Borris-Ileigh GAA Club Match Report
North Tipperary Junior A League Final
Borris-Ileigh V Toomevara
20th May 2022
Full Time Score: Borris-Ileigh 3-15 Toomevara 0-23
Borris -Ileigh Starting Line-up
Johnny McGrath Matthew Stapleton Damien Dunne
Michael Kennedy Paddy Stapleton Colm Boyle
Bill O Connell Shane McCormack
Jody Harkin Shane Kenny Danny Ryan
Adam Galvin Thomas Fahy Jack Fitzgerald
Subs: David O Connor, Cathal Hogan, Bryan Murray, Cathal O Connell, Aaron Ryan, Harry Gould, Aaron Reid, Jack Hogan, Fintan Holland, Michael Carey, Maurice Ryan, Jack Bourke, Seamus Ryan
Manager: Diarmuid Kinnane
Selectors: Philip Kenny, Martin Ryan, Martin Fahy, Butler
Logistics: PJ Kiely, Ciaran Hackett
54th Minute David O Connor on for Adam Galvin
57th Minute Cathal Hogan on for Damien Dunne
Scores: Thomas Fahy 2-01, Jody Harkin 0-05 (0-04), Danny Ryan 1-0, Jack Fitzgerald 0-03 (0-01), David O Connor 0-02, Shane Kenny 0-02, Bill O Connell 0-01, Adam Galvin 0-01
Our Junior A team travelled to Templederry to play Toomevara in the North Tipperary Junior A league final. With two changes from the previous game against Roscrea, Paddy Stapleton and Adam Galvin in place of Fintan Holland and Jack Hogan. A tough and physical game was expected, as they have been over the past number of years. Borris started with the wind at their back and a point from Shane Kenny inside the first minute, but a quick response from David Nolan kept it level. Borris kept up this momentum with five players scoring from play inside the first 8 minutes. Jack Fitzgerald getting the 3rd point of the game, followed by a response point from Shane Nolan. Bill O Connell then found himself in space and scoring a point to bring Borris back into the lead. Adam Galvin followed this point up with a quick point. Another response from David Nolan but shortly after Jody Harkin opened his tab for the day getting a point from play. Jody named at wing forward played a roaming role inside the first 15 minutes, covering from the half forward line to the half back line. After 11 mins Borris conceded a free which was converted by Shane Nolan, which proved to be a theme for the game, as this went on to be a major factor that kept the Toomevara score board ticking over for the entirety of the game. Toomevara got three unanswered points while Borris had had a couple of frees go astray until the 16th minute when Jody Harkin split the post with a free to bring the game level again with six points each. Thomas made his stamp on the game in the 17th minute scoring a point from play which can be described as textbook hurling. Again Toomevara retaliated with pointed free and Sean Flaherty point from play. Shane getting his 2nd point in the 20th minute made the game level for the 6th time. The following 5 minutes proved to be a quiet with neither team registering a score. Jim Duignan found space on the field to score a point and gave Toomevara a one point lead. 27th minute was when Thomas Fahy took on the Toome defence with goal in mind, he was hooked but kept his composure to pull on the ball and beat the goal keeper. Jack Ryan scored a long range point within thirty seconds to keep the gap between the times to one. Thomas Fahy had other ideas, again taking on the Toome defence and rifling a shot to the back of the net. This left the score at half time as Borris 2-08 Toome 0-10. A solid performance in the first half, where Borris had 6 different scorers, left them in a good position but knowing there was still work to do.
The second half started with Toome out scoring Borris four points to one in five minutes. Toome having the opening three points. A Jody Harkin free being the first score for Borris in the second half in the fifth minute but there was an immediate response from a Shane Nolan free. Jack Fitzgerald scoring a point in the 8th minute but Toomevara went on to score three more points unanswered. This gave Toomevara the lead of the game, but the lack of scoring from Borris doesn’t show the true story. Borris had several chances go astray, with wides and goal chances not falling our way and keeping our score frozen for almost ten minutes. The Toome goalie having a huge puck out with the wind behind him, the ball often landing on top of the Borris full back line kept the Borris defence under continuous pressure. In the 17th minute Jody Harkin stepped over the ball for another free that he converted with ease. This brought it to a one point game. Toome used a number of subs following this. Jack Fitzgerald converted a free in the 21st minute to make the game level once again. Toome with a point from Adam Hall and another point from a place ball by Shane Nolan brought the gap to two. In the 24th minute David O Connor was introduced for Adam Galvin. Danny Ryan put us in front with a goal, winning the breaking ball and sneaking a shot in the bottom left hand corner. This setup the game for shootout in the final minutes. In the 27th minute Cathal Hogan was brought on for the injured Damien Dunne. And yet again Shane Nolan scored a free in the 29th minute to bring it level. David O Connor got his chance to put himself on the score board with a well taking point. A massive puck out from the Toomevara goal keeper lead to a 65 which was inevitably converted. Jody Harkin scored his fifth point in the 32nd minute to give Borris a one point lead in injury time. After several injuries on both sides a considerable amount of injury time was expected. In the 34th minute Borris conceded another free that was then converted. With the referee now regularly looking at his watch, possession was king and one puck of a game could win the game. In what would be deciding strike of the game, David O Connor scored a point to give Borris a point lead and then the win on a scoreline of Borris 3-15 Toome 0-23.
Borris were up against a tough Toomevara team who have always had consistent results at this grade through the years. People say goals win games but work rate also wins games. Captain Shane McCormack epitomises this, he may not have registered a score but as usual once he started running he didn’t stop for the entire game. Borris maintained a high work rate right to the final whistle. Though reports tend to highlight scores during a game, the Borris defence deserve a mention for being the launch pad for the majority of the Borris scores. The experience and intelligent hurling of Paddy Stapleton proved vital, along with Matthew Stapleton, who would be more accustomed to scoring for Borris, often outrageous points out on the sideline. Along with Damien Dunne, Johnny McGrath, Mikey Kennedy, Colm Boyle and Cathal Hogan kept Cathal Bourke safe between the posts. This win was a long time in wait, the previous time Borris-Ileigh won silverware in a junior grade being in 1978. They now go into the North Championship with a medal in their back pocket.