Shamrocks 4-11, Tracton 1-11
The old adage,’ goals win games’ and so for Shamrocks four smashing goals, two in either half copper fastened a very deserved and merited win over old rivals Tracton.
The earlier deluge had just receded and the playing surface on the Carrig pitch excelled. Shamrocks were first to attack and full forward Chris O’Neill hit a first splendid point. Chris brought all his sublime skills and experience to bear on this game and always responded when most needed. His goal just before the break and second half points bear this out. Youngster Darragh Scriven was the provider when Captain Senan Collins hit two great goals, one in each half. Collins final tally of 2-5 reflected on his mighty performance.
Shamrocks competitive edge and fine fettle enabled them to take the game to their opponents on numerous occasions and the lengthy striking from ‘keeper Michael O’Neill had plenty of balls dropping deep in the Tracton half. With the defenders showing up well Tracton failed to score a goal in the opening half. Shamrocks led 2-4 to 0-7 at the break.
The second half started like the first one with a point from Darragh O’Sullivan after 20 seconds. Tracton moved up a gear and exerted much pressure, but steely determination and the ability to get more goals was our yardstick for victory. Mighty veteran Stephen Keane hit a cracking goal and Chris O’Neill went on to record some more vital points A great ball hit in from the wing by Darragh Scriven was drifting across the goal, going wide, but Senan Collins, now in the full forward position make a mighty leap to divert it to the top corner of the Tracton net. Victory was then assured.
Alan McCarthy, despite an earlier injury scare had one of his best games and his striking of dead balls excelled. Minor player Sean Kidney played like a veteran and was not overawed by the occasion. The sterling full backline of O’Reilly, Andrews and Kidney were unremitting and Sweeney and Mulqueen used their vast experience to push our cause for victory. Joseph Shanahan, who operated a mid-field, made many testing runs at the Tracton defenders, but he was not found wanting when he filtered in behind his own defence to clear vital balls when Tracton ‘threw the kitchen sink at us’. When the final whistle came we had 4-11 on the board, a fine tally indeed for a first round game. The players deserve full credit for this overdue and much desired victory. Coach Declan O’Neill, acclaimed their win and acknowledged their huge input on the training field.
Team: Michael O’Neill (0-1), Stephen O’Reilly, Senan Andrews, Cathal Kidney, Barry Mulqueen, Brian Sweeney, Seán Kidney, Joseph Shanahan (0-1), Alan McCarthy (0-1), Darragh Scriven, Seanán Collins (2-5), Stephen Keane (1-0), Darragh O’Sullivan (0-1), Chris O’Neill (1-3), Fergus O’Neill. Subs (used) – Ronan Murphy, Dave O’Neill, (unused) Roy Twomey, Jack Wilson, Pa Andrews.
Junior Hurlers Huddle before the game