Oylegate-Glenbrien advance to Leinster decider
OYLEGATE-G’BRIEN GRAIGUE-B’CALLAN 2-15 1-12
A DOMINANT second-half saw Oylegate-Glenbrien through to the Killeedy G.A.A. club-promoted Leinster Junior ‘B’ hurling final as they came from behind to see off Kilkenny’s Graigue-Ballycallan in Raheenagh, Co. Limerick, on Sunday.
With a stiff breeze having a major bearing on the game, the eventual winners would have been happy to only be trailing by four points at the break, as they thwarted the Graigue-Ballycallan advances on numerous occasions.
Barry Dunne was doing his bit at the other end, hitting five points for the Wexford champions, while their Kilkenny opponents found first-half scores from Jason Dermody, Thomas Ryan and Willie O’Connor.
Oylegate-Glenbrien still looked like they were the more competent side and, when Conor Nolan added a point to their tally to make it 0-10 to 0-6 at the break, it was evident that there was plenty more to come from the boys in blue.
And that proved to be the case as they got down to business immediately, hitting three points within four minutes on the resumption thanks to Barry Dunne and Tomás Cosgrave.
Shane Hennessy replied for Graigue-Ballycallan but they found themselves behind in the 38th minute when Joe Dunne struck the net with a tidy finish.
This fired the eventual winners up to no end and, after Barry Dunne swapped scores with Jason Dermody midway through the half, they never really looked back.
Barry Dunne continued to be deadly accurate from play and placed balls, while Peter Rowley, Evan Kelly and the man of the match, Pádraig O’Connor, were outstanding in defence, holding their opponents scoreless for a twelve-minute period.
Jason Dermody did manage to bring his side back within touching distance with a well-taken goal with five minutes remaining.
But minutes later, a well-taken individual goal from the captain, Marty Kelly, decided matters and set his side up for a Leinster final meeting with Galway’s Ballinderreen in the new year.
Oylegate-Glenbrien last contested this final in 2007-’08, losing to Emeralds of Urlingford.
Oylegate-Glenbrien: Eddie Mernagh; Aidan Murphy, Pádraig O’Connor, Evan Kelly; Garry Conroy, Niall Parker, Peter Rowley; Marty Kelly (1-1, 0-1 free), Anthony Doyle; Conor Nolan (0-1), Pa Cullen, Barry Dunne (0-11, 6 frees); Joe Dunne (1-0), Eoin O’Mahoney (0-1), Tomás Cosgrave (0-1). Subs. - Pierce Murphy for Cosgrave (48), Trevor Moulton for A. Murphy (56).
Graigue-Ballycallan: Pádraic Delaney; Mark Fitzpatrick, Eoin Corcoran, Joey Corcoran; Pat Robinson, Tom Dunphy, Philip Cahill; Killian Egan, Thomas Ryan (0-2 frees); Jason Dermody (1-6, 0-3 frees), Dermot Ryall (0-1), Willie O’Connor (0-1); Shane Hennessy (0-2), Adam O’Brien, Philip Heafey. Sub. - Alan Corcoran for Heafey (45).
Referee: Jason Mullins (Limerick).