Darragh McCarthy scored sixteen points for Toomevara.Photo: Bridget Delaney

McCarthy inspires Toome to County Final

GAA: FBD County Under 19 ‘A’ Hurling Semi-Final

Toomevara 0-22

Cashel King Cormacs 2-12

Report: Liam Hogan in Templemore

Another brilliant display by Darragh McCarthy helped Toomevara into a County Under 19 ‘A’ Hurling final, overcoming a slow start to claim a deserved win over West champions Cashel King Cormacs in the semi-final on Sunday.

The North champions needed the best from McCarthy who contributed sixteen points, after they looked vulnerable in the opening minutes as a Ronan Connolly led Cashel side looked to have an ambush in store when they led 1-3 to 0-1 after eight minutes. However, Ken Dunne’s side regrouped and by the 22nd minute they had recovered to draw level at 0-7 to 1-4 before final securing a 0-12 to 2-5 lead at half time.

Cashel’s Anthony Walsh was a source of concern for the Toome defence, and he levelled matters with a free after half time. Darragh McCarthy gave Toome the lead soon after, one they never lost, and despite having some anxious moments it was Toome’s day with McCarthy leading the way with four of his sixteen points coming from play.

It was far from a one-man show for Toomevara as McCarthy, who was said to have been ill all weekend, had plenty of assistance in Adam Hall who stormed into the game at midfield, especially in the first half when he scored a brilliant point. He tired somewhat in the second half, but his partner Jake Hackett took up the mantle. Elsewhere, there was plenty of effort by Ted Evans, Jack Harford, Oisin Troy Cathal Frend and Tim Flaherty who chipped with three points from play.

Cashel can feel proud in contributing to a great contest as Ronan Connolly, brother of Eoghan Connolly, was their main star. Oisin Dwan, Oisin Donoghue, Fabian Ryan and Anthony Walsh contributed handsomely to the cause.

Indeed, it looked as if Connolly was going to steal the show in those early passages. He picked off the game’s opening score after just eight seconds. Darragh McCarthy levelled with a free, but Cashel went on a spree when scoring 1-2, the goal by David McGrath after Toome keeper Cormac Hogan failed to deal with a ball which dropped on the edge of the square. Further points by Anthony Walsh and Connolly enabled a five point lead by the eighth minute.

Toomevara looked to be in real trouble but they held their nerve and over the next eight minutes they crowded the middle sector of the field while leaving four forwards up front. Their recovery began thanks to points by Tim Flaherty and Adam Hall.

Cashel didn’t help themselves as they were prone to conceding needless frees and it was into Toomevara’s barrow where Darragh McCarthy picked off three in a row to bring the deficit down to one after 22 minutes.

Adam Hall’s equalised a minute later and Toome went in front after two monster frees by Darragh McCarthy. The North champions had just left choppy waters but out of the blue, Cashel had them reeling when Ronan Connolly crept silently up the left wing to take a well-placed cross field delivery by Anthony Walsh before the former panted a rasper to the Toome net in the 25th minute.

Timmy Flaherty levelled two minutes later before Darragh McCarthy edged Toome in front with an unbelievable score. Anthony Walsh’s close-range free levelled matters, and with play into added time it was another McCarthy free, his eighth, that had Toome in front at half time, 0-12 to 2-5.

Another Walsh free had scores level three minutes into the second half before two McCarthy frees moved Toome in front once more. Anthony Walsh remained a constant threat and was Cashel’s leader and he won a free and converted to narrow the gap to one but the response from Toome was quick in the shape of a well-taken Jack Doran score on the right wing.

Another Walsh free left the minimum between the teams one more time in the 46th minute but Toome took a grip on the game with three unanswered points in six minutes with Tim Flaherty scoring from play plus two McCarthy frees.

Ronan Connolly’s free in the 54th minute was quickly followed by an Aidan Skeffington point from play but a strong run by Adam Hall through the heart of the Cashel defence yielded a free and Darragh McCarthy obliged much to the relief of the Toomevara following.

Two Anthony Walsh scores left the minimum between the teams with play in added time but cometh the hour and cometh the man as Darragh McCarthy took charge and landed three points, the first two from ninety metres, before he added another from play some sixty metres to bring his tally to 0-33 in two hours hurling.

Player of the Match: Darragh McCarthy (Toomevara).

Toomevara: Cormac Hogan (6); Josh Powell (7), Ted Evans (7), Oisin Troy (7); Jack Harford (7), Dan Farrell (7), Cathal Frend (7); Jack Hackett (8), Adam Hall (0-2, 8); Jack Doran (0-1, 7), Darragh McCarthy (0-16, 12f, 8), Austin Duff (7); Tim Flaherty (0-3, 7), Joeseph Coffey (7), Fionn McGuigan (7).

Subs: Jack Ryan (HR) for Evans (57 inj); Billy O’Brien HR) for McGuigan (57); Dylan Carroll (NR) for Doran (60).

Cashel King Cormacs: Eoghan Dunne (7); Conal Moloney (7), Oisin Dwan (7), Colm Ryan (7); Brian Manton (6), Ronan Connolly (1-3, 0-1f, 8), Andrew Irwin (7); Oisin Donoghue (8), Kieran O’Dwyer (6); Cian McGrath (6), Fabian Ryan (7), Conor O’Dwyer (6); Anthony Walsh (0-8, 5f, 8), David McGrath (1-0, 6), Brian O’Donoghue (7).

Subs: Joey Davis (6) for C O’Dwyer (35); Aiden Skeffington (0-1, 7) for Manton (35 inj).

Referee: Seamus Delaney (JK Brackens).