This was Shamrock’s second Round Robin Championship outing after defeating Carrigaline in the earlier round. The venue was Riverstick, the opposition Ballygarvan and a quarter or potential semi final place at stake. Shamrocks won the toss and elected to play with the stiff breeze to their backs and down into the bottom goal. The Management Team again had the unenviable task of having to re-configure the starting fifteen due to the absence of John Boylan, Cillian Hayes & Shane Kelleher (all on holidays) and prolonged injuries to Mike O’Neill, Andrew O’Grady, Jonathan Tuohy and Andrew O’Brien. It took just 3 minutes of play for sharpshooter Harry Andrews to register our first point of the afternoon and he followed up with five more to make it 0-06 to 0-02 with fifteen minutes gone on the stopwatch. The six backs kept a tight reign on the “Bally” forwards and limited them to just 3 points at the short whistle. Roy’s long distance puck outs rained plenty of ball into our full forward line throughout the first half but it was unquestionably the brilliance and accuracy of Harry’s free taking and general play that had the absent scoreboard reading 0-11 to 0-03 after 30 minutes. David Andrews and Fergus O’Neill also contributed well taken points.
As expected, Ballygarvan quickly utilised the favourable conditions at the throw-in and slotted over a few points from frees and play. Loose marking at the back left Ballygarvan in for an easily taken goal within fiftheen minutes of the restart which reduced the margin to five. Harry kept plugging over the points and when “Bally” got in for a second goal the margin was down to a single score with eight minutes remaining. During the half Mark Jordan replaced an injured Barry Mulqueen, Tom Murphy came on for “left it all out on the field” Sean Kidney and hard working “birthday boy” Fionn Herlihy made way for Coby O’Grady.
Even though the back six were under constant attacking onslaughts they shored up the defence well and with the aid of good net keeping saves and distribution from Roy they even managed to add to the scoring tally. Excellent points from Captain Hitchmough and the ever reliable Senán Collins, from the half way mark against the breeze, increased the margin to four. For the remaining 5 minutes of normal and a further 5 added on injury time, Ballygarvan battled hard and singled out specific Shamrock players for “special attention”, but they could not make a significant match winning dent in the margin. A spectacular late point from corner back Ronayne sealed a memorable win and a courageous 70 minute display by all 18 players used on the day.
The two wins to date has Shamrocks topping Group 3 with 4 points and a scoring difference of + 15. Ballymartle top Group 1 with 4 points and + 16, whilst in Group 2 Ballinhassig have 4 points and + 10.
The three second placed teams are, Group 1 : Valley Rovers, Group 2 : Belgooly and Group 3 : Ballygarvan. Confirmation details of the qtr finals to be announced in due course.
Team : Roy Twomey, Gary Ronayne (0-01), Cathal Kidney, Dave Barry, Jason Browne, Mark Hitchmough (Capt. 0-01), Senán Collins (0-01), Dylan Flaherty, Sean Kidney, Sean Andrews, David Andrews (0-02), Fiónn Herlihy, Harry Andrews (0-09), Barry Mulqueen and Fergus O’Neill (0-02).
Subs : Steven Keane, Tom Murphy, Mark Jordan, James Lynam, Coby O’Grady. Shane Downey and Alan McCarthy
A minutes silence was observed at the start of the game in memory of the late Tess Geary R.I.P., mother of Team Manager Alan. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam dílis.
U15 HC V Kilbrittain – 31/8
Shamrocks 1-16, Kilbrittain 1-14
The U15s made it 3 from 3 with this win over Kilbrittain on Wednesday evening in Kilbrittain. This guarantees them at least a semi final in the championship.
They did all the hard work in the first half and turned in a wonderful performance, leading 1-12 to 0-4 at HT. Kilbrittain never lay down and lay seige to the Shamrocks goal in the second half but ran out of time in the end.
Donal Herlihy goes high for the sliotar
U11 HL V Crosshaven – 3/9
Some great performances from the U11 hurlers on Friday evening in Shanbally verses Crosshaven. Well done to all the players, parents and coaches