Munster IHC Final 2003/4

Munster Intermediate Hurling Championship - Final

 BRIDE ROVERS 0-14   -  Kilruane Mc Donaghs (Tipp) 0-11

TEAM SPONSOR :   Barry's Bar

Munster Champions 

There may have been no dust flying in the square last Sunday in Kilmallock but in a typical Cork v Tipp Munster Final, Bride Rovers were crowned Munster Intermediate Club Hurling Champions for 2003/04. To win any championship at Divisional or County level is a major achievement but to go

on then and win Provincial Honours is mighty. Make no mistake about it, this was a well-earned win in a hard fought game in testing conditions. In comparison with the earlier Ardmore and Broadford games this tie was much

harder to win. The strong wind made conditions for hurling difficult but in fairness the two teams produced a top class contest. We suffered a major set back before the game when illness forced Pat Walsh to withdraw from the team - Walshie was so sick he wasn't even able to attend the game. The Clare Champions Newmarket-on-Fergus defeated Cork winners Dromina by 3-10 to 1-10 in the Junior decider though Dromina led at the break after playing against

the strong wind.

We won the toss and elected to play against the elements. Tipperary All-Star, Mark O'Leary, opened the scoring when he cut a line ball over the bar in the first minute. We opened our account in the fourth minute when Sean Ryan shot a point. Kilruane got 3 points in a row from frees by Brian

Gaynor. In between them Jerome got two from placed balls for us to leave it 0-4 to 0-3 after 13 minutes. With David Lawlor getting great length with his puckouts, our half back line of the two Barrys and Brendan were in constant

action. In the 19th minute a great side line cut from Terry was sent over by Richie Cahill but almost immediately the Kilruane centre back Pat Williams had a long distance strike to put the Tipp side 0-5 to 0-4 ahead. Despite

playing against the gale, our defence was coping well. Aidan Collins had a great game and Niall and James Murphy made some great interceptions. Brian Gaynor and Jerome supplied points from frees to leave it 0-6 to 0-5 with

less than 5 minutes to go till the break. Padraig and Brian Murphy played deep in defence to help out on several occasions and it looked like we'd go in just a point behind. Kilruane however, finished the half strongly with

two points to leave it 0-8 to 0-5 at half time. Kilruane hit 6 wides in the opening 30 minutes to our 2. We doubled our tally of wides in the first two minutes of the second half. With the wind it was quickly obvious that our

forwards were causing immense problems for the Kilruane defence. Brian Murphy, Mike Hogan, Donal Ryan and Terry were all involved in a move, which saw Barry Johnson, strike a great point in the 5th minute. Richie Cahill

narrowed the gap to one a minute later. Gaynor returned the two-point lead for the Tipp side. A point from a free by Jerome in the fifteenth minute left us just 0-8 to 0-9 behind. We were now creating plenty chances and the

strong running of our forwards was a feature of the game. From a free Gaynor made it 10 points to 8 in the 16th minute. A great point from wing back Brendan Walsh was a huge boost to the team. The scores started to come. Sean

Ryan levelled the scores 0-10 each in the 18th minute. Jerome put us ahead for the first time. Our huge following were now roaring the team on. Sean Ryan put us two up. Terry hit a sweet point and then super sub Pat Cotter

gave us a four-point lead in the 24th minute. We were 0-14 to 0-10 ahead and looking good. We hit three wides then which could have finished the game off. The Tipp champions didn't give up and the last five minutes plus 3 minutes of added time were fought out at a frantic pace. Aidan Collins got a red card - rather harshly I thought, so our defence was pounded in the closing stages. Mark O'Leary had several shots on goal - all saved. Kilruane got a point in the 28th minute and then in the remaining time fought like

tigers to get a levelling goal. Our back-line was magnificent and when Barry Johnson soloed out of defence with the sliotar Denis Richardson sounded the final whistle. Bride Rovers were Munster Champions. Nine months to the day since we beat Mallow in Ballyhooley and five months since the County Final. This win was a brilliant achievement - 63 teams in the six Munster Counties

set out to win their various County Championships last year and last Sunday was the culmination for all Intermediate teams in the province of Munster. Sean Fogarty presented the Hoare Cup to captain Sean Ryan after the game. In

his acceptance speech Sean thanked all involved with this historic win, the first ever Munster Championship at this grade. He paid special tribute to the three selectors and Jack Russell and our supporters and then asked for

the customary 3 cheers for Kilruane. Well done lads on a simply great display of hurling. This bunch of players went back training in January and have put in a huge effort. This was well illustrated on Sunday week last

March 14th. The Panel went to Kilmallock for a training session and then drove on to Patrickswell for a practice game. Kilruane, on account of their inter county players, were hot favourites last Sunday but our lads dug deep

when they had to, to fashion this great win.


Team & Scorers:

Dinny Fitzgerald, Aidan Collins, Niall Fitzgerald, James

Murphy, Barry Johnson (0-1), Barry Murphy, Brendan Walsh (0-1), Brian

Murphy, Padraig Murphy, Donal Ryan, Mike Hogan, Terry Broderick (0-1),

Richie Cahill (0-2), Sean Ryan (0-3), Jerome O'Driscoll (0-5, 0-4 frees),

Sub: Pat Cotter (0-1).


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