By HARRY GREENSMYTH
THERE was no slip up by Doon in the county under 21 A hurling final at Bruff last Sunday.
They looked back to the 2004 decider and a last minute goal which sent them back unlucky losers to a famous hurling stronghold and they were determined they would not suffer the same fate when they took on Adare in Kilmallock in yet appearance in the final jump.
Doon with 13 of last year's team eligible to play were firm favourites to win as Adare minus Wayne McNamara had not really impressed on the path to the final obstacle. All the pointers were in the direction of Doon and while they did take the honours the Adare boys gave a good account of themselves as they fought a brave battle against a classy Doon combination.
Long periods of the well contested hour were controlled by Doon but they never could afford to relax in the face of huge pushes by Adare when things were going badly against them.
The Adare comeback in the second half was mighty as made for some super human efforts by both teams. Granted Doon finished strongly and the better side it was due to some wonderful hurling by the entire team. And the same applies to Adare who had players all over the field to apply sheer courage to stay with the well drilled winning outfit.
Doon made their intentions known as early as the first minute when Denis Moloney made his way from his wing back position to within 40 metres of the Adare to sling over an inspiring point. James Bradshaw and Michael Fitzgerald raised a further two points before James Hickey opened Adare's account. Doon came in for severe testing at this stage and Eddie Kiely and Aidan O'Brien were working hard to curtail the dangerous attacks set up by Andrew O'Connell and Billy Supple. Doon managed to keep their nose in front and forged ahead 0-8 to 0-4 with the end of the first half in sight.
Then Doon struck for a very important goal via Roger Ryan who took a perfect pass from Micheal Ryan to make it 1-8 to 0-4. There was an exchange of points in advance of the short whistle to leave Doon ahead 1-9 to 0-5.
Michael Fitzgerald who was deadly accurate from frees in the first half started the second half on the same footing. He lifted two more over the bar and the fine attendance were between two minds to strike for home or stay to witness a one way end to a match which was the focus of much attention in the days ahead of the game.
Nobody should have doubted the courage of Adare when the opposition was moving sweetly ahead. They struck with a vengeance to rock Doon. Johnny Fitzgerald burst through for a goal and no sooner had the fire turned to a simmering glow it was red hot when Billy Supple crashed another. And Adare missed to make use of two frees after the lead was cut to a single goal.
Of course there was plenty of time for Doon to recover. An attack which yielded at least three long hand passes went on the wing to Roger Ryan who with the best point of the hour settled Doon and the title was on its way to the hills.
This victory was badly needed in Doon. It was back in 1982 when they won their last under 21 hurling and this fourth is as welcome as any of the other three.
Scorers - Doon - Michael Fitzgerald 0-9, Roger Ryan 1-1, Tomas McLoughlin, Michael Ryan, James Bradshaw, Ger Beary and Denis Moloney 0-1 each. Adare - Johnny Fitzgerald and Billy Supple 1-0 each, Andrew O' Connell 0-2, Ross Kennedy, Diarmuid Sexton, James Hickey and Liam Costello 0-1 each.
Ciaran Ryan, Morgan Crowe, Aidan O'Brien, Diarmuid Ryan, Denis Moloney, Eddie Kiely, Roger Maher, Jason Ryan, George Allis, James Bradshaw, Ger Beary, Roger Ryan, Micheal Ryan, Tomas McLoughlin, Michael Fizgerald. Sub. Brian Fenton for Allis.
Shane O'Donoghue, Damien Derwin, Stephen O'Connell, Tony Scanlon, Paul Rohan, Ross Kennedy, David Hannon, Andrew O'Connell, Diarmuid Sexton, Johnny Fitzgerald, Billy Supple, Neil Mulvihill, Mikey Lyons, James Costello, Joey Shire. Subs. Liam Costello for Lyons, Liam Kennedy for Scanlon.
Mike Sexton, Bruree.