Hard- fought final
THERE were celebrations in Coolera/ Strandhill as the club’s U12 hurlers recently won the County Shield Final.
They beat Tubbercurry by 7 scores to 4 scores in Markievicz Park in what was a good match from both teams.
Coolera/ Strandhill were inspired by their weekend trip to the All Ireland Hurling Semi- Final in Croke Park and the boys hit the ground running, attacking the Tubbercurry goal from the throw- in.
Unlucky with a couple of early efforts from Mark Keane and Tadhg Doggett it took a point from Oisín Hennessy off his less favoured side, under pressure, to settle the boys into the final.
This was shortly followed by another point from captain Tadhg Doggett.
Tubbercurry then started to run at the Coolera/ Strandhill defence and levelled the scores at 2 each.
Cathal Hughes showed his bravery in goal by making a couple of good saves to keep Tubber at bay.
Strandhill then upped the ante and scored 2 more points from midfield dynamo Oisín Hennessy and centre back Tadgh Doggett from long range frees.
Tubbercurry rallied briefly to get another score but Oisín Hennessy scored another point from play receiving a pass from midfield partner Shane O’Loughlin to leave just two points between the teams at half- time 5 scores to 3 scores.
The second half started well for Coolera/ Strandhill with the hard- working Oisín Hennessy scoring another point from a free after a foul on Ultan Bree.
Again Tubbercurry rallied and pulled back another score to make it 6- 4.
At this stage the defence came into its own with Cathal Hughes again throwing himself in front of shots, helped by Aidan Moran and Jack McDaniel who cleared their lines well.
Then a Coolera/ Strandhill breakaway attack with some fine link play between Shane O’Loughlin and Mark Keane set up Tadhg Dogget for a point stretching the lead to 7 scores to 4 scores. It was fitting that the defence did not concede in the last five minutes with some fine interceptions by Kevin Davitt, Aidan Moran and relieving clearances by Oisin Whelan and Jack McDaniel easing the pressure on the Coolera/ Strandhill goal.
When referee John Doyle blew the final whistle, Coolera/ Strandhill triumphed on a score- line of 7 scores to 4 in a hard fought final that was played in the best traditions of Fair Play.
Both teams were a credit to their coaches in the manner that they played and the way that they conducted themselves after the final whistle during the presentation.
The future looks bright for these young hurlers as the majority of the team will be underage again next year. Coolera/ Strandhill: Cathal Hughes: Aidan Moran, Jack McDaniel, Tadhg Doggett ( 0- 3), Kevin Davitt, Oisin Hennesy ( 0- 4), Shane O’Loughlin, Jack Feeney, Mark Keane, Oisín Whelan, Ronan Adams: subs Ultan Bree, Finn McDaniel, James Lynch, Aidan McLoughlin, Thomas Kinane.