Portroe's Callan Cottrell is chased by Silvermines Patrick Leamy. Photograph: Bridget Delaney

Silvermines finish strongly to claim North Junior ‘B’ Hurling title

GAA: Watch Centre North Tipperary Junior ‘B’ Hurling Championship Final


Silvermines    0-16
Portroe           0-10

Report: Enda Treacy in Kilcolman


Player of the Match:
David Keogh (Silvermines)
SCORERS - Silvermines: David Keogh 0-8 (5 frees, 1 ‘65), Daniel Keogh (frees), Kieran Fogarty 0-2 each; David Boland, Patrick Leamy, Niall Curran, Sean Spillane 0-1 each.
Portroe: Anthony Burke (frees), Conor Byrne 0-3 each; Callan Cottrell 0-2; Dermot O’Halloran, Niall Gleeson 0-1 each.

Silvermines produced the goods in the final ten minutes with Daniel Keogh proving to be the match winner with a flurry of points to secure a North Tipperary Junior ‘B’ Championship title over a gallant Portroe outfit in tough conditions last Sunday.

Winter well and truly arrived on the day and this had a bearing on the game with a fresh and stiff breeze blowing down the field and both teams got bogged down in an attritional battle, but Silvermines had a greater scoring threat with a number of former senior hurlers showing their quality to pull away from Portroe after a tight encounter.

This was a well-earned and deserved title for Silvermines, as they have had some near misses in the previous two finals in 2018 and 2019 and they will be delighted that they could atone for those losses with a good team performance, particularly defensively, as they have an extremely experienced spine with the likes of Daniel & David Keogh along with the likes of Maurice Leamy and Cathal Gleeson.

Portroe will be disappointed and will feel had they taken more chances in the first half with the aid of the breeze, they might have been closer to the desired result and they had good performances themselves with Conor Byrne, David Lumbroso and Shane Keating impressing but the scoring return wasn’t there on the day for the Lakesiders.

As mentioned, Port’ had the advantage of a stiff wind in the first half and they got the ball rolling after two minutes with Conor Byrne whipping over his first score of the day, but the ‘Mines responded in the next play with a Daniel Keogh free to set proceedings in motion.

Two more scores each in the opening quarter had the sides level at 0-3 apiece when David Keogh had a fantastic chance for a major in the 15th minute as he had a clear route through to strike at Darren Gleeson’s goal, but Noel O’Halloran reeled in the years with a class block to deny the ‘Mines corner forward.

Keogh himself nailed the resulting 65 and David Boland added to that quickly to open a two-point lead, but, with the aid of the breeze, Port stuck at it and scored the last three points of the half through Byrne, Niall Gleeson and Anthony Burke to take a slender lead with the second half to come.

An uncharacteristic mistake from former Tipp goalie Gleeson led to Sean Spillane levelling up in the 34th minute, as the game became a real battle in the third quarter with the sides trading scores with frees being the staple scoring method for both sides.

A goal-saving hook from John Moroney on David Keogh denied what looked like it would be a certain score but the sides stayed nip and tuck up to the second half water break with the tie finely poised at 0-9 each with both teams looking to pull away.

Port’s discipline hereafter was going to cost them as the ‘Mines whipped over three frees in a row when the teams re-took the field and this flurry of scores opened a three-point lead for the men in blue, but two fine individual efforts in a row from Callan Cottrell reeled the ‘Mines back to within one with ten minutes to go.

However, this was a false dawn for the Port challenge as the ‘Mines finished extremely well with David Keogh whipping over two lovely scores, either side of a captain’s score from Patrick Leamy and with the conditions worsening, the four minutes of added time still wasn’t enough for Portroe to fashion a goal chance to reduce the lead with the ‘Mines eventually seeing out the match to claim the honours.

TEAMS - Silvermines: Cathal Sherlock (7); Diarmuid Brennan (7), Maurice Leamy (7), Damien Egan (7); TJ Timmons (7), Cathal Gleeson (6), Tadgh Ryan (7); Patrick Leamy (7), Kieran Fogarty (7); Ronan Clifford (6), David Boland (7), Daniel Keogh (7); David Keogh (8), Niall Curran (6), Sean Spillane (7).
Subs: Gary Toohey (6) for Clifford (HT); Ciaran Timmons (6) for Spillane (44); Cathal McGrath (6) for Gleeson (47); Daniel Ryan (NR) for Brennan (60).
Portroe: Darren Gleeson (7); Kyle Creamer (7), Noel O’Halloran (6), John Moroney (6); Shane Keating (7), David Lumbroso (7), William Flood (7); Conor Byrne (8), Jimmy Creamer (7); Dermot O’Halloran (6), Niall Gleeson (6), Anthony Burke (6); Callan Cottrell (7), Dinny Hogan (6), James Ferris (6).
Subs: Shane O’Brien (6) for Ferris (44); Darren Aherne (6) for Hogan (44); Patie McGrath (NR) for D O’Halloran (58).
Referee: Kieran Delaney (Toomevara)