Shamrocks 4-8, Tracton 4-7
The two teams at the top of the table met to decide the final finishing order of the league before the semi finals and it turned out to be a cracking game of hurling. Shamrocks and Tracton went at it for 65 minutes on a beautiful evening for hurling in Shanbally and it was Shamrocks who came out on the right side of the win by a solitary point. The Shamrocks players played their toughest opponent all season and stood up when it counted, both on the scoreboard and physically when Tracton came asking serious questions in particular towards the end of the game.
Tracton went 0-2 to 0-0 up inside the first few minutes but Shamrocks, playing down the hill, settled into the game. Harry Andrews scored a piledriver of a goal from a 21m free and Adam McSweeney soon followed with another from play. Shamrocks went into a 2-4 to 0-4 lead (Ferdia Hayes with an important point for Shamrocks) and were hurling better than Tracton after 20 minutes but Tracton got in for 2 goals from play in the run up to HT to draw level before Adam McSweeney struck for his second goal just before HT. Josh Bartlett scored a vital point from play for Shamrocks right on HT to leave Shamrocks ahead 3-5 to 2-4 ahead at HT.
The second half was intence as Tracton came out fighting. The Shamrocks backs in particular were performing very well and they got the rub of the green as well at times in front of their own goal. Shamrocks were holding Tracton 10 minutes into the second half and even went 5 points ahead before Tracton really got on top and threw everything at Shamrocks. They drew level but Adam McSweeney responded in kind at the other end to open up a 4 point lead. Time was running out with Tracton trying everything to breach the gap. They scored a late goal but time ran out soon after and Shamrocks topped the group. Well done to all players on both sides for providing such great entertainment.
Team: S. Foy, F. Herlihy, A. Brady, E. O’Flynn, H. Andrews, M. Foy, M. Sisk, T. Sheehan, D. Howard, P. Dorney, J. Bartlett, A. McSweeney, F. Hayes. Sub used – D. McCormick