Sunday 21 October 2018

Austin turns tide as MacDonagh's make history

Thomas MacDonagh's 0-9 Moyle Rovers 0-7

THOMAS MacDonagh's created history yesterday by becoming the first team from north Tipperary since Kilruane MacDonagh's, in 1975, to capture the county SFC title.

MacDonagh's, managed by former Laois footballer Chris Conway, shocked seven-time winners Moyle Rovers at Cashel's Leahy Park, with county star Philip Austin proving the scoring hero with five pointed frees.

And it was Austin's 40th-minute free that gave MacDonagh's the lead for the first time against Rovers, a lead they would not relinquish.

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.

Referee David Grogan played nine minutes extra following an injury to Rovers forward Paul Shanahan early in the second half.

After Mulvihill's miss, MacDonagh's substitute Tommy Connors surged through and kicked the insurance score to spark joyous scenes from their fans.

Under rule, however, MacDonagh's are ineligible to compete in the Munster club championship and instead, Rovers will meet UCC in the provincial semi-final on Sunday, November 20.

Rovers led by 0-5 to 0-4 at half-time but once MacDonagh's hit the front, the newly crowned champions never looked back.

They rode their luck in the closing stages, but this was a fully merited victory for MacDonagh's.

The absence of two-time All Star Declan Browne through injury was keenly felt by Rovers, while David McGrath succumbed to a hamstring injury after he was introduced as a second-half substitute.

Rovers claimed the first two scores of the game, with John Shanahan and Mulvihill on target from play, but MacDonagh's refused to be overawed and were level three times in the first half.

Crucially from a MacDonagh's perspective, ace Rovers forward Philip Quirke was held scoreless.

Scorers -- Thomas MacDonagh's: P Austin 0-5 (5f), J Gallagher 0-2, L England, T Connors 0-1 each. Moyle Rovers: B Mulvihill 0-2, P Acheson, S Carey (1f), P Shanahan (1f), L Boland, J Shanahan 0-1 each.

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

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

Ref -- D Grogan (Aherlow).

Irish Independent

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