The Tipperary school knitted sparkling passages of play together with below-par spells, which had the consequence of allowing Doon CBS to remain in the hunt for long stages. But the Limerick side were never able to capitalise on their periods of territorial control, and their injury-time goal, when Michael Barry’s free from distance flew all the way to the net, gave the final score a lopsided feel.
Two power-packed Our Lady’s scoring bursts at the end of each half inserted the real daylight between the sides but it was their defence that proved the bedrock of their challenge. Full-back Liam Butler, who featured for the Tipperary minors this year, was outstanding in repelling Doon attacks and he was supported by Pio Kennedy and Andrew Ryan. The midfield duo of Liam Tracey and Eoin Fitzpatrick put in a good hour’s work as well and the fact Our Lady’s only conceded 0-2 from play was a testament to the prowess of their backline.
Our Lady’s began brightest to lead 0-3 to 0-1 after six minutes and in that period offered signals of their ability. The problem was that while they generated plenty of possession, they over-elaborated in attack which impinged on their ability to rack up scores. Thus Doon kept in touch, with Michael Barry’s razor-sharp free-taking and were only two points adrift by the 25th minute. Yet Our Lady’s class showed at the end of the first half with wing-forward Aidan Fogarty leading the scoring charge that left them 0-9 to 0-4 ahead at the break.
In the second half Doon emerged strongly, with an increased workrate evident. Centre-back Noel Ryan and midfielder Cathal McCarthy led their challenge and as the game entered the closing quarter, they only trailed by 0-10 to 0-7. Doon could have drawn level when John Hayes had an opening for goal but Butler got in a superb hook to divert the danger.
Having trudged through the second half, Our Lady’s proceeded to cut loose in the final 10 minutes. Fitzpatrick, Tracey, William Eviston and McGrath all landed points to create a six-point margin that put the game to bed, with Barry’s late goal for Doon serving as a consolation effort.
Scorers: Our Lady’s: A Fogarty 0-4, L McGrath 0-3 (0-3f), L Tracey 0-2, D McCormack, P Kennedy, E Murray, E Fitzpatrick, W Eviston 0-1 each. Doon CBS: M Barry 1-5 (1-4f, 0-1 ‘65), R O’Donnell 0-2 (0-1f), D O’Dwyer 0-1.
OUR LADY’S: P Nolan; P Kennedy, L Butler, P Ryan; A Ryan, W Ryan, H Maher; L Tracey, E Fitzpatrick; E Murray, D McCormack, A Fogarty; L McGrath, K Johnston, W Eviston. Subs: K Kennedy for Maher 45, E Burke for Fogarty 60.
DOON CBS: M Byrnes; C White, J Blackwell, S Kennedy; G McPartland, N Ryan, D O’Cuimin; C McCarthy, B Fitzgerald; M Barry, R O’Doherty, J Hayes; D O’Dwyer, R O’Donnell, C Maher. Subs: D O’Brien for O’Doherty (half-time), D Mooney for Maher 49.
Referee: Michael Wadding (Waterford).