Senior Hurling Club Championship
Following the 4th round of games, Ahane are joint top of the group with neighbours Monaleen on 6pts having achieved 3 wins on the bounce, leaving them in a strong position with one game remaining in the group stages. A last gasp win against Knockainey on Saturday afternoon last by 1-15 to 0-17 saw them gain full points, much to the relief of manager Davey Givens.
This was a hard fought and competitive game throughout, and a strong crosswind in Caherconlish meaning scores were not easily managed. Dan Morrissey had Ahane off the mark with a close range point after a four minutes and the scoring remained largely tit-for-tat throughout the half between the sides, with Tom Morrissey nailing a number of frees and one from play, Willie Brennan with one, a super score from minor player Ronan Fox showing a slick touch and wrists, along with one from his minor coach Niall Moran. At half time the scores were 0-9 each, setting it up nicely for either side to kick on in the second half.
Knockainey appeared to gain a foothold in the middle third as the sides locked horns for the second thirty minutes and looked to be finding scores a little easier to come by. Credit must be given to the Ahane backs as they never looked like conceding a goal throughout, despite being under pressure from some lively players and well-structured Knockainey attacks. Veteran Niall Moran added two badly needed scores from play for Ahane during a period where they struggled to find their range in the tough conditions and Knockainey pressure. Tom added a couple of good frees to stay in touch but the lads remained three points down as time was running out.
The magic moment for the men in green and gold came following a speculative cross-field ball to another minor player Andrew Shanahan who had only entered the fray minutes earlier. Andrew caught the ball high in the air over the Knockainey corner back and despite being stripped of his hurley in the aerial battle, he showed remarkable composure to find the on-rushing Dan Morrissey with a hand-pass and Dan clinically finished to the net from 10m, notching his second goal in two games. This was the shot in the arm they needed and with this boost and momentum behind them, they showed great character to seek out a winner from what looked like a losing position as the game entered added time. While the Ahane management to their credit showed great faith in youth with 3 minors playing, they must be credited for adding the not-so-youthful Davey “the bomber” Laing to the fray midway through the second half. Davey’s physical presence was immediate when introduced and he broke up some ball in the last period of the game as well as rattling a few Knockainey bodies in the process. Indeed one of his efforts led to the winning score for Dan Morrissey when Dan ran onto at flick from Davey around the 45m line, slotting between the sticks and win the game for Ahane by the smallest of margins. It was fitting that Dan ended the scoring proceedings having started the tally on the day.
Well done to the players and management for digging out the result which now leaves them in a great position. The lads face Murroe/Boher on the 1st of September at 1pm in Caherconlish knowing a win will see us make the top two in the group and a place in the quarterfinals of the championship.
Team: A. O’Brien, P. Harnett, E. Enright, P. Morrissey, J. Enright, C. Barry, M. O’Halloran, P. O’Halloran, S. Power, T. Morrissey, N. Moran, D. Morrissey, R. Fox, W. Brennan, C. O’Mara
Subs: A. Shanahan, D. Laing, A. Rowesome, C. Heffernan, C. Morrissey, , T. Doheny, P. O’Grady, D. Madden, R. Reale, P. Minihan, M. Power
Table after Round 4