Anne’s aces defeat the hosts
Ryan and Berry lay solid midfield platform for victors
ST. ANNE’S 1-10 OULART-THE BALLAGH 0-7
THE BEAUTY of this game was evident as St. Anne’s managed to overcome some erratic finishing to eventually emerge with a fully-deserved six-point victory over a battling Oulart-The Ballagh outfit in this hugely exciting Martin Storey Under-14 hurling Red Shield Division 2 final in Oulart on Sunday.
St. Anne’s looked the more imposing side physically which in turn helped them dominate long periods of possession. Their midfield pairing of Finn Ryan - an outstanding prospect - and Liam Berry dominating the outfield exchanges, which in turn lessened the supply of quality ball to the home side’s attack which was starved of possession for periods of this game.
The south county side opened the game impressively as they laid siege to their rivals’ goal. After Liam Berry produced a darting run to point after three minutes, they followed up with the game’s solitary goal three minutes later.
Berry produced a good run out of midfield and got the ball across the face of the goal where Eoin McMahon was perfectly positioned to finish to the net from close range.
When Finn Ryan picked off a point from midfield, St. Anne’s led by 1-2 to nil after seven minutes.
But Oulart-The Ballagh managed to lift the siege as Oisín Dunne and Michael O’Brien came into the game.
Two pointed Simon Roche frees hauled them right back into contention, but St. Anne’s responded with two Cathal Murphy points, one from a free.
After John Lyndon and Murphy (free) exchanged points, the sides went on to produce some fine direct hurling.
This resulted in an exchange of points between Ryan and Roche (free) to leave St. Anne’s with a 1-7 to 0-4 interval lead, which would have been greater but for some erratic finishing.
Oulart-The Ballagh opened the second-half impressively as Simon Roche had a shot for goal excellently tipped over the bar by St. Anne’s ‘keeper Jack Kelly.
Having endured some pressure, St. Anne’s bounced right back into the breeze as Cathal Murphy pointed two frees, leaving his side leading by 1-9 to 0-5 after 35 minutes.
The hurling became fast and furious as both sides sought scores. Cathal Kennedy and Oisín Dunne (‘65) tagged on points, leaving five separating the sides entering the closing minutes (1-9 to 0-7).
With Oulart-The Ballagh pushing players forward in search of scores, they were hit on the break, with Liam Berry sending over a long-range point to make sure of the title for his side.
St. Anne’s: Jack Kelly; Jack Martin, Shane Ryan, Rúairí Flannery; Eoin McMahon (1-0), Andrew Moran, Dylan Moran; Liam Berry (0-2), Finn Ryan (0-3); Bobby Reville, Páidí Doyle, Darragh Browne; Darragh Sinnott, Cathal Murphy (0-5, 4 frees), Paudie Power. Subs. - Conor Kennedy for Sinnott, Justin McMahon for E. McMahon, Darragh Jones for Kennedy, Cillian Donovan for D. Moran, Cian Walsh for Martin, also Kevin Byrne (injured).
Oulart-The Ballagh: Jason Rossiter; Jake Stamp, Lee Doyle, Eoin Mongan; Conor Blake, Oisín Dunne (0-1 ‘65), Cian O’Connor; Seamus Ormonde, Dylan Butler; Simon Roche (0-4, 3 frees), Michael O’Brien, Eanna Swords; Frank Gallagher, John Lyndon (0-1), Cathal Kennedy (0-1). Subs. - Jack Dunne for Gallagher, also Georgie Kelly, J.D. Masterson, Oisín Moore, Matthew Ryan, Ben Harpur, Peter Wickham, Daniel Gallagher, Aaron Royce, Alex Howlin, James O’Leary.
Referee: Francis Neville (Shelmaliers).
The runners-up from Oulart-The Ballagh.
The St. Anne’s boys celebrate their shield success.
Andrew Moran of St. Anne’s about to strike the ball away from Michael O’Brien (Oulart-The Ballagh).
Cian O’Connor of Oulart-The Ballagh breaks away with the ball.