Silvermines captain Mark Leamy lifts the O’Keeffe Cup after their thrilling North Final win. Photos: Bridget Delaney

Silvermines crowned North Junior 'C' champions after extra-time drama

GAA: North Tipperary Junior ‘C’ Hurling Final

Silvermines 0-19

Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-13

(after extra time)

Report: James Hayden in Toomevara


Player of the Match: Brian Seymour (Silvermines)

SCORERS – Silvermines: Sean Quinlan 0-9 (7 frees, 1 65); Brian Seymour 0-7 (2 frees); Cathal McGrath, Fionn Ryan Mulqueen, Brian Leamy 0-1 each.

Kilruane MacDonaghs: David O’Sullivan (3 frees), Martin Grace (1 free, 1 s-cut) 0-4 each; Nathan Lynch 1-0; Pat Williams 0-2; Diarmuid Cahill (free), David Williams (free), Declan Barrett 0-1 each.

Silvermines were crowned North Tipperary Junior ‘C’ Hurling champions following a hard-fought extra-time victory over Kilruane MacDonaghs on Saturday afternoon.

The ‘Mines bore the favourites tag going into this decider having overcome Kilruane earlier in the championship, and they were hoping to bring more silverware back to the parish following North championship victories this year for the club’s under 15 & under 19 sides.

Standing in their way though was a Kilruane side who came within a hair’s breadth of snatching victory at the very death in normal time and pushed the ‘Mines all the way to extra-time in a bid to upset the pre-match odds.

Silvermines’ backroom team of Joseph Ryan, Jon O’Shaughnessy, and Cathal Gleeson were forced into a pre-match switch with Conor Murphy drafted in to take up the netminding duties after Cathal Sherlock, who was on his way back from overseas, was delayed and unable to take his place in time for throw-in.

Fielding a side peppered with youth and experience they very much took the game to Kilruane from the very start with two quick-fire points from player of the match Bryan Seymour providing the ‘Mines with an early platform to build on.

Four wides in the opening seven minutes hampered the ‘Mines efforts though and Kilruane fought their way back into contention with points from Pat Williams, David O’Sullivan (free) and Diarmuid Cahill (free).

Playing with the aid of a biting breeze, Silvermines had the better of the exchanges in the opening quarter and were on top in defence with full-back, Tiernan Flynn and centre-back, Eoin Seymour marshalling their respective defensive lines well. Bryan Seymour and Martin Grace traded points as the game approached the quarter-hour mark before Sean Quinlan arrowed over two successive well-struck frees to edge the ‘Mines into a 0-6 to 0-4 lead.

Kilruane continued to threaten but the ‘Mines capitalized on some sloppy defending and surged up field with corner-forward Brian Leamy pilfering a 21st minute point from close-range to extend his side’s advantage.

Kilruane responded with a well-worked point from Pat Williams after Diarmuid Cahill spotted him in space and from a placed ball set the Kilruane captain up for his side’s fifth point of the game. Kilruane, who had been clearly struggling in the midfield area, introduced substitute Declan Barrett and as the interval approached a sublime sideline cut from Martin Grace coupled with a close-range David Williams free brought the MacDonaghs to within a solitary point.

Silvermines mounted one last attack before the break though with Bryan Seymour firing over his fifth point of the half to ensure the ‘Mines took a 0-9 to 0-7 advantage to the dressing room.

Silvermines emerged determined to build on their interval lead and within four minutes had doubled their advantage thanks to efforts from Fionn Ryan Mulqueen and Sean Quinlan (free). Kilruane hit back though with three David Sullivan frees on the bounce and were now beginning to noticeably grow in confidence.

Silvermines switched Bryan Seymour into a more central role in a bid to gain traction in the middle of the field and it had the desired effect in quelling Kilruane’s third quarter dominance. Seymour also chipped in with two long-range frees to extend his side’s advantage and with 47 minutes elapsed the men in blue and white held a three-point advantage.

Kilruane were in no mood to capitulate though with Declan Barrett firing over a booming 48th minute effort. They raided again in the 54th minute with Conor Murphy dealing capably with Louis Kennedy’s effort on goal before a substitute Nathan Lynch rattled the net with a cracking first-time strike in the 59th minute, 1-12 to 0-15.

With referee Brendan Ryan signalling two minutes of injury time, Kilruane went for the jugular, but Martin Grace’s sideline-cut tailed right and wide before Pat Williams saw his close-range effort tail wide also, much to the Silvermines’ relief.

The’ Mines were afforded the chance to snatch victory deep in injury time but Bryan Seymour’s free didn’t have the legs and the tie was destined for extra-time.

Silvermines hit the ground running in the first period of extra-time with Jack Corcoran and TJ Timmons breaking up the play in midfield while Mark Leamy, Cathal McGrath, Damien Egan, Tiernan Flynn and Eoin Seymour dug in well in defence. In attack, substitute Michéal Ryan Prendiville carried ball well while Denis Ryan held up as much ball as he could. Sean Quinlan really came into his own also with an audacious effort from the toes of the stand sideline coupled with a well-struck free from long-range firing the ‘Mines in to a deserved two-point advantage as half-time in extra-time approached.

Silvermines led 0-17 to 1-12 at the break and with the wind at their backs forged further ahead thanks to a surging run and point from corner-back, Cathal McGrath. Kilruane did their utmost to get back on terms but the ‘Mines rearguard held firm and increased their lead to four with a well-struck Sean Quinlan 65’.

Kilruane responded with a Martin Grace free before matters got a little fractious after a goalmouth schemozzle resulted in Eoin Seymour (Silvermines) and Shane Williams (Kilruane) both receiving straight red cards.

Kilruane gave it one last throw of the dice dropping in a late free ‘around the house’ but the ‘Mines were resolute in their resolve and cleared their lines impressively to ensure a memorable North final victory for the men from the foothills of Sliabh Ciamaltha.

TEAMS - Silvermines: Conor Murphy (8), Mark Leamy (7), Tiernan Flynn (7), Cathal McGrath (8); TJ Timmons (7), Eoin Seymour (7), Damien Egan (7); Aaron Mulqueen (7), Jack Corcoran (7); John Madigan (7), John Ryan (7), Brian Seymour (8), Sean Quinlan (8), Fionn Ryan Mulqueen (7), Brian Leamy (7).

Subs: Michéal Ryan Prendiville (7) for Madigan (43); Denis Ryan (7) for J Ryan (57); Ger Boland (NR) for A Mulqueen (ET).

Kilruane MacDonaghs: Alan Quinlan (7), Aaran Conroy (7), Fergus England (7), David Mooney (7); Sean Hayes (7), Shane Williams (7), Cormac Williams (7); Finnian Mannion (6), Diarmuid Cahill (7); Eoin O’Meara (7), Pat Williams (7), David O’Sullivan (8); Martin Grace (8); Louis Kennedy (7), David Williams (7).

Subs: Declan Barrett (7) for Mannion (54); Nathan Lynch (7) for D Williams (HT); Stephen Cleary (6) for Conroy (53); Andrew Brennan (6) for O’Meara (57); Arran Conroy for Mooney (ET); Finnian Mannion for Kennedy (ET); David Williams for O’Sullivan (ET).

Referee: Brendan Ryan (Ballina).