Shamrocks 4-8, Crosshaven 1-6
Shamrocks as expected are through to the next round of the Junior Hurling Championship after this mertied victory over a battling Crosshaven side in Carrigaline on Thursday night.
There is no doubting that Shamrocks were the better team on a difficult night for hurling. They had the better first touch, striking and goal scoring ability, in particular in the full forward line and this was really the difference between the teams. The weather didnt allow for any kind of fancy hurling and with Shamrocks poor enough record in the last 4/5 years in this competition, a win at this stage is all that matters and despite a poor second half, they can now focus on football championship and then the quarter final of the hurling at a later date while Crosshaven are going home. Thats the reality.
Shamrocks played against the wind in the first half and did well. They controlled possession early on but it was Crosshaven who were on the board first after 10 minutes. However, Shamrocks responded in the best way and indeed, you wont see a better goal all year. Straight from the puckout, Seanán Collins pulled on a ball on the ground first time into Gary Beatty at fullforward who controlled it moving away from goal. Meanwhile Fergus O’Neill had set off through the middle from midfield and Garys pass into his path at full tilt was on a platter and Fergus duly gathered and walloped home the leather from 10 yards. A goal to grace any occasion, especially in the conditions.
This was the catalyst for Shamrocks to really open up and they played some excellent hurling to set up the forwards with plenty possession. Seanán Collins, on free duty until he went off injured in the second half whipped over a pair while goalkeeper Michael O’Neills sweet long rang striking drew 2 swift points from 70 yards out. Shamrocks were now in command and they added another goal when the ever dangerous Stephen Keane kicked home a major 5 minutes before halftime. Shamrocks went into the break in a comfortable position at 2-6 to 0-2 ahead.
The second half naturally saw a deterioration in the Shamrocks performance and might be cause for concern down the line. While the 2 goals were very well worked scores from play, featuring clever play again from Stephen Keane who assisted both (Gary Beatty and Tony O’Mahony), not one point came from play and indeed only 3 or 4 shots were even registered in the whole half. Crosshaven battled away as is their want and the closest they came was within 5 points. But Shamrocks responded with Beattys goal and this really did kill off Crosshaven.
So plenty of food for thought for the Shamrocks management before the quarter final outing (I think its against the loser of Ballymartle and Valley Rovers). Shamrocks will switch over to football now for Saturday week and will then refocus on the hurling. For now, lets get everyone out training, starting this Saturday at 7pm.
Team: M. O’Neill, J. Tuohy, S. O’Reilly, J. Browne, M. Prout, B. Sweeney, S. Andrews, F. O’Neill, A. McCarthy, S. O’Neill, S. Collins, B. Cusack, J. Shanahan, G. Beatty, S. Keane. Subs used – T. O’Mahony, D. Collins, C. Kidney, D. O’Neill.