A Liam Dunne inspired performance sealed the 2019 Minor ‘A’ hurling title for Adare thanks to a 2-13 to 1-11 final win over Murroe-Boher at Mick Neville Park in Rathkeale. Adare 2-13 Murroe-Boher 1-11
Clocking up a tally of 1-9 for the boys in red and black, Dunne was joined on the goal scoring charts by Diarmuid Hartnett-Browne to brng the trophy the short distance home.
Adare led 2-6 to 0-7 at half-time, a five point advantage that would be eventually extended to six as Tony Dunne’s charges celebrated in style after a hard-fought victory against a determined and talented Murroe-Boher side who battled right to the end.
The new champions got off to a flying start as Liam Dunne slotted over from out wide within the opening two minutes, a sign of things to come.
By the tenth minute, Murroe-Boher had got a grip on matters and three David Hickey frees without response blasted Mike Moore’s youngsters into a merited 0-4 to 0-2 lead after Hickey had grabbed the East Limerick side’s opener.
The opening half was dominated by the two free-takers - Dunne 1-5 (three frees, one ’65) and Hickey 0-5 (four frees) - after both players opened the game's scoring with a point each from play.
Just shy of the twenty minute mark a superb point from Mickey Southgate, who burst through the Murroe-Boher defence from midfield, significantly boosted Adare’s confidence and lead to the first goal of the game.
Following the resulting puckout, the in-form Dunne turned his marker before finding space to hit the back of the net, a real turning point in the game as Adare temporarily took the narrowest of leads.
The boys in blue and green reacted immediately and Hickey’s fifth free of the afternoon drew the sides level yet again - but his score turned out to be Murroe-Boher’s last point of the first-half as Adare grabbed a second goal and two further points.
An inch-perfect pass from Mickey Southgate found Diarmuid Hartnett-Browne who after towering above the opposing defence found the back of the net for Adare’s second goal of the open final.
A Liam Dunne free and a 65 after a crucial save from Cathal Barry gave five-point advantage heading into half-time, 2-6 to 0-7.
Both sides exchanged points after the break before Cian Sparling broke the trend to make it a six point game midway through the final 30 minutes.
With just over ten minutes remaining, Hickey gave Murroe-Boher a glimmer of hope after his blocked shot hit the back of the net.
Hickey found himself in space after a superb catch and ball through by Michael Ryan opened up the Adare defence.
Moments later, Murroe-Boher should have pulled level but an unbelievable Scot Gilbourne save kept his side three points ahead with nine minutes to go.
The Adare goalkeeper somehow got down low and stretched right across his goal to deny Micheal Ryan the much sought after equalising goal.
The title was secured as Adare outscored their opponents by four points to two in the final stages with Dunne and Brian McNamara on the mark with two scores apiece.
McNamara wrapped up the scoring as the energetic substitute found space in the midst of a tiring and stretched Murroe-Boher defence to put the result beyond any doubt and secure a 2-13 to 1-11 win for Adare.
ADARE: Liam Dunne 1-9 (six frees, one ‘65), Diarmuid Hartnett-Browne 1-0, Brian McNamara 0-2, Cian Sparling, Mickey Southgate 0-1 each.
MURROE-BOHER: David Hickey 1-8 (six frees), Michael Ryan 0-3.
Adare: Scot Gilbourne; Michael Murphy, Michael Keane, Michael O’Mahony; Cian Kirwan (joint captain), Joe Sweeney, Sean O’Mahony; Adam O’Callaghan, Cian Sparling; Mikey Southgate, Tim Murphy, Sean Connolly (joint captain), Diarmuid Hartnett-Browne, Rory O’Connor, Liam Dunne.
Subs: Brian McNamara for Tim Murphy (40 mins).
Murroe-Boher: Cathal Barry; Stephen Moore, Sean Moore, Brian Quigley; Euan Sheridan, Eoghan Burke, Mark Nicholas; Brian O’Keeffe, Sean Quigley; Jack O’Carroll, Jack Nicholas, Michael Hourigan, Killian Quaid, David Hickey (capt.), Michael Ryan.
Subs: Colin Hackett for Killian Quaid (37 mins); Michael O’Brien for Brian O’Keeffe (37 mins); Shane Bartley for Sean Quigley (56 mins).
Referee: David Deady (Bruree).
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.