Solid defence the catalyst for glory
SOME SOLID defensive foundations were the catalyst for Blackwater as they deservedly claimed the New Ross Standard Under-14 hurling Division 1 shield title with a 1-9 to 0-7 victory over Wexford District rivals St. Martin’s in an enjoyable county final played at a showery St. Patrick’s Park.
Indeed, the seasiders’ togetherness in defence and commitment to the cause were infectious throughout, and that collective stand pretty much thwarted everything that a capable St. Martin’s side threw at them, a fact emphasised by the fact that the Piercestown/Murrintown natives only managed one point from play over the 50-odd minutes of action.
They looked sharp on occasion at the other end of the field as well, with Brian Óg Curran opening their account from a free after only 45 seconds, and they really improved their chances of glory with the game’s only goal on seven minutes.
Jay Mooney had seen a genuine goal chance whizz the wrong side of the post in the previous attack, but he didn’t let that miss seep into his sub-conscious as he powered home less than a minute later after being supplied by Ollie Murphy.
Three consecutive frees from Diarmuid O’Leary edged St. Martin’s to within 1-1 to 0-3 by the tenth minute, but Curran responded with two similar efforts to ensure Blackwater enjoyed a 1-3 to 0-4 lead at the interval.
O’Leary registered his fourth free two minutes into the new half, and as his team-mates started to find more room to manoeuvre up front, Joe Mernagh popped up for St. Martin’s sole point from play on 28 minutes.
Level now, St. Martin’s must have been confident of reeling in their opponents, but instead were met with a resurgent Blackwater outfit who picked off six points without reply to confidently take home the shield.
Ciarán Cash wriggled free to nick the lead point, Curran tagged on two more frees, Ollie Murphy pointed on the turn, while further frees from Curran and Jason Wallace from distance saw them race clear down the home stretch.
St. Martin’s defender John Codd landed a long-range free at the death, but there was no doubt whatsoever regarding the destination of the spoils by then as Blackwater already had victory in the bag.
Blackwater: Adam Cullen (joint capt.); Eugene Clarke, Liam Lynch, Adam O’Connor; Rian Sammon, Jason Wallace (0-1 free), James Whelan; Alan Malanowski (joint capt.), Ollie Murphy (0-1); Ciarán Cash (0-1), Fiachra O’Reilly, Seamus Walsh; Jay Mooney (1-0), Brian Óg Curran (0-6 frees), Ronan Malanowski. Subs. - Joseph Rossiter for R. Malanowski, also Ryan Byrne, Aidan Malanowski, Jamie Lambert, Odhran Carroll, Caolán Sammon, Seán O’Brien.
St. Martin’s: Daniel Hamilton-Foley; Rueben Lafferty, John Codd (0-1 free), Eoin Ormonde; Brian Codd, Kevin Reck, Conor King; Joe Mernagh (0-1), Josh Whitty; Rory Devereux, Zach Breslin, Derry Crowley; Oisín Kehoe, Chris Ryan, Diarmuid O’Leary (capt., 0-5 frees). Subs. - John O’Sullivan for Crowley, Oisín Kavanagh for Kehoe, Ronan Griffin for O’Sullivan, Robert Curtin for Lafferty, Harry Curtis for Devereux, also Harry Quirke, Killian Barry, Conor Dempsey, Josh Reid-Thomas, Bobby Whelan, Ke Young.
Referee: Roly Buckley (Ballyhogue).
The celebrations begin for the Blackwater boys after their five-point win over St. Martin’s in the New Ross Standard Under-14 hurling Division 1 shield final in St. Patrick’s Park, Enniscorthy.
The St. Martin’s squad prior to the New Ross Standard Under-14 hurling Division 1 shield final in St. Patrick’s Park, Enniscorthy.
Kevin Reck of St. Martin’s attempts to block Brian Og Curran.