Shamrocks 3-10, Lisgoold 0-14
Shamrocks hurlers added another trophy to the cabinet after claiming the MCHC after a tough battle with Lisgoold on Saturday afternoon last in Ballinlough. This game doubled up as a league game as well and as a result of the win, Shamrocks are through to the league final having topped the group.
This was a tough contest all through and both sides gave it their all. Shamrocks scored the goals at vital stages of the game and this was probably the main reason that they have the trophy tonight. Shamrocks started much the better and after David Raleigh had put over the first point, Darragh Scriven swept home a ground shot to the Lisgoold net after 7 minutes and Shamrocks had the perfect start. Lisgoold came more into the game thereafter and scored a few points to draw back the deficit at 1-2 to 0-2. The teams traded points from there until halftime. The important thing to note here is that Lisgoold never got closer than 2 points behind and every time Lisgoold scored, Shamrocks seemed able to respond at the other end; with points from David Andrews, two from Scriven (one of them a beautifully worked team move), Andrew O’Grady from a free and another well worked Aonghus Boland point. Lisgoold were hanging in there due in most part to deadly free taking. At HT Shamrocks led by that early goal, 1-6 to 0-6.
Into the early part of the second half and once again, Shamrocks had a dream opening. David Andrews floated over a pass from the sideline to Andrew O’Grady in front of the goal and he batted it down to himself 7 yards out, just right of centre and as the full back closed in, Andrew made a perfect connection with the ball off the ground and it flew into the far corner of the Lisgoold net. Shamrocks now had a 2 goal cushion. However, Lisgoold had their best spell thereafter and twice brought the deficit back to 4 points entering the last quarter. David Raleigh had another Shamrocks point by the time Shamrocks were reduced to 11 men (12 a side) after a Shamrocks player had connected with a Lisgoold player with a loose pull after being fouled himself.
At this stage, Lisgoold would have been entitled to feel that they would dominate and perhaps take over. But once again, just like in the Semi Final against Cobh, this Shamrocks team refused to panic and give up. In fact, after one or two positional moves to steady the ship, they took over and rattled off three unanswered points from Aonghus Boland, David Raleigh and Darragh Scriven, all from play. These and a vital goal from David Raleigh who swept home another rebound meant that Shamrocks were looking good for victory as they led 3-10 to 0-12 entering the last 4 minutes. At this point, it was desperation stuff from Lisgoold and they piled forward in search of a goal. But they found the full back line of Shane Kelleher and Seán Kidney in miserly mood and all they got from two 30 metre frees late on were 2 points. Cormac Scriven in goal pulled off a fantastic save in particular from the first one. One or two other attackes were thwarted by putting the bodies on the line and one just knew that it was going to be Shamrocks day. And so, after 5 minutes of injury time, referee Chris Broderick of Na Piarsaigh blew the final whistle to great scenes of joy in the Shamrocks camp.
The work to get this far started back in November and it was well worth it as East Board Chairman Donie Cahill presented the cup to the Shamrocks captain Aonghus Boland. In his speech, Aonghus thanks Lisgoold for a fine sporting game and in particular thanksed all the panel of players, the supporters who by the way were fantastic and the management set up of David Nolan, Peter Crowley, Socket, Dick Andrews, Kevin O’Grady, Kieran Lynam and John Jordan who is always on hand to lend support at training and matches.
The cup was paraded through Shanbally, Coolmore, Ringaskiddy and back up to Shanbally again where Mark Hickey of the Shamrock Bar had a celebatory BBQ for all players, mentors and supporters. Thanks Mark! The celebrating entorage even had time to interrupt a Christening in Shanbally Church as Liam O’Donovan, son of Shane of our u10 and u8 teams, and no doubt a future Shamrocks hurler, was placed in the winning cup by his 1st cousins Darragh and Cormac Scriven. A wonderful occasion for everyone.
Shamrocks now play Kilbrittain on Friday September 19th in the Semi Final of the County Championship at a venue and a time yet to be decided. The lads have been so busy it feels like their season is only starting with the amount of games they still have to play yet between u16 and minor. Let the good times keep rolling!
Team: Cormac Scriven, Shane Kelleher, Seán Kidney, Tom Murphy, Mark Hitchmough, Nathan Hayes, Darragh Scriven (1-3) , Andrew O’Grady (1-1f), Aonghus Boland (0-2), Coby O’Grady, David Andrews (0-2), David Raleigh (1-2). Subs used – Christopher Hayes, Brendan Crowley. Unused – David Barry, Killian Murphy, Eric Desmond, Shane Flavin, James Lynam, Adam O’Keeffe, Mattie Field.