O’Leary’s ac­cu­racy re­warded

Mar­tin’s cap­tain strikes 2-9 in com­pre­hen­sive vic­tory

Wexford People - - SPORT - BRIAN CARTY U15HPS fi­nal in St. Pat’s Park

THE EX­CEL­LENCE of cap­tain Diar­muid O’Leary steered St. Mar­tin’s to a de­served 3-11 to 0-8 tri­umph over HWH-Bun­clody in the En­nis­cor­thy Guardian Un­der-15 hurl­ing Premier shield fi­nal, as his per­sonal haul of 2-9 put the Car­low bor­der side to the sword at a chilly St. Patrick’s Park, En­nis­cor­thy.

Al­though the even­tual vic­tors fell be­hind early on to a cou­ple of points from their fast-start­ing op­po­nents, once the im­pos­ing Zach Bres­lin forced home a goal on 19 min­utes, they never looked back there­after.

The ac­cu­rate Oisín Ó Ceal­laigh opened pro­ceed­ings from a free he won, while Eoin McDon­nell’s pass into space was pointed on the turn by Robert Black.

Bres­lin knocked over from a break off Bobby Whe­lan on five min­utes, while O’Leary lev­elled pro­ceed­ings from a free af­ter a push on Bres­lin.

In­ci­den­tally, those first two Mar­tin’s scores weren’t ac­knowl­edged on the score­board un­til ref­eree Bren­dan Holo­han in­ter­vened quickly af­ter notic­ing, but the trend of play was eas­ier to fol­low af­ter­wards as three con­sec­u­tive Ó Ceal­laigh scores (two frees) nudged Bun­clody 0-5 to 0-3 ahead by the 17th minute.

But the game was turned on its head two min­utes later as O’Leary’s free dropped short but Bres­lin caught and buried to the net.

In fact, Bres­lin was twice de­nied by brave point-blank saves from Bun­clody net­min­der Faolán Ó Ceal­laigh, with the sec­ond in­ter­ven­tion on 27 min­utes par­tic­u­larly out­stand­ing as it came at him at head-height.

But St. Mar­tin’s were non­plussed by that hero­ism as O’Leary planted a penalty to the bot­tom cor­ner of the net from the last puck of the half to build a cru­cial 2-4 to 0-6 cush­ion at the in­ter­val.

O’Leary pointed not long af­ter pulling a goal chance wide and also pointed in full stride from Bres­lin’s catch to make it 2-6 to 0-6.

Clearly at the top of his game, O’Leary re­ally ham­mered home his au­thor­ity when smash­ing in St. Mar­tin’s third goal af­ter some good work by Daniel Hamil­ton on 42 min­utes.

HWH-Bun­clody had twice as many wides as scores by the 53th minute, but tagged on late con­so­la­tion points from McDon­nell (free) and Tommy Dee-Atkin­son to still fin­ish twelve points in ar­rears against a slick-look­ing Pierces­town-based out­fit.

St. Mar­tin’s: Christo­pher Ryan; Harry Quirke, Kevin Reck, Robert Curtin; Brian Codd, Rory Dev­ereux, Eoin Or­monde; Joe Mer­nagh (0-1), Conor King; Josh Whitty, Diar­muid O’Leary (capt., 2-9, 1-0 pen., 0-3 frees, 0-1 ’65), Derry Crow­ley; Bobby Whe­lan, Zach Bres­lin (1-1), Tom Con­nick. Subs. - Daniel Hamil­ton for Curtin (30), Oisín Ka­vanagh for Whe­lan (43), Conor Dempsey for Hamil­ton (50), also John Codd.

HWH-Bun­clody: Faolán Ó Ceal­laigh; Rory Raleigh, Tommy Dee-Atkin­son (0-1), Thomas Cow­man; Derry Ma­hon (joint capt.), Eoin McDon­nell (joint capt., 0-1 free), Ben Mar­tin; Dar­ragh Far­rell, Rory Byrne; Mylie Con­nors, Robert Black (0-1), Ciarán Whit­ing; Oisín Ó Ceal­laigh (0-5, 4 frees), Paddy Con­nors, Desmond O’Con­nor. Subs. - Liam Car­ton for O’Con­nor (35), Conor Burke for Whit­ing (45), Jimmy Con­nors for Raleigh, inj. (49), also Michael Doyle, Hu­bert Wie­locha, Sam Black, Páraic Doyle.

Ref­eree: Bren­dan Holo­han (Rath­garogue Cushin­stown).

The suc­cess­ful St. Mar­tin’s squad.

The beaten fi­nal­ists from HWH-Bun­clody.

Joe Mer­nagh (St. Mar­tin’s) is pur­sued by Ben Mar­tin (HWH-Bun­clody).

Josh Whitty of St. Mar­tin’s pass­ing the ball to a col­league.

Diar­muid O’Leary with David Tobin (Coiste na nOg Sec­re­tary) and Brian Carty, rep­re­sent­ing Peo­ple News­pa­pers.

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