St. Michaels Kilmihill defeated Colaiste Mhuire Thurles by 1-8 to 1-7 in the 2022/2023 TUS Corn Míchéal Ó Fuireastail (Under 19 E Football) Final on Monday March 6th at Cappamore.
St Michael’s Kilmihil are top of the Hill in Munster
Munster Senior E Post-Primary Schools Football Final
St Michael’s Kilmihil 1-8 Coláiste Mhuire Thurles 1-7
Report by Eoin Brennan for the Clare Champion newspaper
St Michael’s Kilmihil certainly provided value for money as they eventually edged a nervy finale by the bare minimum to finally garner a Munster Senior E title for the very first time in Cappamore on Tuesday afternoon.
Having literally weathered the storm against the conditions and a black card by the break, the West Clare side turned the screw on the restart when raiding for 1-3 without reply culminating in a goal for substitute Julian Linnane by the turn of the final quarter at 1-7 to 0-5.
They had further opportunities to close out the contest including a smothered goal chance for another replacement Dylan Downes. However, with the door still slightly ajar, to their credit Coláiste Mhuire Thurles somehow turned the tide as points from midfielders Audi Lohan and Sean McGrath slashed the deficit to just a goal before Seamus Kennedy’s effort for an equalising goal on the hour mark drifted just wide.
Kilmihil’s first score in 18 minutes through Shane O’Connell would be decisive as Thurles did make the breakthrough at the death when a Tony Maher free from the right corner was flicked to the net by Michael McCormack.
The final whistle couldn’t come soon enough for St Michael’s but in truth, they were fully deserving winners, having played the better football and possessing a greater balance throughout their side.
Daire Hill was their chief marksman with five points, four if which stemmed from play in an impressive display while down the other end of the field, corner-back Sean Morrissey was inspirational throughout and even stopped a certain goal late on.
Michael Kelly, Stephen Davoren, Riain Meaney and captain Mark Hehir were others to shine in a tense battle for supremacy.
With the aid of a sizeable wind amidst inclement conditions, the Tipperary side were quickest to settle but would be pegged back each time by a determined St Michael’s. Early points through Conor O’Sullivan and Michael McCormack were wiped out by a brace from Hill while the Lissycasey star and Odin McNulty reeled in a similar deficit 0-4 to 0-4 by the end of the opening quarter.
Thurles’ attempt to pull clear would be twice thwarted as first a McCormack shot was blocked by Michael Kelly before a teasing ball over the top to the lively Alex Carroll was prevented by a late ditch tackle from Colm McMahon that saw the corner-back black-carded for the remainder of the half.
Crucially, St Michael’s didn’t allow their opponents to capitalise upon their numerical advantage with only an injury-time O’Sullivan free to show for their efforts by the interval at 0-5 to 0-4.
Now backed by the breeze, St Michael’s moved confidently through the gears as Daire Hill (2) and Riain Meaney putting their side into the ascendancy for the first time by the 35th minute before the influential Stephen Davoren picked out Julian Linnane to catch and finish to the net for a perfectly timed goal at 1-7 to 0-5 by the 44th minute.
Three further wides and a repelled goal didn’t initially seem costly but there seemed a dramatic shift in momentum when Audi Lohan kicked Thurles’ first point of the second period in the 54th minute.
With the Tipperary side now upping the ante, it had to take a Sean Morrissey body block to deny a grandstand finish as Colaiste Mhuire had to be contest with a Sean McGrath point by the hour mark at 1-7 to 0-7.
Shane O’Connell’s response appeared to be the insurance point but there would be a few more Kilmihil nails chewed before hearing the relieving sound of the final whistle as a never-say-die Thurles managed to find the net in the 63rd minute.
There would be another passage of play but St Michael’s did hold out to secure the Micheál Forrestal Cup which was won previously by St John Bosco Kildysart (2018) and St Caimin’s Shannon (2022).
St Michael’s Kilmihil: Micheál Cotter (Kilmihil); Colm McMahon (Shannon Gaels), Pat Fennell (Cooraclare), Sean Morrissey (Cooraclare); Jack Leahy (Lissycasey), Michael Kelly (Lissycasey), Kevin Marrinan (Cooraclare); Colm Downes (Shannon Gaels), Stephen Davoren (Lissycasey); Mark Hehir (Cooraclare), Riain Meaney (Coolmeen), Daire Hill (Lissycasey); Odin McNulty (Cooraclare), Gavin Hehir (Kilmihil), Shane O’Connell (Cooraclare)
Subs: Dylan Downes for G Hehir (26), Julian Linnane (Shannon Gaels) for McMahon (32), Jack Faughnan (Lissycasey) for Marrinan (35-38, Blood Sub)
Scorers: Daire Hill (0-5, 1f); Julian Linnane (1-0); Odin McNulty, Riain Meaney, Shane O’Connell (0-1 each)
Coláiste Mhuire Thurles: Pierce Briody (Holycross-Ballycahill); Rhys McCarthy (Moycarkey Borris), James O’Dwyer (Holycross-Ballycahill), Jim Ryan (Clonoulty-Rossmore); Lee Ferncombe (Holycross-Ballycahill), Seamus Kennedy (Clonoulty-Rossmore), Stephen Shaw (Moyne Gaels); Sean McGrath (Holycross-Ballycahill), Audi Lohan (Holycross-Ballycahill); Tony Maher (Holycross-Ballycahill), Michael McCormack (Thurles Sarsfields), Darragh Patterson (Moycarkey Borris); Luke Molumby (Thurles Gaels), Conor O’Sullivan (Holycross-Ballycahill), Alex Carroll (Clonoulty-Rossmore)
Subs: Paddy Kennedy (Clonoulty-Rossmore) for McCarthy (20), Dylan Cotter (Thurles Gaels) for Ferncombe (HT), Calum Byrnes (Cashel King Cormacs)
Scorers: Michael McCormack (1-1); Conor O’Sullivan (0-3f); Alex Carroll, Audi Lohan, Sean McGrath (0-1 each)
Referee: Eamonn Stapleton (Limerick)
Primary School Students: Free