Shamrocks 2-12, Cobh 2-11
This was heart stopping stuff down in Camden on Sunday night but at the end of it all, Shamrocks are through to the final of the Rebel Óg East C Hurling Championship final after a one point win over gallant losers Cobh.
This game had it all really. Brilliant scores, goals and points, red cards, saves, late drama, heart, a change of colours for Shamrocks to yellow jerseys due to a colour clash with Cobh, sweat, speed, skill and unfortunately in the end, a winner and a loser. And lucky for Shamrocks, its they that came out tagged with the winners label on this occasion, but only just.
Shamrocks played with the wind in the opening half on a muggy wet evening for hurling and they were straight out of the traps. They dominated possession and went 6 points to 1 up after 15 minutes. Rory Horgan, David Andrews, Andrew O’Grady from 2 frees, Coby O’Grady and Darragh Scriven who had opened the scoring all had Shamrocks points and they were motoring well. Then Cobh were reduced to 11 players (12 a side) when one of their players got a straight red and it looked all over at this stage really. But sometimes in sport, the team with the man disadvantage can lift their game and so they did. They slowly got to grips with the Shamrocks challenge and chipped away at the scoreboard coming up to halftime and rattled the net just before it to leave the score 0-9 to 1-3 for Shamrocks at HT with it all to play for in the second half.
In the second half, Shamrocks seemed to drift out of the game while Cobhs main players, including their their full back, and in particular their powerful midfielder and wing forward ran the show out around the middle of the field. At the three quarter stage, Cobh were dominating possession and their free taker was red hot from frees and 65’s; he put over everything from all angles. Shamrocks couldnt do anything and going into the last 10 minutes, Cobh had drawn level after Darragh Scriven and David Andrews had swopped points with the Cobh free taker. Then Cobh scored their 2nd goal and that was soon followed by a quick Cobh point from way out the wing and the Shamrocks challenge was sinking fast; Cobh were up 2-9 to 0-11 with 6 minutes to go. However, Shamrocks never panicked. They made a few switches and refused to give up. They got the all important first goal with 2 minutes to go when desperate Cobh defending failed to keep sub David Raleigh from tapping home a rebound from a David Andrews shot.
This was championship hurling at its best now and all of a sudden Shamrocks had a bit of momentum. 2 attacks later, with Cobh a solitary point ahead with the game entering injury time, a long Shamrocks delivery was batted down by Rory Horgan to himself and he slammed home the sliotar from 5 yards out to the back of the Cobh net. Incredibly, after watching Cobh do most of the hurling from the 15th minute, Shamrocks were now ahead. Cobh attacked quickly and won a free out the wing. They elected to put it over the bar and the referee blew the final whistle from the puckout. Shamrocks had stolen this one no doubt but it showed that hurling is never over until the final whistle. Cobh were devasted and Shamrocks were delirious. They now have a final to look forward to sometime next week against Lisgoold.
Panel: Cormac Scriven, Shane Kelleher, Nathan Hayes, Tom Murphy, Mark Hitchmough, Seán Kidney, Darragh Scriven, Andrew O’Grady, Aonghus Boland, Coby O’Grady, David Andrews, Rory Horgan, David Raleigh, Christopher Hayes, David Barry, Adam O’Keeffe, Killian Murphy, Matthew Field, Shane Flavin, Brendan Crowley, Eric Desmond.