Duggan hails ‘cream of crop’

Our Lady’s Templemore (Tipperary) 1-11 Dungarvan Colleges (Waterford) 2-21

An estimated 3,000 spectators were present to watch the Waterford amalgamation run riot in the second half, on a perfect afternoon for hurling in Tipperary town.

A relatively dry sod and glorious sunshine proved very much to Dungarvan’s liking in the second half as they outscored Our Lady’s Templemore by 2-13 to 1-3.

The sides were level at 0-8 apiece at the break but whatever coach and Tipperary native Darragh Duggan said to his players at the break had the desired effect as they upped the ante to win by 13 points.

Duggan revealed: “We just explained that they were going to get nothing soft from Templemore — they had to wake up. Templemore outsmarted us in a number of positions in the first half with quick line balls and quick frees. We weren’t taking our chances. Half time came at the right time for us and as the game opened up in the second half, I think we benefited big time.”

Dungarvan cut loose on the restart and after Ryan Donnelly netted in the 35th minute to put his side five points clear, there would only be one winner. Seven minutes from time, Donnelly goaled again from close range and while John Joe Ryan bagged a consolation goal in the 56th minute for Our Lady’s, their long wait for a first Harty Cup success since 1978 goes on.

Duggan derived no pleasure from the downfall of a Tipperary team in the Harty final for a second successive year but admitted: “My heart is with the boys at the moment. Sometimes you get rewards and sometimes you don’t but for the last two years, they’re after getting exactly what they deserve. There might be better teams out there that we haven’t played yet but as far as I’m concerned, these guys are the cream of the crop.”

Whether or not there is a team outside of Munster to stop them remains to be seen. Operating under the Coláiste na nDéise name last year, Duggan’s charges were stopped in their tracks by Kilkenny CBS in the All-Ireland quarter-final. But on this season’s evidence, Dungarvan are as good, if not better, than last year’s side. They fielded 10 of the Dungarvan CBS side that won the Corn Phádraig Munster senior B title recently and there were seven survivors from the team that started last year’s Harty final against Nenagh CBS.

Within Munster, there has been nothing to match them over the last two years but other teams have expressed private disquiet at the fact that Dungarvan are an amalgamation of Dungarvan CBS and St Augustine’s. It should be remembered, of course, that it takes more than raw talent to win titles and Dungarvan have worked incredibly hard.

They had eight players on the scoresheet yesterday and a watertight defence has conceded just one goal in their last three games. Our Lady’s, even with dual All-Ireland minor medallists John McGrath and Colin O’Riordan at midfield, struggled to make an impact after half time.

They will take comfort though, from the fact that Nenagh bounced back from last year’s Harty Cup final defeat to finish the season as All-Ireland champions.

Scorers for Our Lady’s Templemore: J McGrath 0-5 (4f), JJ Ryan 1-0, D Carey 0-2, D McEnroe, T Nolan, Jamie Bergin & C O’Riordan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Dungarvan Colleges: P Curran 0-8 (5f), R Donnelly 2-1, C Dunford, C Breathnach & T Bourke (3f) 0-3 each, C Curran, M Harney & D Lyons 0-1 each.

OUR LADY’S TEMPLEMORE: SP Guerins (JK Brackens); D Brereton (Loughmore-Castleiney), J Ryan (Toomevara), James Bergin (JK Brackens); P Hogan (Templederry), B Kennedy (JK Brackens), M Campion (Drom & Inch); J McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney), C O’Riordan (JK Brackens); D McEnroe (JK Brackens), D Carey (Templederry), T Maher (Loughmore-Castleiney); T Nolan (Drom & Inch), JJ Ryan (Clonakenny), Jamie Bergin (Drom & Inch).

Subs: B O’Connell (Loughmore-Castleiney) for Jamie Bergin (51), J Fogarty (JK Brackens) for Brereton (55), E Moloney (Drom & Inch) for Maher (55), T Brett (JK Brackens) for Carey (55).

DUNGARVAN COLLEGES: L Power (Abbeyside); K Looby (St Oliver’s/Ballinameela), B Looby (Abbeyside), M Cronin (Ardmore); T Bourke (Clashmore), K Daly (Dungarvan), T Devine (Modeligo); C Curran (Brickey Rangers), M Harney (Ballydurn); C Breathnach (An Rinn), P Curran (Dungarvan), S Keating (Ardmore); D Lyons (Dungarvan), C Dunford (Colligan Emmets), R Donnelly (Dungarvan).

Subs: D Gartland (Ardmore) for Dunford (48), J Mullanney (Stradbally) for K Looby (59), S Daly (Abbeyside) for Donnelly (59).

Referee: Ger Hoey (Clare).

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Join us for a special evening of Cheltenham chat on Friday March 12 at 6.30pm with racing legend and Irish Examiner columnist Ruby Walsh, Irish Examiner racing correspondent Tommy Lyons, and former champion jockey and tv presenter Mick Fitzgerald, author of Better than Sex.

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