonal wind blowing towards the road goal. If the wind was strong it was Davins who were playing against it who started like the proverbial hurricane. After six minutes they led by 1-03 to no score courtesy of the Butlers J.J and Noel but we were still a long way from the finish. While we were busy sorting out the changes on the published programme Davins were busy on the field. Referee Paddy Ivors threw in the ball and within a minute J.J. Butler had flashed over a Davins point. In the early exchanges Davins were winning possession and their running game was causing problems for Swan and winning frees. J.J. Butler made them pay twice in two and four minutes. Two minutes later Noel Butler gained possession and raced through. Perhaps the Swan backs were conscious of the two previous frees and they stood off. Butler took advantage and the green flag waved in the Carrick air. Early as it was we began to wonder if the Swan were up for the game at all, but we were sadly mistaken. In eight minutes Danny O’Hanlon opened their account with a point from a free. Two minutes later he repeated the dose. In the 12th minute the game was stood on its head as Swan full forward Bill Walsh took advantage of slackness in the fullback line to score his first goal. Three minutes later Walsh against exposed defensive weakness and he bulged the net for a second time. Incredibly Swan were in front. Another Swan attack was halted at the expense of a 65 which Danny O’Hanlon pointed. In 18 minutes another 65 was conceded with the same result. By now it was obvious that Swan were taking a firm grip in the middle third of the field. Anthony O’Donnell pointed in 21 minutes and O’Hanlon pointed another free two minutes later. Almost from the puck-out Dwayne Fogarty pointed. Moving Michael Coady to full back was providing dividends for Davins, but he was sadly missed in midfield. In 28 minutes Davins were awarded a 20 m free, but the effort for a goal was parried and the resultant 65 drifted wide from Lee Mackey. To make matters even worse for Davins Danny O’Hanlon pointed yet another free for Swan on the blow of half time. Score Carrick Swan 2-08, Carrick Davins 1-03.
Davins hadn’t scored for 24 minutes and one felt they needed the first score of the second half. This score, however, went to Danny O’Hanlon when a long distance free followed by two 65’s eventually went over. In the next minute a free to Swan out on the side-line was beautifully played by O’Hanlon to an in-running forward, but the chance was missed. In the next minute Stephen Moroney pointed for Davins their first score in 28 minutes. Two minutes later indiscipline cost the Davins when a Swan free at the limit of O’Hanlons range was moved forward for dissent and he duly obliged. J.J. Butler and Dwayne Fogarty exchanged points. Shane Butler pointed in nine minutes but within a minute the roof fell in for Davins when man of the match Bill Walsh goaled for the third time. From the puck-out Swan attacked again and Walsh added a point. Shortly after Paddy Ivors who was very sharp was called into action and yellow carded two of the Davins one of whom was a late booking, but the referee had wisely waited for a break in play before acting. In fact, the referee had kept the game moving and it was generally played in a sporting manner. Lee Mackey pointed a 65 with the aid of the wind and then Gerry Robinson brought the Davins total to 1-09 after 18 minutes. In the next minute, the roof really fell in on the Davins when Anthony O’Donnell who had been left unmarked goaled. The game now petered out and Swan in particular emptied their subs bench. Noel Butler and Gerry Robinson pointed for Davins as they kept hurling to the end. In the 26th minute many thought that Swan sub Alan P. Ryan had goaled, but the referee had blown for a free out. The game had become somewhat scrappy and with two minutes to go an incident saw Swan corner back Darren Murphy receive the first and only red card of the game. The final whistle sounded with the score Carrick Swan 4-13, Carrick Davins 1-10.
The end result was slightly flattering to the Swan. They will be pleased with the way they didn’t panic when hit with Davins whirlwind start. They had some fine performers who improved as the game went on. Goalie Tom Kennedy was steady and Alan O’Sullivan was strong at full back. Kevin Lanigan played well in what most consider his best position of centre back. Martin Russell was busy in midfield. Up front the returning Stephen Hahessy was impressive, but overall the honours of the day went to 3 goal Bill Walsh. The story is not so good for Davins. They started very well, but faded rapidly when Swan studied the ship. Their fullback line was exploited by Bill Walsh. Richie McGrath and Lee Mackey probably emerged with most credit, but Michael Coady was a loss at midfield and too much was left to the Butler brothers upfront. Pointless after two games and heavy defeats Davins now face a battle to qualify for a semi-final place.
Carrick Swan: Tom Kennedy, Darren Murphy, Alan O’Sullivan, Darren Fahey, Aaron Walsh, Kevin Lanigan, Johnny Grace, Gerry Walsh, Martin Russell, Danny O’Hanlon, Jack Walsh, Stephen Hahessy, Dwayne Fogarty, Bill Walsh, Anthony O’Donnell
Carrick Davins: Adam Foran, Keith Condon, Stephen Cronin, Jim Walsh, Michael Ryan, Lee Mackey, Richie McGrath, Michael Coady, Pa Harris, William O’Dwyer, Noel Butler, Gerry Robinson, Stephen Moroney, Shane Butler, J.J. Butler
Referee: Paddy Ivors, Ballingarry
Ricky Sheehan must have been looking at a different match to me because Swan were well deserving of their 13 point victory & should have won by even more. The final score was also Swan 4-14 Davins 1-10