’Clody come good
Winners kept best form until final
HWH-BUNCLODY HOLLOW ROVERS
HWH-BUNCLODY kept their best form for the latter stages of the Greenstar Under-20 hurling Division 2 championship and they were rewarded with the title in St. Patrick’s Park on Wednesday.
When these sides met seven weeks earlier, the game followed a similar pattern. Hollow Rovers had registered fewer scores in that game but carried more of a goal threat and it was enough to give them the points that evening.
However, a few things were different. Overall HWH-Bunclody defended better in this game, and there was a superior work ethic, a desperation at times, and it all added up to a miserly rearguard and a powerful showing.
Probably more importantly, they cut their wides total down in the attacking third of the field. Shot selection was a huge strength for HWH-Bunclody, as there simply weren’t any mad slashes at the posts. Instead they worked their spots, looked for that clean strike and usually made them count.
They have also been able to get their whole squad together. There were games earlier in the campaign when they had to make do with 15 or 16 players. The likes of Adam Hogan, Bobby McKeown and Alan Carton played a huge part in getting the side into this position, and their contribution shouldn’t be forgotten.
Cathal Doyle and Eoin Kelly had scores on the board before the Hollow’s best performer, Liam Pender, cut in from the right and fired home the opening goal in the third minute.
It continued to be nip and tuck through the opening quarter, with Kelly adding three frees only for Diarmuid Doyle and Cian Fitzhenry to reply for Rovers.
The Duffry/Marshalstown combination were having some problems finding a consistent free-taker, and the misses started to add up.
John Dunne nailed one from inside his own half at the other end, while Eddie Black and Edward Dunbar were also on target as HWH-Bunclody hit half-time leading by 0-9 to 1-4.
It was a tight, interesting contest through the third quarter. The eventual winners came out of the blocks with intent and grabbed four of the first five scores, with Cathal Doyle, Kelly, Black and Edward Dunbar all on target again.
However, Fitzhenry notched a couple from play and Pender took over dead-ball duties to keep the Hollow chipping away.
Three still seperated the sides in the 45th minute after a quick exchange between Cathal Dunbar and Pender (0-15 to 1-9).
But then HWH-Bunclody turned the screw. The Hollow didn’t score for twelve minutes and in that time they fell seven behind thanks to scores from Black, Kelly (two) and Cathal Doyle.
A truly superb team goal, which saw Seamus Doyle, Fitzhenry and Gavin Watchorn all combine to send Diarmuid Doyle away to net, gave Rovers a little hope with three minutes left.
However, captain Kelly settled any nerves with a couple of clinical frees as the game moved into added-time and, despite pressing right to the end, there was no dramatic Rovers revival as HWH-Bunclody took the cup.
HWH-Bunclody: Brandon Kavanagh; Ciarán Kavanagh, Josh Martin, Jamie Kavanagh; Tadhg Kelly, John Dunne (0-1 free), John McCormack; Eoin Kelly (capt., 0-10, 7 frees, 1 ‘65), Martin O’Connor; Jack Regan, Eddie Black (0-3), Lee Levingston; Cathal Doyle (0-4), Edward Dunbar (0-2), Cathal Dunbar (0-1). Subs. - Stephen Kavanagh for McCormack (31), McCormack for E. Dunbar, inj. (50), Peadair Cowman for Regan (56), also Bobby McKeown, Alan Carton, Adam Hogan, Paddy Dunbar, Michael Fitzgerald.
Hollow Rovers: Mark Quigley; Ken Doyle, John Dunne, Jamie Roban; Colm Redmond, Mark Morris (capt.), Alan Doyle; Liam Pender (1-4, 0-3 frees), Seamus Doyle; Michael Kinsella, Gavin Watchorn, Barry Doyle; Cian Fitzhenry (0-4, 1 free), Diarmuid Doyle (1-2, 0-2 frees), Tom Lambert. Subs. - Jack Bates for Lambert (43), Eric Nolan for K. Doyle (43), also Conor Coleman, Michael Doyle, Barry Redmond, Mark Kehoe.
Referee: James Owens (Askamore).
The victorious HWH-Bunclody squad prior to the county final last week.
Martin O’Connor of HWH-Bunclody attempts to block Liam Pender (Hollow Rovers).
The beaten finalists from Hollow Rovers.
Gavin Watchorn of Duffry Rovers is tackled by HWH-Bunclody’s Jamie Kavanagh.