Duhallow JAHC Final
KILBRIN rallied impressively to emerge best from a testing Tullylease in a rousing EPS Bison Duhallow Junior A Hurling Championship final at Lismire last Sunday.
At times, the standard of fare may not had been out of the top drawer but it developed into a welter of excitement midway through the second half after Tullylease erased a five point interval deficit to jump ahead by a goal.
Just when it seemed a possible shock was on the cards, reigning champions Kilbrin kept their heads to wrestle back the initiative and the accuracy of corner forward Shane Crowley performed the needful to convert six frees. In doing so, Kilbrin emerged crafty enough to register a first time hat trick of outright wins and deal with the enthusiasm of a brave Tullylease that lost no caste in defeat.
Tullylease summoned up a gallant second half recoverry, five points shy at the break, they generated a power surge, which blew one or fuses in the Kilbrin cover to jump a goal ahead. When the need was greatest, Kilbrin rose to the occasion to diominate the closing quarter and steer home deserrving winners.
When required, the champions stepped up a gear, their control and retention of possession during the closing 10 minutes indicated a measure of an experienced side thst refued to panic. Kilbrin pressed early but shor a pair of wides while in their initial thrust, Liam O'Connor pointed Tullylease ahead. Both sides operated nervouslu though Kilbrin answered on Thomas O'Reilly showing an ability to win aerial possession to equalise.
Kilbrin proceeded to lay out their stall to dominate the key departments. Centre back William Egan secured the defensive bolts, well supported by Con Carroll, Daniel Sheahan and Terry Cantillon.
Up front O'Reilly, Eoin Sheahan and Garrett Linehan made imroads. Prompt points to Crowley, Liam Daly, Kieran Sheahan and O'Reilly swept Kilbrin ahead 0-7 to 0-2.
Tullylease required a lift, provided by a massive 70 metre point by Liam O'Connor. Indeed Tullylease might well had goaled only for Damien Stokes to shoot narrowly wide of the upright. Coming up to the break, Kilbrin over elaboratred at times but tightened the screw, Daly and Linehan splitting the uprights for a commanding 0-10 to 0-5 grip.
A fast paced second half opened with a pair of points at either end, a pair to Kilbrin's Eoin Sheahan and Daly offset by Tullylease's Shane Hehir and Alan Sheehy.
Tulllylease weren't found wanting, a spring in their step now obvious, the efforts of the Sheehys in defence along with Shane Hehir, O'Connor and Markie Sheehy offering commendable resolve.
Full-forward Markie Sheehy fetched brillantly to point before the challengers received a confidence booster in the 36th minute. O'Connor's long range free found a path to the Kilbrin net for an opportunist goal.
Though Crowley nailed down a Kilbrin point, the goal provoked a purple patch for Tullylease, five points without reply from Stephen O'Leary, O'Connor, Stokes and Alan Sheehy charged Tullylease ahead 1-13 to 0-13 ahead at the three quarter stage.
A possible surprise looked on the cards and faced an uphill battle, but an instant response quelled any preceived fears of their capitulation. Wriggling their way out of trouble, young Crowley showing composure to force parity on a trio of pointed frees.
The initiative remained with Kilbrin, regaining the lead from flags raised by O'Reilly and Linehan.
While Tullylease toild bravely and a pointed free cut the dedficit to the minimum, their efforts weren't just good enough to keep their title dreams alive.
Crowley could do no wrong for Kilbrin, adding a further three pointed frees to seal the outcome and a ninth title for the men in blue and white. Kilbrin captain Kieran Sheahan accepted the splendid John Joe Brosnan Memorial Cup from Duhallow Junior Board Chaiirman Richard Murphy.
KILBRIN: P O'Callaghan; T O'Riordan, D Sheahan, T Cantillon; M O'Riordan, W Egan, C Carroll; P Egan, K Sheahan 0-1; David O'Sullivan 0-1, T O'Reilly 0-4, G Linehan 0-2; E Sheahan 0-1, L Daly 0-4(0-1f), S Crowley 0-8f Subs: Daniel O'Sullivan for David O'Sullivan (44), S O'Reilly for M O'Riordan (52)
TULLYLEASE: M O'Connor; A O'Gorman, J Sheehy, E Hannigan; P Sheehy, A Sheehy 0-2, B Sheehy; S Hehir 0-1, L O'Connor 1-7(1-6f); F Stokes, S Stokes, D Stokes 0-1; S O'Leary 0-2, M Stokes 0-1, P Cronin Subs: J Sheehan for Cronin (49), M Moloney for F Stokes (55)
Referee: D Roche (Banteer)