GARRYSPILLANE are back in the senior hurling ranks afer five years outside of the top grade. The Bouncers dominated this Premier IHC final from start to finish to make amends for last season’s replay final defeat to Murroe-Boher.
TJ Ryan’s men were 12-points clear entering the final quarter and coasting towards the silverware and promotion.
Bruff, seeking an automatic return to the senior ranks, did rattle off seven late points but the victory for the men in black and amber was never in doubt.
So in 2019, Garryspillane will replace relegated Cappamore in the Limerick SHC and take their place in Group Two along with Ballybrown, Murroe-Boher, Monaleen, Ahane and Knockainey. Remarkably, Garryspillane fielded six different players from last year’s final defeat.
One of the newcomers, Callum Sheehan, had Garryspillane off to a flyer with a goal after 90-seconds
Shane Bulfin had actually the scoring with a free but once Sheehan found the net Garryspillane were ahead and never looked back. Donie Ryan was to finish with 0-8 (6frees) and his accuracy had Garryspillane 1-3 to 0-1 up after nine minutes.
Micheal Bourke had the first Garryspillane point from play in the 15th minute and when Tony Burke hit back with the first Bruff score from open play the lead was just the goal.
Burke added a second before half time but it was the Thomas Downes (Na Piarsaigh) coached Garryspillane that finished the stronger with Colin Ryan and Callum Sheehan with points to ensure a 1-7 to 0-5 lead after a half where the wides shared 14 wides.
When the second half started it was clear that Garrspillane had all momentum with Bruff simply unable to gain clean possession.
It was Bruff that needed a tonic score but Sheehan found another goal to bolster the Garryspillane dominance on the scoresheet – 2-9 to 0-5 all of a sudden.
Bruff had to wait 19-minutes into the new half to reopen their scoring and by then they were 12-points in arrears.
Donie Ryan was among the scores as the lead went out to double-digits and it could have been worse for Bruff but goalkeeper Eric Finn denied Sheehan a hat-trick of goals in the 14th minute.
Trailing 2-11 to 0-5, Bruff finally returned to the scoring sequence when Chris Browne found the target. It was to set in motion an unanswered run of seven points for Bruff but they never found a goal.
They did have a 53rd minute free but the drive from Browne was saved by Andy Dooley on the line.
Substitute Johnny Bulfin and Sean Finn, now pushed further out the field from his corner back role, added points from play and it was all one-way traffic but time was against the men from the banks of the Morning Star.
When James O’Riordan got in on the scoring the final was down to a two score game as the stopwatch ticked into injury time. At the other end of the field, Donie Ryan almost capped a fine display with a goal but it was left to his nephew Colin to round off a fine title with with the last point.
SCORERS: Garryspillane: Donie Ryan 0-8 (6frees), Callum Sheehan 2-1, Colin Ryan 0-2, Micheal Bourke 0-1. BRUFF: Shane Bulfin 0-6 (6frees), Tony Burke 0-2, Chris Browne, Johnny Bulfin, Sean Finn and James O’Riordan 0-1 each.
GARRYSPILLANE: Andy Dooley; Cathal Shanahan, David Ryan, Ciaran Bourke; Gearoid Power, James Ryan, Mark Quinlan; Colin Ryan, Micheal Bourke; Ryan Tobin, Donie Ryan, Micheal O’Donnell; Callum Sheehan, Kieran Hickey, Dylan O’Shea. Subs: Danny Hayes for Kieran Hickey (37mins), Eoin Sheehan for Micheal O’Donnell (44mins), John Kerins for Ryan Tobin (55mins).
BRUFF: Eric Finn; Sean Finn, Conor McEniry, Tim O’Sullivan; James O’Riordan, Brian Finn, Bobby O’Brien; Graham Whelan, Jason Hayes; Paul O’Riordan, Colin Madden, Chris Browne; Kyle Dillon, Shane Bulfin, Tony Burke. Subs: Kevin Bonar for Tim O’Sullivan (10mins), Ryan Glynn for Paul O’Riordan, inj (26mins), Johnny Bulfin for Kyle Dillon (44mins).
REFEREE: John O’Halloran (Bruree).