Terrific Tooreen just come up short

Tooreen gave it absolutely everything in this evening’s All-Ireland Intermediate club hurling final against Monaleen of Limerick at Croke Park but suffered heartbreak at the finish as they were overhauled in the closing stages. They lost at the end by just two points, on a scoreline of 1-17 to 1-15.

This was a marvellous performance by the tight-knit, hard battling Mayo team. Up against a club from the country’s top hurling county, that had only briefly dipped down to Intermediate status, Tooreen were always going to be up against it in this final. It’s a testament to their hard-working qualities that they were on top for much of the contest and that, for long stretches, it looked like they would prevail.

Monaleen’s strength, in particular their sharp-shooting prowess up front, finally told, as they came with a late scoring burst to snatch victory. Tooreen fought them all the way, though, their resistance finally broken only when Monaleen bagged the insurance score with virtually the last puck of the game.

Tooreen, roared on by a big, raucous following – was there anyone at all left in the parish tonight, I wonder? – started tonight’s decider like an express train. Ten minutes in, they had four points on the board with their opponents yet to score. It was the best possible start for the Mayo lads.

Dan Power’s goal for Monaleen hauled them level but that score was completely against the run of play. Tooreen responded in kind, with Eoin Delaney feeding Liam Lavin who crashed the sliotar to the net.

Tooreen continued to have the better of the exchanges up to half-time, stretching their lead back out to four points. They conceded two scores just before the break, though, and the two-point lead they took into half-time didn’t seem sufficient reward for all the hard work they’d put in.

As the second half went on, there was a clear sense that Monaleen were starting to get on top. Tooreen continued to battle like lions but the Limerick side’s silkier ball skills were beginning to tell. Upfront the devastating sharp-shooting of Donnacha Ó Dálaigh, who fired over five excellent second half points, finally tipped this cracking contest in their favour.

Monaleen left it late to hit the front – they led for the first time with just six minutes of normal time to play – but Cathal Freeman then showed enormous battling qualities to haul Tooreen level. The Limerick lads now had their tails up, though, and further points from Ó Dálaigh and Joseph Fitzgerald gave them the upper hand as the game went into injury time.

Fergal Boland cut the gap to the minimum deep in added time but, after fending off Tooreen’s last-gasp attempts to pull level, Ó Dálaigh then landed a sensational final score from out under the Hogan Stand to seal the title for the lads from the Treaty County.

It was rough justice for Tooreen, who were never overawed by the occasion and who hurled throughout as if their lives depended on it. While they were forced to give way at the finish, they made Monaleen fight all the way for their All-Ireland title and their performance tonight has certainly raised the profile of hurling in Mayo. They can be hugely proud of their battling display at Croke Park tonight.

Tooreen: Bobby Douglas; Conor Henry, Michael Morley, Oisín Greally; Joe Boyle, Stpehen Coyne, David Kenny (0-1); Seán Kenny, Daniel Huane; Liam Lavin (1-1), Fergal Boland (0-2), Cathal Freeman (0-3); Shane Boland (0-4, one free), Seán Regan (0-2), Eoin Delaney (0-2). Subs: Kenny Feeney for Huane, Gary Nolan for Henry.

21 thoughts on “Terrific Tooreen just come up short

  1. Feeling so sorry for Tooreen. Not really into hurling but watched them tonight and they were fantastic. So close, it’s really tough.

  2. I thought Tooreen were brilliant tonight, couldn’t have done a lot more really,just , when the chips were down the cooler heads and that inbuilt know how of a team from a county used to winning these things came to the fore.
    Tooreen certainly couldn’t be faulted for effort and will come again.

  3. An absolutely brilliant effort by Tooreen. A credit to themselves and to Mayo. Monaleen were in Limerick senior championship last year, so for a Mayo team to go toe to toe with a club from the All Ireland champions is a phenomenal effort. Desperately unlucky to lose.

  4. What a fantastic effort from Tooreen, just came up that little bit short..Hard luck Lads..Monalee just got their scores that little bit easier in the last 10 minutes.

  5. My heart goes out to Toreen they were the better team for 55 minutes they have had a brillant year and done themselves and Mayo proud even though that will be little consolation to them tonight

  6. Heartbreaking defeat but Tooreen done themselves and Mayo proud. Goes to show there is no difference in skill level from “weaker” hurling counties to the big traditional hurling counties. With hurling clubs recently setup in places like Claremorris and Cong, I can only see hurling get stronger in the coming years.

  7. Brillant performance lads…gutted for ye and your parish….what a effort…onwards n upwards …go agsin n year..
    From Belmullet.

  8. Hard luck Tooreen, a magnificent effort. I felt the outcome came down to a couple of small things that happened in the second half, within a couple of minutes Tooreen lost a two point lead through a bad puck out that was returned straight over the bar and a silly free that was conceded in front of the posts. Monaleen kicked on then and they were able to get their noses in front. In finals it’s often a case of small margins.

    Tooreen also hooked and harried like men possessed in the first three quarters of the game, which was always going to be difficult to maintain against a side who were playing senior in Limerick last year. Towards the end of the game, it seemed like several of the Tooreen lads were struggling to keep it going.

    Was particularly impressed with Fergal Boland and Cathal Freeman. If Boland shows that level of desire with the big ball, he won’t be long forcing himself back into contention for the County senior panel.

  9. A game of very fine margins, the stats will tell a few missed frees but ultimately the physical power of Monaleen won out.
    But immensely proud as a Mayo man to be in Croke Park to witness a superb game, yes Tooreen battled like warriors but it was their level of skill and stick work that really stood out. They did not look out of place in the big house, and hopefully they will come again!

  10. A huge achievement by Tooreen. What a great match. The Limerick team were a bit stronger in last 15min. Great game to watch. I though the manager of Monomolin was very complimentary to Tooreen. Great sportsmanship. Go hiontach ar fad!
    Tooreen did their parish and county proud and bodes well for foireann Mhuigeo in iomionacht!
    Go neiri libh i gconai!

  11. Immense effort from Tooreen. Unfortunately, their scoring efficiency let them down in the endgame – think it might have been only 1 point scored from their last 6 shots. Also, Sean Regan could possibly have rotated into the full forward line to provide a more powerful direct option closer to goal in the last quarter. However, there’s always what-ifs in any narrow defeat and they deserve massive credit for their overall performance last night against heavily fancied opposition.

  12. Superb effort by Tooreen, the Limerick side’s extra class showed in the end but a bit more cuteness and more accuracy in the second half, and they would be champions – and there would have been very little complaints with the outcome

    But that’s sport. In truth, the 2 point margin at half time was always going to become problematic, Tooreen expended some of amount of energy in the first half. Some of it unnecessarily so? I thought they rushed a lot of puckouts and sidelines, when maybe slowing the game down a bit would have rattled the Limerick lads more when they had them at their mercy

    But better game management comes with more experience of the big day and I’ve no doubt Tooreen will be back competing again in finals in the years ahead if they stick at it. They’re certainly better now than any 25th best team in Galway can offer and its years since they’ve lost to the Roscommon or London champions. They still haven’t got that big marquee win under their belt yet in the latter stages – but they’re getting closer every year and that will surely drive them on when they return for the 2023 season.

  13. Toreen were brillant in fairness but the game was there to be won. Im sick to death of defeat of Mayo teams in all Ireland finals like it seems to be predetermined or something and us saying oh they’ll be back etc its so hard to get there in the first place and even harder to come back

  14. I’m very disappointed for our Torren hurlers. One terrific game and it could have gone either way… that’s why Monaleen won it. But Tooreen just showed some guile and passion and determination that was so uplifting.
    Hard luck. Nothing makes defeat easy but I expect it will drive this team on and be the fuel in the tank for the coming season.
    Very proud of Tooreen.
    Thank you for showing what Mayo hurling can do!!
    Maigheo abú

  15. All Ireland Intermediate and Junior championships are a mess with the Kerry club system.Something needs to be done our else other counties are going to lose interest in the Competition.Rathmore are the 9th best club team in Kerry who played the 17th best Club team in Tyrone today.

  16. TonyH is right – something has to be done to level the playing field on the junior and intermediate championship
    Ky teams – with the odd exception- are not alone dominating the competitions but in most cases winning most of their games by 10 points plus. This is no good for anyone

  17. To be fair the system works very well in Kerry. The fact they end up winning the intermediate and Junior All Irelands regularly is merely incidental, the divisional system in the county long predates the all Ireland series in intermediate and Junior… ie this isn’t them tactically manipulating the system

    I would prefer if they upped the number of actual clubs to 12 in the county championship though and let the divisions play off in a round robin for the remaining 4 places, but maybe Croke Park are very stringent on the 16 teams only (with no round robin “loopholes”) – so if that’s the case the alternative is just shelving 4 divisions overnight

    If Stewartstown actually concentrated on playing football yesterday they would have bet Fossa, who were very limited outside of the two Cliffords (David was out of this world as usual) and number 15.

    There’s actually nothing stopping Tyrone (or all other counties) reducing the numbers in their own senior championships though. Tipperary recently made the decision to cut their senior hurling championship to 12 teams, Limerick and Kilkenny have the same format. 12 senior clubs is generally more than enough in any county, however there seems to be a taboo around playing intermediate/junior in many counties.

  18. Was at the hurling game. Many of the Monaleen supports could not comprehend the skill levels Tooreen brought to the table. They did Mayo proud.

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