Tuesday 18 June 2019

Dromtariffe hurlers announced their arrival

Sports Review of the Year

The Dromtariffe hurlers celebrate a historic first time victory for the club in the E Tarrant & Sons Duhallow JAHC Final at Freemount
The Dromtariffe hurlers celebrate a historic first time victory for the club in the E Tarrant & Sons Duhallow JAHC Final at Freemount

John Tarrant

With a proud history behind them, Dromtariffe made a sensational return to the big stage during the past year. Not only did they land a County Junior A Football Championship title, one of the fairytale stories of the season was Dromtariffe's capture of a divisional Junior A Hurling title in only their second year in the grade.

Showing a level of determination and self belief, Dromtariffe brought pride to the hearts of their supporters on pulling off a historic victory. On doing so, Dromtariffe rose to the challenge magnificently, failing to read their underdog label, they produced a performance filled with fire and passion.

their staying power and ambition overcoming some of the mightiest around to achieve true recognition of their superiority amongst their peers

Their arrival breathed new life into the E Tarrant and Sons Skoda championship in a roller coaster campaign , Dromtariffe picked themselves in dramatic duels that required extra time and smarted from a defeat to resurrect their campaign.

First time out, Dromtariffe required an additional 20 minutes to dispel the strong Castlemagner challenge, a scoring burst during the first period of extra time highlighted from a pair of goals by Jack Murphy put a generous bit of polish on the scoreboard in favour of a fancied Dromtariffe outfit.

Their round 2 meeting with Newmarket saw Dromtariffe without a number of players, short of their best and an inability to rise to the impressive tempo set by Newmarket proved their undoing. By virtue of the championship ruling, Dromtariffe remained involved, pitched into a quarter final, they carried too much class and scoring power for Freemount.

By the end of the hour, victory belonged to the more accomplished side, at times, Freemount gave a good account of themselves yet they lacked the pace and all round sharpness of a competent Dromtariffe outfit.

And in a dramatic semi final, Dromtariffe struck late against reigning holders Banteer. The timing of Dromtariffe's surge could not had been so effective as Jack Murphy's 68th min goal earned a first time lead and it left the defending champions with little chance to recover.

On the opposite side of the draw, Newmarket's last divisional crown dated back to 1979 following a win over Tullylease while their last appearance in a final saw defeat to Lismire in 1985.

Newmarket vindicated the tag of favourites on overcoming Kanturk's second string in the opening round, all through the hour, Newmarket emerged the superior team in all departments. Indeed, the Newmarket attack held a real presence, unquestionably, the most impressive forward on view was Ryan O'Keeffe whose 3-5 tally confirmed a line that thrived on a sustained supply of quality possession.

From round 2, Newmarket put together a storming second half display to turn on the style against a depleted Dromtariffe. Following a closely contested opening half, Newmarket proceeded to utilise the breeze at their back, raising the tempo, cutting down the errors and applied a sharper game plan with Donal Hannon shooting 0-14.

Into a semi-final, Newmarket ensured a favourable ending to the game by absorbing intense late pressure from Kilbrin. Thanks to a pair of Cian Crowley goals, Newmarket had offered the greater composure yet they were hard pressed to key their opponents at bay in a late onslaught.

Freemount welcomed a massive attendance to a novel divisional final, a glorious chapter in the illustrious history of Dromtariffe GAA was written on ushering in a new era to lift a historic first time Duhallow title.

No wonder delirium scenes greeted the full time whistle, Dromtariffe operating in A ranks for only the second season enjoyed a special day to lift the John Joe Brosnan Cup.

The sharper and better balanced side, Dromtariffe emerged far stronger in all departments and hurled with a greater fervour. Holding a definite edge, a blistering start for the new champions paid handsome dividends with a cracking goal from full forward Conor Cremin.

For a spell, Newmarket rose to the challenge with points to Barry O'Connor, Donal Hannon and Ryan O'Keeffe helped force parity. However Dromtariffe wrested back control thanks to the workrate of Conor O'Callaghan and man of the match Kevin Cremin, the closing spell to the opening half proved fruitful, highlighted by a Daniel O'Keeffe goal for a clear 2-10 to 0-9 advantage.

And Dromtariffe continued to enjoy the upperhand on the restart, Evan Murphy and Tomás Howard pointing. Newmarket battled bravely and game to the end yet their efforts weren't good enough in the face of the inevitable where Dromtariffe's joy knew no bound on a historic triumph. That win ignited club fortunes, within a few weeks, Dromtariffe bounced back from a defeat by Boherbue in the JAFC Final to collect county football honours and come within a whisker of adding a provincial crown.