Shamrocks 1-19, Bantry Blues 1-7
Shamrocks U16 hurlers took care of a stubborn challenge from Bantry Blues in Cloughduv on Saturday to qualify for the Co CHL Final. Bantry played well and hung in there until 15 minutes from time when a Cillian Hayes goal signalled a fine finish from Shamrocks and they eventually won by 12 points.
Conditions were heavy in Cloughduv as was expected and the ball was wet throughout. After a slow start by Shamrocks, they capatilised on some wayward Bantry shooting to stretch away to a 0-7 to 0-1 lead after 20 minutes, David Andrews from play and Andrew O’Grady from frees doing the Shamrocks scoring. Bantry scored a few points before HT but Shamrocks responded from Cillian Hayes and an O’Grady bomb from way out the wing and led 0-9 to 0-3 at HT.
Bantry Blues fought hard throughout and even though Shamrocks had more hurling then them, Bantry were dogged, good at hooking and blocking, physical and cute with ball in hand as well. They got the boost of a goal 10 minutes into the second half when a free from out the field somehow went all the way to the Shamrocks net. Suddenly, Shamrocks were only 2 points ahead, 0-10 to 1-5. However, they never panicked and took over thereafter, boosted by that Cillian Hayes goal which really was the nail in the coffin. Shamrocks turned on the style from then on until the end, none more so when Ruairí Mehigan pointed with 8 minutes left. You will not see a better score at this time of the year in any grade – a brilliant team movement with exquisite handling and stickwork finished by Mehigan. Andrews and O’Grady again from placed balls did the bulk of the scoring. Shane Flavin also scored a beauty towards the end.
Team: C. Scriven, D. Barry, N, Hayes, J. Lynam, M. Hitchmough, R. Mehigan, A. O’Grady, C. Hayes, D. Andrews, C. Hayes, M. Field, S. Flavin. Subs – C. Murphy, A. O’Keeffe.