Molloy at his best
County player leads Gorey charge
NAOMH EANNA NA PIARSAIGH 1-12 0-10
COUNTY PLAYER Cian Molloy was at his influential best when he guided Naomh Eanna to a 1-12 to 0-10 victory over Na Piarsaigh in the Wexford People Under-17 hurling Premier shield final in St. Patrick’s Park, Enniscorthy.
What makes the town team’s victory all the more remarkable is the fact that they didn’t score at all until the 21st minute when Cian Browne plundered a major, but they were completely transformed in the second-half to take the honours against the HWH-Bunclody and Davidstown-Courtnacuddy combination.
Na Piarsaigh were well served by the assured free-taking of Ciarán Regan early on, and he scored two placed-balls in the first seven minutes, and also flashed over from play after being teed up by Lee Levingstone.
Gorey hit eight wides in a wayward first-half, while a third Regan free made it 0-4 to nil after eleven minutes.
However, Naomh Eanna awoke from their slumber when Molloy’s shot at the posts was swatted out by Derry Mahon, but Cian Browne gathered the rebound before burying to the net despite having a couple of opponents tackling him.
Still, a foul on Ciarán Kavanagh generated another successful Regan free, and while Jack Doran flighted over a fine point from midrange, a response from Eoin McDonnell meant that Na Piarsaigh led by 0-7 to 1-1 at the change of ends.
But Gorey were a different animal when play recommenced, with J.J. Twamley pointing from the left side after only 19 seconds, and Molloy combining with Darragh Canavan to edge them within one.
Twamley then had a shot at goal saved at the near post, although Molloy pointed the subsequent ‘65, and when Canavan latched onto an opposition puck-out on 37 minutes, they suddenly led for the first time (1-5 to 0-7).
An outstanding point over his shoulder from Molloy doubled their cushion, only for Na Piarsaigh to restore parity again through Regan (free) and James Black.
However, Gorey had one last purple patch in the final twelve minutes, as Twamley split the posts after switching to left wing-forward, while four more Molloy placed balls (three frees, one ’65) gave them 1-12 to 0-9 breathing space down the home straight.
Regan pegged a point back for Na Piarsaigh entering injury time but it wasn’t enough to alter the verdict as Naomh Eanna added another accolade to their rapidly growing collection.
Naomh Eanna: Lee Cushe; Brian Cushe, Cian Kenny, Micheál Kennedy; Cathal Stokes, Seán Dowling (capt.), Darragh Canavan (0-1); Jack Doran (0-1), Cian Molloy (0-8, 4 frees, 2 ‘65s); Mikey Cushe, Barry Levingston, Darragh Levingston; Seán O’Callaghan, Cian Browne (1-0), J.J. Twamley (0-2). Subs. - Tomas Wheatley for O’Callaghan (45), Scott Murphy for D. Levingston (57), also Cormac Doyle, Ryan Connolly, Caellum Travers, Seánie Quirke.
Na Piarsaigh: Derry Mahon; Alan Carton, Eddie Kelly, Jim Doyle; Cathal Dunbar (capt.), Lee Levingstone, Rory Loughlin; Ciarán Kavanagh, Páraic Nolan; Mylie Connors, Ciarán Regan (0-7, 5 frees), Jerry Connors; Ewan Furlong, James Black (0-2, 1 free), Eoin McDonnell (0-1). Subs. - Aaron Nicholson, Tomás Jeffers, Charlie Dunne, Thomas Fitzgerald, Conor Blight, Oisín O Ceallaigh, Ciarán Nolan.
Referee: David O’Leary (Rathnure).
The shield-winning Naomh Eanna Minors. Successful captain Seán Dowling with Angela McCormack of Coiste na nOg and Brian Carty, representing People Newspapers.
The Na Piarsaigh combination, an amalgamation of HWH-Bunclody and Davidstown-Courtnacuddy. Naomh Eanna’s Darragh Canavan is faced by Eoin McDonnell.
Brian Cushe of Naomh Eanna soloing out of defence as Na Piarsaigh’s Mylie Connors looks on.