Rosslare rule in extra-time
Crossabeg-Ballymurn pipped in closely-fought clash
ST. MARY’S (R’LARE) 1-9 C’BEG-B’MURN 1-8 (AET)
A STORMING finish that produced some amazing scores sent this game into extra-time before St. Mary’s (Rosslare) edged out Crossabeg-Ballymurn in this excellent Martin Storey Under-14 festival of hurling Gold Plate final in Oulart on Sunday.
As the game entered the closing four minutes, St. Mary’s looked comfortable when holding a fourpoint lead, but within the space of three minutes the game was transformed.
Crossabeg-Ballymurn forced a goal with three minutes remaining, to leave the minimum separating the sides, while one minute from the end, a glorious Tadgh English point had the sides level.
But the drama was by no means over as, one minute into additional time, Niall Cullen pointed the Crossabeg-Ballymurn side in front.
Having led for so long, St. Mary’s still had one last effort that produced a free which Tadgh Brohan pointed to bring the game into extra-time. Still little separated the sides in extra-time, but the finishing power of the Mary’s boys edged them over the line.
There were times during this game when one would not have thought it was a Division 3 final such was the quality of the hurling from both sides, with some outstanding individual displays, and with both teams so evenly balanced it was always a game that was going to go right down to the wire.
By and large the first-half saw the respective defences on top,with the scoring limited through this period.
After some hectic play in front of goal that failed to produce a score, Crossabeg-Ballymurn eventually broke the deadlock through a lovely left-handed point from midfielder Eamonn Moran.
But the game turned on a goal, with St. Mary’s gaining the vital edge after 15 minutes when corner-forward William Lyng latched on to a breaking Tadgh Brohan free to first time to the corner of the net, giving his side a 1-0 to 0-1 lead.
After a David McCarthy point had kept Crossabeg-Ballymurn in contention, the same player minutes later forced a great save out of Mary’s ‘keeper Robbie Byrne to keep his goal intact.
Three minuted before the break an Eamonn Moran pointed 21-metre free sent the sides in level (1-0 to 0-3) at the interval.
The tempo of the game really increased on the resumption as both sides sought out the crucial scores. Tadgh English went on a great 40-metre solo before sending over a delightful point to give Crossabeg-Ballymurn a 0-4 to 1-0 lead as they opened the second-half impressively.
In fact, they could have increased their lead but a couple of point attempts from long range swayed just the wrong side of the uprights.
Following these let-offs, St. Mary’s responded with a series of attacks through the outstanding hurling of Tadgh Brohan. Brohan pointed two frees to give his side a 1-2 to 0-4 lead, but an Eamonn Moran pointed free brought the sides back level after 37 minutes.
Brohan followed with two pointed frees, while his forward colleague, Ben Power, shot over a lovely point from an acute angle in between, giving them a 1-5 to 0-5 lead.
When Brohan pointed a further free from 40 metres with seven minutes remaining, it looked as if the trophy was on its way down south.
But in the closing minutes, Crossabeg-Ballymurn pushed their big guns forward. Eamonn Moran lobbed a free into the goalmouth, with Tadgh English flashing the ball to the net at the right-hand post, while just on time an Anthony O’Connor point had the sides level.
As the game moved into additional time, Niall Cullen edged his side in front, but in one last push the Mary’s forced a 25-metre free to the left of goal that Brohan sent between the posts to leave the sides level (1-7 each) at the end of 50-odd minutes.
The opening five minutes of extra-time failed to produce a score, but after Eamonn Moran and Brohan kept the sides level in the second period from placed balls, it took a superb Brohan 40-metre free from out on the sideline to eventually separate the sides as Mary’s rejoiced with a dramatic victory.
St. Mary’s: Robbie Byrne; Rory Donohoe, Danny Howlin, Diarmuid Roche; Darragh Hayes, Shane Fortune, Conor Murphy; Tadgh Hayes, Tadgh Brohan (0-8 frees); Adam Lambert, Ben Power (0-1), David O’Rourke; Kyle Sinnott, Kyle Clarke, William Lyng (1-0). Subs. - Ciarán Byrne for Sinnott, Eoin Murphy for Donohoe, Eoin Martin for Lambert, inj., also Eoghan Byrne, Shea Ryan, Adam Murphy, Josh Duggan, Seán Clifford, Ciarán Woodcock, Garvan Woodcock, Seán Cullen, Dean Goldsmith.
Crossabeg-Ballymurn: Seán Hennessy; Jack Redmond, Anthony O’Connor, Adam Murphy; Matthew Bishop, Tadgh English (1-2), Ross Walker; William Murphy, Eamonn Moran (0-4, 3 frees); Ryan Doyle, Niall Cullen (0-1), Jack Purcell; Jake Roche, David McCarthy (0-1), Robin Hawkins. Subs. - Joshua Botha for Roche, Jack Halpin for Hawkins, Rory Davis for Purcell, Killian O’Toole for Doyle, also Evan O’Leary, Kevin Berry.
Referee: Mick Lanigan (Shelmaliers).
The victorious St. Mary’s (Rosslare) squad.
Niall Cullen (Crossabeg-Ballymurn) soloing away from Shane Fortune (St. Mary’s, Rosslare).
Tadhg Hayes of St. Mary’s (Rosslare) under pressure from David McCarthy and Niall Cullen.
Diarmuid Roche of St. Mary’s is pursued by Joshua Botha.