The celebrations were held in Deckie’s Bar in Modeligo last night as the little club from west Waterford collected a first Munster JHC title in chilly Mallow yesterday.
A clinical first half laid the foundations for Modeligo’s win over Cork champions Castlemartyr in a game which sketched out the truth about goals winning games: the Waterford side hit five and Castlemartyr none over the hour.
The Waterford side were crisp and efficient, and they were quicker to get to the pace of the game, though both teams showed a touch of nerves early on with wayward shooting.
The Modeligo management made the most significant move of the game as soon as it started, taking midfielder Tom Devine from midfield to full-forward, where he caused endless problems for the Castlemartyr defence. On nine minutes Modeligo got the first goal of the game when Devine showed early for a free, turned his man and released Michael Troy with a good handpass. Troy had work to do, but his touch was good and his finish excellent – 1-2 to 0-2 in favour of the Waterford men, and Castlemartyr keeper Eanna McGovern had to look smart to deny Modeligo another goal soon afterwards.
On 12 minutes Modeligo struck again: Devine burst onto a breaking ball to race through and finish cleverly, slipping the ball past McGovern. When Kieran McCarthy added another point three minutes later it was Modeligo 2-3, Castlemartyr 0-3.
The Cork side, reliant on Barry Lawton’s frees up to then, hit two points from play but Modeligo continued to impress, Nicky O’Donovan’s long-range point in response to those Castlemartyr scores underlining their quality.
A late Lawton 65 looked to have narrowed the gap for Castlemartyr, but there was still time for Devine to intervene again – the big man broke a dropping ball near the square to corner-forward Michael Troy, who finished to the corner of the net, making it 3-6 to 0-6 at half-time.
Credit Castlemartyr, who roared out of the blocks for the second half: Barry Lawton hit three frees and brother Brian pointed from play in the opening six minutes to cut the deficit to five, but Modeligo found the net again on 38 minutes. The Cork side didn’t clear a ball rolling around the square and Jamie Troy nudged it over the line; when he (free) and Patrick O’Donovan added points the gap was nine again, 4-8 to 0-11.
The game died as a contest with ten minutes left, Jamie Troy feeding Devine, who hurtled through on an angle before crashing home his second and Modeligo’s fifth goal: 5-10 to 0-12. From there on the Waterford men kept their opponents at bay, their defence showing the same nous and support play as their attack, and ending the game 13 points ahead in a terrific performance. The Castlemartyr management sportingly acknowledged Modeligo yesterday as the best side they’d faced all year, and the Waterford men will surely fancy their chances of going one better than their county men Ballysaggart, beaten All-Ireland finalists last year.
Modeligo’s fourth goal, on 38 minutes, came at just the right time to kill Castlemartyr’s second-half momentum.
Tom Devine’s performance at full-forward for the Waterford side. Has county boss Derek McGrath noticed?
Modeligo were making a DVD of their season and filmed contributions from players and management at the final whistle yesterday.
Tom Devine was the star man — goaled twice and created two more for corner-forward Michael Troy.
The man in black
Limerick’s Johnny Murphy handled the game well.
Modeligo move on to the All-Ireland semi-final stage, against UK opponents, while Castlemartyr take a break for Christmas.
- Michael Moynihan
Scorers for Castlemartyr: Barry Lawton 0-10 (0-8 fs, 0-1 65); Brian Lawton, B. O Tuama, C. Bowens and E. Clifford 0-1 each.
Scorers for Modeligo: J. Troy 1-6 (0-4 fs); M. Troy, T. Devine 2-0 each; K. McCarthy 0-3; N. O’Donovan 0-2; P. O’Donovan 0-1.
CASTLEMARTYR: E. McGovern, O. Smiddy, R. O’Donovan, E. Roynane, D. O Tuama, B. Smiddy, A. Bowens, Briain O Tuama, Barra O Tuama (c), D. McAuliffe, Brian Lawton, J. Stack, C. Haines, M. O’Neill, Barry Lawton.
Subs: E. Clifford for Haines, 40; C. Bowens for O’Neill 47; P. Horgan for J. Stack, J. Lawton for D. O Tuama, both 54; J. Smiddy for D. McAuliffe, 55.
MODELIGO: D. O’Keeffe, J. McGrath, B. McCarthy, R. Buckley, S. Troy, P. Fitzgerald, S. O’Donovan, T. Devine, T. Walsh, K. McCarthy, J. Troy, N. O’Donovan, M. Troy, P. O’Donovan, P. Walsh.
Subs: R. Reddy for P. Walsh, 53; S. Hennessy for R. Buckley and L. Queally for T. Walsh, both 55; P. McCarthy for J. McGrath, 59.
Referee: J. Murphy (Limerick).