Shamrocks 2-11, Grenagh 3-7
Shamrocks pulled of a late victory over a battling Grenagh side in the final of the hurling league, in a game played in Grenagh on Saturday afternoon. Losing by 3 points having already played 3 minutes of injury time, Grenagh could be forgiven for thing that they had gotten revenge for both championship final defeats to Shamrocks over the past 2 months. However, as is the case so often this year with this Shamrocks side, they never gave up and first Christopher Hayes scored a spectacular equalising goal into the top corner of the Grenagh net and then 2 minutes later, in the 65th minute of this thrilling contest, David Andrews scored the winning point with the last puck of the game. Grenagh were absolutely deflated while Shamrocks were delirious with a win that seemed entirely out of grasp just 5 minutes previous.
Grenagh played with the aid of a gale force wind in the first half. Shamrocks more than held their own and Andrews up top was getting them the scores, mostly from play. Shane Flavin with the opening point and Andrew O’Grady with 2 frees also got on the scoreboard. Meanwhile, the Grenagh freetaker was on form and anything inside the halfway line he was pointing. There was never more than a point between the teams in that opening half. Shamrocks were more than happy to go in at the break leading by 0-6 to 0-5 with the wind to come.
Grenagh never lay down in the second half facing the breeze. They scored an early goal in the second half after a goalmouth scramble and led 1-5 to 0-6. Shamrocks tagged on a pair of points from David Andrews and Cillian Hayes. Shamrocks then got an Andrews goal 12 minutes into the second half and led by 2 points. We thought that Shamrocks would kick on from there but Grenagh themselves showed great heart and character playing into the wind. They were the ones who were doing all the hurling now and scored another scrambled goal midway through the second half to move a point up. Both teams cancelled each other out over the next 10 minutes without scoring. Shamrocks eventually equalised with 5 minutes remaining from an Andrew O’Grady free out on the right wing which he struck beautifully.
So entering the last 5 minutes of normal time, the teams were level. The next score was always going to be vital and the home team got it after the ball broke out to their half forward. He hit a rocket to Cormac Scrivens net. Into injury time now and Grenagh led by a goal. But there had been a couple of injuries in the tough conditions and there was time left. Shamrocks stuck at it and Hayes, just like last week in the football when he scored a beauty to the top corner from wing back, struck again to level it before Andrews scored the winner, mucsh to the delight of the Shamrocks players, mentors and supporters.
Ed Warren of Rebel Óg East complimented bith teams on an excellent game of hurling for this time of year, a game that could have gone either way up until the very end. He presented the Shamrocks captain, Mark Hitchmough, with the Rebel Óg East C Hurling League trophy. Mark thanked the mentors especially after the match, people who have put massive effort into this project all year long. He also thanked the players, the parents, the supporters and Grenagh for a fantastic match.
As a result of the win, Shamrocks have now qualified for the knockout stages of the County Hurling League, which will be run off on a knockout basis.
Panel on the day: C. Scriven, D. Barry, N. Hayes, C. Hayes, M. Hitchmough, R. Meighan, A. O’Grady, J. Lynam, D. Andrews, C. Hayes, M. Field, S. Flavin, S. Downey, D. O’Mahony, E. Seymour, A. O’Keeffe.