Borris-Ileigh GAA Club Match Report
Borris-Ileigh vs Clonoulty Rossmore (FBD Insurance Senior County Hurling League- Round 1)
24th March 2022
Borris-Ileigh starting lineup
Colm Boyle Ciaran Cowan Liam Ryan
Sean McCormack Brendan Maher Ray McCormack (1pt)
Mikey Kennedy Kevin Maher (5pts)
Shane Kenny Jerry Kelly (1-8 (7fs)) Tomas Ryan (2pts)
Conor Kenny (1-5) Jack Fitzgerald (1 goal) James “JD” Devaney (2pts)
Shane McCormack for Tomas Foot
Bill O’Connell (1pt) for Sean McCormack
Borris-Ileigh began the defense of their County League title with a home game against Clonoulty Rossmore on Thursday, the 24th of March. Like last year, Borris put forward a strong team, the first of Shane O’Neill’s tenure and were expecting a physical game against good opposition in Clonoulty. Work rate was clear to see from both teams from the outset but unfortunately didn’t lead to reward on the scoreboard as both teams were guilty of some midfield based wides early on which can be attested to the first game of the year. Borris showed a clear intent to implement a sharp short passing game especially in the areas of half back and midfield. Borris began to get their groove and pounced on an error with Shane Kenny showing good vision to find Kevin Maher who provided a classy midfield finish for the team’s first score. Conor Kenny, operating near the edge of the square then began to attain good delivery and added the team’s next two points with a blend of individual catching and JD’s support play for the second score. Clonoulty were getting good possession in their own third of the pitch but were struggling to penetrate past the Borris half back line, instead having to settle for long range shots with mixed results. Jerry Kelly was showing good positional flexibility in the number 11 shirt and used a short sideline to set up Kevin’s second point, similar to the midfielders first point earlier. Borris were now transferring ball through the lines into dangerous positions and this was emphasised when debutant goalkeeper, Mixie Carey showed good poise to collect an incoming ball before finding Liam Ryan who showed great vision and composure to find Conor Kenny near goal who finished the move with a green flag. Borris didn’t take their foot off the pedal and continued adding long range scores with wing back Ray McCormack scoring well from near the sideline before Mikey Kennedy showed strength beyond his young age to garner a free which was duly slotted by new free taker, Jerry. Jerry showed efficiency and a cool head on frees with another on top of one from play before Borris went into a scoring slump, Clonoulty gaining an ascendency in the game and getting on a lot of ball and translating it to well taken points, their earlier misses from long range transforming to more efficiency on the scoreboard. Clonoulty continued to keep it at a one possession game throughout the final minutes of the half despite points from the free scoring Kevin, Tom Foot point and another from Conor who’s delivery had stagnated from earlier in the game despite good sharp passing from the Borris half back line which just didn’t translate to easy scoring opportunities, a contrast to the first quarter. The half ended with Borris ahead on a scoreline of 1-12 to 12 points. The main themes of the half were the confident short passing in the Borris back line, Kev Maher’s long range scoring and Conor’s efficient scoring when good ball was delivered. Clonoulty deserve credit for taking a hold of the second quarter and came to the game with an incredibly physicality and an improving long range shooting game.
The second half began with Bill O’Connell replacing Sean McCormack, Borris beginning the half well with Kev Maher scoring again and doing well to garner a free for Jerry to slot over. Clonoulty then began an excellent passage of play with good running on ball and off which resulted in a piercing run and goal to make it a one score game again, the game promising to heat up well. Jerry added free 4 to keep the scoreboard ticking over but Borris began a short stint of missing some good chances to keep Clonoulty close. JD then began to get into the game and showed an excellent awareness of team mates all game by playing heads up hurling and passing off to team mates and gathering some frees which were duly converted by Jerry. Clonoulty’s earlier physicality was beginning to transform into foul making territory allowing Jerry to extend the team’s advantage with JD finding space and Conor continuing his fine high ball game to keep the Borris attack varied as Clonoulty began to wane in the game. The play of the game then transpired with Mikey Kennedy finishing a fine debut game with a fantastic cross field pass right into Jerry’s path who finished the excellent team move to kill the game as a contest, Mikey showing great composure and strength throughout the game and the assist the final exclamation point on his performance. Borris’s intensity failed to drop and this led to a choking of Clonoulty’s attacking game and leading to additional scores from Conor and JD aswell as Kev Maher who added point 5 to a very good midfield performance. Jack Fitz then created and finished a solo goal effort which was due reward for continued running throughout the game and always looking a threat, the performances of the young players a huge positive after game 1. Shane McCormack replaced Tom Foot before Bill finished proceedings with a well taken individual score before the final whistle blew with Borris amassing an impressive 3-24 to Clonoulty’s 1-19.
Borris will be buoyed by some excellent positives from this game, firstly to put together 3-24 in the first competitive game of the year with excellent long range shooting and varied attacking in the forward line bodes well going forward. Borris will also be enthused by the performances of last year’s u19 core in Jack Fitz, Mikey Kennedy and Colm Boyle who showed great confidence and application to the game in the face of a very physical challenge by Clonoulty. The work rate of the team started strong and despite a blip in the second quarter with Clonoulty playing well, didn’t really dip significantly late in the game. Stay tuned to the club’s social media accounts ahead of Borris’ next league game during the weekend after next.