Perfect show gives Martin's the spoils
IT WAS the perfect display from St. Martin's as they turned on the style to emerge with a deserved six-point victory over a battling Naomh Eanna side in this excellent Slaney Under-14 hurling Division 1 final at Wexford Park on Monday of last week.
Solid in defence where Ben Maddock, Philip Dempsey and Eoin O'Leary were outstanding, they had an exceptional midfield pairing in Michael Codd and Adam Cantwell, while in attack, Jordan Hayes, Kyle Firman and Jack Devereux were on song as they dismantled the Naomh Eanna challenge with a display of quality hurling.
Naomh Eanna for their part never gave up the battle. Jack Cullen and Seán Delaney were outstanding in defence, while Eoin Molloy strove valiantly in midfield, but the attackers were unable to find a way through a rock-solid opposing defence despite the fine hurling of Charlie McGuckin and Theo Doyle.
Full-forward Kyle Firman displayed all the skills with two pointed frees inside the opening six minutes, while the same player added a great goal after Rory Cullen had pointed to give his side a 1-3 to nil lead after nine minutes.
Naomh Eanna had to wait until the 15th minute for their opening score, a Theo Doyle pointed free, but St. Martin's finished the half with a real flourish as Kyle Firman pointed a free, before Jack Devereux found the net from an acute angle to give his side a 2-4 to 0-1 interval lead.
While Naomh Eanna opened the second-half with an Eoin Molloy point inside a minute, it was still St. Martin's who bounced right back for Kyle Firman to strike an excellent pointed free off the sideline.
Four Theo Doyle pointed frees left just five separating the sides (2-5 to 0-6) with five minutes remaining, but Naomh Eanna were unable to get the goal they needed despite applying incessant pressure, and St. Martin's finished as they began with a Firman pointed free to run out the most deserving of winners.
St. Martin's: Caolan Quirke; Sam Audsley, Ben Maddock, Adam McLoughlin; Liam Lennon, Philip Dempsey, Eoin O'Leary; Michael Codd, Sam Cantwell; Jordan Hayes, Philip Walsh, Ben Stafford; Jack Devereux (1-0), Kyle Firman (1-5, 0-4 frees), Rory Cullen (0-1). Subs. - Conor Stafford for Lennon, also Shane Walsh, Conor Kelly, Tony Rowe, Diarmuid Byrne, Philip McGrath.
Naomh Eanna: Barry Levingston; Tom Cleary, Shane Stokes, Evan Dwyer; Joseph Naughton, Jack Cullen, Seán Delaney; Eoin Molloy (0-1), Eoin Kennedy; Jack Molloy, Charlie McGuckin, Eddie O'Brien-Murphy; Aaron Byrne, Theo Doyle (0-5 frees), David Christie. Subs. - Michael Duke, Dylan Connolly, Dylan O'Connor, Derek Woods, Larry Cullen, Martin Kavanagh, Laurence Kenny, Sam Levingston, Ryan Price, Jack Ryan, Cory Meyler, Cian Dwyer, Oran Fitzpatrick.
Referee: David O'Leary (Rathnure).