Tipperary Senior Football Championship Final – Thomas MacDonaghs 0-9 Moyle Rovers 0-7

Shock win by MacDonagh’s

Report from the Irish Times newspaper

TIPPERARY SFC FINAL: Thomas MacDonagh’s 0-9 Moyle Rovers 0-7 FORMER LAOIS footballer Chris Conway masterminded an historic Tipperary club victory for Thomas MacDonagh’s yesterday. MacDonagh’s are eligible to pick from nine clubs in North Tipperary and were represented by six yesterday as they became the first team from the division to claim the county crown since Kilruane MacDonagh’s in 1975. MacDonagh’s have been in existence for five years and were granted a straight route into the county championship as de facto divisional champions as Father John Kenyons did not participate in the north competition.

In the semi-final, MacDonagh’s scored a victory against 14-time champions Clonmel Commercials before edging home by two points against seven-time winners Moyle Rovers yesterday. MacDonagh’s, however, are ineligible to compete in the Munster championship and so Rovers will take their place. County star Philip Austin was the scoring hero for MacDonagh’s with five pointed frees. And it was Austin’s 40th-minute free that gave MacDonagh’s the lead for the first time, a lead they would not relinquish against a Rovers side badly missing the injured two-time All Star Declan Browne.

There was a dramatic finish as Rovers, 0-7 to 0-8 in arrears, were unlucky not to equalise deep in stoppage time when Brian Mulvihill’s shot struck an upright. Ref David Grogan played nine minutes extra following an injury to Rovers forward Paul Shanahan. After Mulvihill’s miss, MacDonagh’s substitute Tommy Connors kicked the insurance score.

MOYLE ROVERS : I Browne; D Conway, R Power, A Campbell; S Keating, N Fitzgerald, D Dwyer; M Dunne, P Acheson (0-1); P Quirke, S Carey (0-1, free), P Shanahan (0-1, free); L Boland (0-1), J Shanahan (0-1), B Mulvihill (0-2). Subs: R Desmond for P Shanahan (32 mins), D McGrath for Keating (50 mins), D Nolan for Conway (50 mins), S Foley for Boland (55 mins), L Cronin for McGrath (59 mins).

THOMAS MACDONAGH’S : J McDonnell; D Hackett, D Buckley, R McLoughney; K Maher, N O’Meara, J Carroll; S Murphy, L England (0-1); P O’Meara, A Hannigan, J Gallagher (0-2); B O’Meara, P Austin (0-5, frees), G Hannigan. Subs: D Egan for B O’Meara (half-time), F Hayes for A Hannigan (46 mins), T Connors (0-1) for P O’Meara (58 mins), R Gleeson for Maher (60+5 mins), B O’Meara for Egan (60+7 mins).

Referee : D Grogan (Aherlow).

In the provincial finals, scheduled for November 20th, Clare champions Kilmurry-Ibrickane will host Dr Crokes, while – as a combination team cannot play in the provincial club championship – Moyle Rovers will host UCC.

Match Preview

Moyle Rovers are seeking their 8th county senior football title, having won their first in 1995 and their most recent in 2009. Thomas MacDonaghs are playing in their first final. They were formed as a divisional side in 2007 comprising 9 clubs – Lorrha, Shannon Rovers, Borrisokane, Knockshegowna, Kildangan, Kilruane MacDonaghs, Toomevara, Moneygall and Inane Rovers – although only 6 were represented on the panel in the games played so far this year. They won all 4 North finals between 2007 and 2010, there was no final this year. They reached the county semi-final in 2007 where the lost to Fethard so this year has been their best year since their formation. Moyle Rovers have been the major force in Tipperary senior football in the last 15 years or so, thus making this clash a real David and Goliath one.

The team of the past to be honoured on Sunday will be Fethard and their players will be introduced to the attendance between the minor and senior games. Admission prices for the finals are a very attractive €10 for adults and €5 for OAPs and students with ID. Juveniles under 16 will be admitted free of charge.