Shamrocks 6-12, Carbery Rangers 3-12
Shamrocks Minor hurlers added the Co C league to the championship that they won back in September with a deserved 9 point win over Carbery Rangers in Newcestown on Sunday afternoon last. Shamrocks were fancied to win this going in and did so but Carbery Rangers made them battle all the way for the victory, in conditions which were just about expected for this time of the year – the ground was heavy enough but it was playable.
Shamrocks played with the strong wind in the first half and led 1-3 to 0-0 inside the first 10 minutes after Rory Horgan had scored an early Shamrocks goal. Darragh Scriven and Aonghus Boland also got on the score sheet for Shamrocks early on. Carbery Rangers scored their first point after 8 minutes and Shamrocks led 1-3 to 0-1. It was generally agreed that the strong wind was worth at least a 2 goal advantage at HT and Shamrocks worked hard to reach that target as HT approached. Rangers were tough opponents and battled hard and stayed in touch with a couple of points into the wind. Shamrocks were hitting aimless balls high into the air instead of trying to find the 2 inside forwards. The wides began to pile up. However, after being quiet up until then, Shamrocks got the boost of 3 David Andrews goals before HT which sandwiched a Rangers goal. Andrew O’Grady was on form from frees and 65’s and the last score of the half saw him point free from 105 yards out (yes we measured it!). At HT Shamrocks were happy to lead 4-6 to 1-4.
Carbery Rangers turned to play with the wind in the second half but Shamrocks battled hard to maintain their 10 point lead. The teams swopped some early points and at the three quarter stage Shamrocks still led by 10 points, 4-10 to 1-9. Carbery Rangers staged a mini revival around then to give themselves some hope by scoring 1-1 and Cormac Scriven in the Shamrocks goal was forced to pull off a few smart saves as well. However, his brother Darragh and Tom Murphy scored vital points before Andrew O’Grady struck with a great goal after a great run through the middle of the Carbery Rangers defence. Shamrocks now led by 5-11 to 2-10 with 10 minutes left but things weren’t home and hosed yet as Rangers were hurling with a lot of belief at this point. They scored another goal and closed the gap further but up went Shamrocks and super sub Christopher Hayes buried a 6th Shamrocks goal after another long run in from the wing. He soon followed up with a point from play and that was it, Shamrocks were Co Champions again.
A truly mnagnificent effort from this Minor set up all year. There are so many people to thank but first and foremost its the players. They have been fantastic and have responded to the training and matches in a positive way since last October when they started training, I wouldn’t even begin to guess how many times they have met up as a panel. Well done to the management team of David Nolan, Peter Crowley, Dick Andrews, Kieran Lynam, John “Socket” Twomey and Kevin O’Grady who were ably assisted by John Jordan all year long. They have put in hundreds of hours on the pitch and in the planning room for this year to happen. They also run the U16’s hence the big backroom team. A massive part of the success has been Garrett Flynn as physical trainer who has been at every match and training session all year as well and brings a professionalism to everything he has done. Its easy for players then to respond to that.
It wasn’t easy to rise up for a match in November in the league on a cold afternoon in West Cork but about 40 hardy Shamrocks souls brought their voices and colour to the occasion. They and others have been wonderful all year and have travelled all over the county to support the team. Many thanks to them.
Captain Aonghus Boland accepted his 4th trophy after the match and thanked everyone and wished a sporting Carbery Rangers all the best. For Aonghus and Rory Boland (and David Raleigh who was unavailable today), this was their last ever Minor match and what a way to finish – with a trophy. We wish them well and we fully hope and expect to see them in a Shamrocks jersey at both u21 and Junior level starting next year! The rest of the players are all underage again next year when Shamrocks step up to the B grade. Who would have thought that 18 months ago!
Panel: C. Scriven, S. Kidney, S. Kelleher, T. Murphy, M. Hitchmough, N. Hayes, D. Scriven, C. O’Grady, A. O’Grady, A. Boland, D. Andrews, R. Horgan, C. Hayes, D. Barry, E. Desmond, B. Crowley, R. Mehigan, S. Flavin, K. Murphy.