Junior A Hurling Championship Quarter Final – 24/7
Ballinhassig 4-12, Shamrocks 2-8
A slicker Ballinhassig second team showed Shamrocks the exit door from the championship at the quarter final stage this morning at Carrrigaline and pushed them through it after a fine hours hurling. Shamrocks started well and played well up to the 6th minute after which Ballinhassig took over. Stephen O’Neill got the early Shamrocks goal and did most of the Shamrocks scoring over the hour, mostly from placed balls. Shamrocks led 1-3 to 0-2 at that stage but then Ballinhassig got completely on top of the Shamrocks half forward line and midfield and started to feed plenty ball to their inside forwards, they just knew what to do with the ball most of the time. Shamrocks couldnt win a puckout for the next 20 minutes and indiscipline crept in, Shamrocks started to give away frees all over the field. Still, coming right up to halftime Shamrocks were only 4 points behind 1-8 to 1-4 despite being completely outplayed by overall better hurlers, certainly a more threathening attack. Then Ballinhassig struck for two quick goals and we all thought it was game over at HT, 3-8 to 1-4. It really was a chastising experience for Shamrocks in that first half.
However, the second half was a diferent story up until the 28th minute when Ballinhassig finished off with 1-2. Shamrocks regigged their team and really tore into Ballinhassig. They scored a few early points and Stevie O’Neill scored a major from a 21 yard free. 3-8 to 2-5. Straight away, the same player had a penalty saved on the line and this really was the closest Shamrocks came to getting really back in the game as that was the last real goalscoring chance they created. The next 11 minutes were played without a score and that suited Ballinhassig as they led then by 3-10 to 2-7 with 10 left. Heart can only get you so far though when your up against a better balanced hurling team and Ballinhassig finished the stronger to win by a slightly flattering 11 points, considering Shamrocks excellent effort in the 3rd quarter.
So, Shamrocks hurling championship season is over for another year. When you contrast the two clubs from a hurling point of view you get scorelines like this, even against their second team. The Ballinhassig parish revolves around their hurling pitch, and their players have all played Premier Minor and U21 A Championship. Shamrocks on the other hand, up until last year, didnt even have a Minor or u21 hurling team for the past number of seasons. In fact, its quite amazing that Shamrocks finished the game with 5 under 21′s. We need to start coaching hurling properly at underage (less focus on football) and to start attracting both mentors and extra players. Until that happens, we will not compete with the Ballinhassigs of this world.
Team: R. Twomey, C. Brady, S. Collins, S. Andrews, A. McCarthy, B. Sweeney, J. Tuohy, M. Prout, C. Ronayne, G. Ronayne, F. O’Neill, C. Kidney, S. Keane, S. O’Neill, J. Shanahan. Subs used – J. Raleigh, J. Browne