Shamrocks 0-16, Tracton 1-11
Shamrocks are back in the championship proper after this gutsy win over Tracton on Friday evening in Carrigaline. The stakes were high for Shamrocks as they would have been out of the championship if they had lost. But they responded to a late Tracton surge to battle to a deserved 2 point win.
Shamrocks played against a strong breeze in the first half and turned in their best display of the year. They were never lead and had opened up a 0-7 to 0-2 lead after 20 minutes and they were playing with real intensity and spirit. Andrew O’Grady was on form from frees, Chris O’NEill scored a point from midfield, Stephen O’Neill put one over from an acute angle and their tails were up. Tracton punished some fouls from Shamrocks just before halftime with a brace and that left it 0-8 to 0-6 for Shamrocks at HT.
The second half was a real battle. Cormac Scriven in the Shamrocks goal made a brilliant full lenght diving save from a Tracton penalty at 0-9 to 0-6 and soon after Shamrocks went 0-10 to 0-6 up. From here on until the final few minutes. Shamrocks found scores much harder to come by and Tracton started to win all the puckouts. Shamrocks had drifted out of the game and the Tracton free taker was punishing any Shamrocks fouls. Midway through the second half they had drawn level and after Shamrocks had gone a point ahead through Stevie O’Neill, Tracton pounced for a great goal at the other end and suddenly they were 3 points up with 10 minutes left.
This is where Shamrocks stood up and were counted and refused to panic. The two Scrivens were on the scoresheet (keeper Cormac with his second long ranger) and Andrew O’Grady put over a free after Tom Langton and sub Darragh O’Sullivan combined to engineer a close in free. The game drifted into injury time and the next score was going to be vital. Shamrocks won vital possession around the middle and Stephen O’Neill set up Darragh O’Sullivan who was foulded again 30 yards out from the posts. Shamrocks up a point via O’Grady. Then Grady himself won a free way out on the wing and squeezed that one over and soon after ref Michael Harrington blew the full time whistle.
Shamrocks played their best hurling of the year on Friday night and will no doubt improve from this performance. They really got stuck in and displayed an appetite for hard work and regurarly crowded out the Tracton man in possession. The work rate was high and every man can take a bow on a job well done, they ran themselves into the ground. No news as yet as to when or who they play next but they can relax for a few days now and enjoy this one!
Team: C. Scriven, S. Andrews, C. Kidney, J. Browne, M. Hitchmough, S. Collins, B. Mulqueen, T. Langton, C. O’Neill, A. Boland, A. O’Grady, A. McCarthy, S. O’Neill, D. Scriven, D. Andrews. Sub used – D. O’Sullivan.