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Wolfe Tones’ captain Tadgh Fitzgerald lifts the U-15C hurling championship cup after their win against Crusheen/Tubber. Photograph by Eugene McCafferty

HURLING: Murphy’s law rules for Tones triumph

U-15C Hurling Championship Final
Wolfe Tones 4-13 Crusheen/Tubber 1-11

A dream final for 3-8 hero Sean Murphy greatly aided Wolfe Tones passage to a first ever Under 15C Hurling title in Cusack Park on Monday evening, reports Eoin Brennan.
The clinical full-forward was simply unstoppable as the Tones produced a 15 point turnaround over a Crusheen/Tubber side that will rue early missed opportunities and indeed their luck as the ball certainly didn’t bounce their way at key moments early on.
Still, in James Costello, the amalgamation had a real leader while Joe Clancy, Oisin McNamara, Osgar Dunford, Peter Farrell and Ian Taaffe did most to stem the tide.
The Shannon side’s philosophy was more ‘who dares wins’ and in Murphy, the skilful Niall Fitzgerald, Georgie Pyne, Aaron Shinners and goalkeeper Sean Guilfoyle, they ruthlessly outscored the North Clare amalgamation by 4-10 to 0-04 in the middle 30 minutes of the tie.
Such a sea-change is difficult to comprehend as Crusheen/Tubber completely dominated the opening quarter but 12 scoring chances only yielded five points, three through lively joint-captains Osgar Dunford (2) and Peter Farrell.
Amazingly, Wolfe Tones full-back Bradley Kemp somehow kept out out two Ian Taaffe successive goal-line efforts as Crusheen/Tubber only took a 0-5 to 0-1 advantage into the opening water break.
However, by the time, the next recess arrived, the narrative of the tie would be completely flipped on its head after Wolfe Tones re-emerged to raid for three goals in the space of a five minute blitz.
Murphy’s cool finish in the 18th minute was quickly doubled when his effort for a point rebounded off the upright perfectly for Georgie Pyke to finish to the net and hit the front for the very first time. Suddenly, Wolfe Tones were brimming with confidence as they tacked on a further 1-3, 1-2 of which inevitably stemmed from Murphy at 3-5 to 0-7.
In contrast, half-time couldn’t come soon enough for a Crusheen/Tubber that retreated in their shells all-too easily but the opportunity to regroup did little to alter matters either as a rampant Wolfe Tones only stretched out their lead on the restart. Indeed, another purple patch of 1-6 without reply including the completion of Murphy’s hat-trick left 15 points between the sides by the 49th minute.
To their credit, Crusheen/Tubber did finally show some aggression for the remainder with Roan Ketelaar, Ian Taaffe and their best performer James Costello all having goal attempts before Osgar Dunford made the breakthrough with what was the last puck of the final.
Amidst some disappointing results at other grades, this title couldn’t be any better timed for Wolfe Tones who will hope that it can be a catalyst to propel their other underage campaigns for the rest of 2021.

Wolfe Tones: Sean Guilfoyle; Sean Aylmer, Bradley Kemp, Ben Mulvihill; Ben O’Connell, Aaron Shinners, Kevin Hanley; Niall Fitzgerald, Georgie Pyke; Lennon Hodges, Alex O’Donnell, Shayne Mulrooney; Chris Meaney, Sean Murphy, Tadgh Fitzgerald (Captain) Subs: Adam McCarthy for Hodges (16), Billy Kelly for Mulrooney (50), Shay Waller for Aylmer (51), Oisin Conway for Pyke (54), Flinn Carrig for McCarthy (61), Shane Moloney for Meaney (61)

Sean Murphy (3-8); Georgie Pyke (1-1); Niall Fitzgerald (0-2); Adam McCarthy, Chris Meaney (0-1 each)

Crusheen/Tubber: Sean Hanrahan; Roan Ketelaar, Kyle Scanlan, James O’Sullivan; Oisin McNamara, James Costello, Joe Clancy; Osgar Dunford, Peter Farrell; Rory Tynan, Riain O’Donnell, Hanna Droney; Ian Taaffe, Tadhg Sheehan, Ronan Clancy Subs: Cian O’Sullivan for R. Clancy (16), Clancy for Sheehan (HT), Macauley Brennan for Clancy (38), Stephen Moylan for Tynan (38), Simon Farrell for C. O’Sullivan (46), Johnny Lyons for O’Donnell (51), Finan Sheehan for Droney (51), Clancy (62), C. O’Sullivan for F. Sheehan (62), T. Sheehan for Brennan (62)

Scorers: Osgar Dunford (1-4); Peter Farrell (1f), James Costello (1f), Ian Taaffe (0-2 each); Roan Ketelaar (0-1)

Referee: Ger Hoey (Killanena)

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