Lorrha captain Michael Dolan lifts the Michael Maher Cup. Photos: Bridget Delaney

GAA: FBD Insurance County Intermediate Hurling Championship Final

Lorrha 4-15

Moneygall 3-12

Report: Liam Hogan at FBD Semple Stadium


Player of the Match: Niall McIntyre (Lorrha)

SCORERS – Lorrha: Christopher Fogarty 3-0; Colm Fogarty (3 frees), Brian Hogan (frees) 0-4 each; Patrick Maher 1-1; Eoin McIntyre 0-3; Cian Hogan 0-2; Niall McIntyre 0-1.

Moneygall: Joe Fogarty 0-7 (4 frees, 2 65s); Sean Kenneally 1-2; Bob Kenny 1-1; Phil Fanning 1-0; Mark Fanning, Brendan Toohey 0-1 each.

There were just two minutes left on the clock when Patrick Maher ghosted through the Moneygall defence to score Lorrha’s fourth goal and finally secure their third County Intermediate Hurling Championship title when defeating a never-say-die Moneygall side on Sunday.

It was a typical Maher goal, breaking through the middle, and one that put his team ten points clear, and despite the concession of 1-1 in added time, their loyal followers waited patiently for the final whistle to sound when victory would bridge a fifteen-year gap after last tasting success.

Patrick Maher was one of just two starting survivors from that 2007 success. He was just eighteen-years-old back then and on the verge of a magnificent career which earned him three All-Ireland senior hurling medals in 20010, ’16 & 19.

Lorrha manager Ken Hogan was sub goalkeeper to Kevin Hough that year also and the current number one, who only came into the team for the injured Patrick Reddin in the North Intermediate semi-final win over Moneygall last July, hasn’t looked back since and last Sunday he was in brilliant form. His three great saves in the second half to deny Moneygall a possible comeback as Lorrha outscored Moneygall 2-4 to 1-2 in the last twenty minutes or so. Who knows what would have happened had Moneygall succeeded in beating Hough?

This final provided many memorable moments, not least for Christopher Fogarty who scored a hat-trick of goals, the first two coming inside the opening four minutes as the Moneygall defence were hit hard by the combined efforts of a Lorrha inside forward line of Patrick Maher and Colm Fogarty whose intricate contributed 4-5 from play over the hour.

Moneygall were fighting for crumbs then, but it was Sean Kenneally who brought them to life with a brilliant point in the seventh minute from under the Kinnane stand. Cian Hogan replied before Joe Fogarty delivered his first of seven points from placed balls, with much good work from play in general.

Brendan Toohey was another to shine for Moneygall and playing at midfield he towered into the game with much assistance from Paddy Fogarty and Adam Hogan. Yet there was nothing much in terms of a threat getting past the Lorrha halfback line, especially Darragh Guinan who produced most of the clearances. Elsewhere, the increased work rate of Niall & Eoin McIntyre, meant Lorrha would go eight in front after pointed frees by Brian Hogan and Colm Fogarty leaving them 2-4 to 0-2 in front after thirteen minutes.

Moneygall followers must have feared the worst but in the 18th minute they received some respite when Phil Fanning dispossessed Daniel O’Donoghue before steering a ground shot to the Lorrha net.

Eoin McIntyre’s assist for Cian Hogan meant the latter could score his second point before Sean Kenneally secured his second in identical fashion to the first. Moneygall had settled and in a score for score period another Guinan clearance set up Eoin McIntyre before Joe Fogarty and Brian Hogan traded frees to make it 2-7 to 1-4.

By now the early threat from the Lorrha inside forward line had gone due to all avenues cut off by the Moneygall defence of Cathal Greene, Liam Carroll, and Cathal Kennedy, while Conor Ryan was policing Patrick Maher who yet managed to score a point in the 27th minute.

Lorrha, playing with the breeze, needed a bigger half time lead and after Joe Fogarty posted another free in the 29th minute they finished the half on a positive note with two points from Niall McIntyre and a Brian Hogan 65 which gave the North champions a 2-10 to 1-5 half time lead.

The second half began with Moneygall taking the game to Lorrha as they scored three unanswered points. It could have been more. After Joe Fogarty pointed a 65, Moneygall came again but Kevin Hough denied Brendan Toohey with a great save. Lorrha failed to clear and Bob Kenny scored quickly followed by a Joe Fogarty point from play.

Trailing by five point and playing with the breeze was encouraging for the 2021 North champions. But that soon changed. After Colm Fogarty’s long range point in the 39th minute was cancelled by a Mark Fanning reply a minute later, Lorrha powered on led by Brian Hogan, Michael Dolan plus Eoin & Niall McIntyre, and appeared to have upped a gear when scoring an unanswered 1-3 over the next seven minutes, commencing with a another Colm Fogarty free, after Niall McIntyre was fouled for the umpteenth time. It was followed by a Brian Hogan free from half way before Christopher Fogarty cut inside the Moneygall cover to score his third goalm, quickly followed by an Eoin McIntyre point to give Lorrha a commanding 3-14 to 1-9 lead and thirteen minutes remaining.

Yet, Moneygall have no intention of giving in and they hit back with a superb Bob Kenny goal in the 49th minute. Colm Fogarty replied with a point thanks to the combined efforts of Niall McIntyre and Cian Hogan before another Moneygall attack brought the best out of Kevin Hough when he saved a great shot from Sean Kenneally. Joe Fogarty pointed the resulting 65 before adding a free in the 54th minute leaving seven points separating the teams.

One minute later, Fogarty was denied by Kevin Hough and with play interrupted by the introduction of substitutes it was Lorrha who got back into the flow with Patrick Maher scoring his sides fourth goal to put the game to bed.

With a nine-point advantage and the clock approaching the hour mark, Lorrha began to empty the subs bench but Moneygall, hoping to bridge thirty-one year gap since defeating Arravale Rovers in the 1991 decider, continued to search for scores and after Brendan Toohey’s shot for goal screamed inches over the bar they returned again for Sean Kenneally to goal in the 64th minute was mere consolation. By then the blue and white ribbons were on the silverware.

TEAMS – Lorrha: Kevin Hough (9); Tom Duggan (7), Daniel O’Donoghue (7), Denis O’Meara (8); Darragh Guinan (7), Brian Hogan (7), Michael Dolan (Capt 7); Niall McIntyre (8), Alan O’Meara (6); David Fogarty (7), Cian Hogan (7), Eoin McIntyre (8); Christopher Fogarty (8), Patrick Maher (8), Colm Fogarty (7).

Subs: Martin O’Gorman (6) for A O’Meara (40 inj); Ronan O’Meara (6) for Gorman (57); Graham Houlihan (NR) for Duggan (59); Paddy Reddin for Christopher Fogarty (60); Conor Hogan (NR) for O’Donoghue (60).

Moneygall: Ciaran Quinlan (6); Cathal Greene (7), Cathal Kennedy (Capt 7), Liam Carroll (7); Ger Kirwan (7), Adam Hogan (7), Rody Teehan (7); Conor Ryan (7), Paddy Fogarty (6); Bob Kenny (7), Brendan Toohey (7), Joe Fogarty (8); Sean Kenneally (8), Phil Fanning (6), Aodhan Ryan (6).

Subs: Mark Fanning (6) for A Ryan (38); Tommy Devereux (6) for Fanning (46); Willie Greene (6) for G Kirwan (46); Dylan Maher (NR) for P Fogarty (57).

Referee: John O’Grady (Rosegreen).

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