HANNONS DUHALLOW HURLING CUP FINAL
Meelin refused to take no for an answer as their dogged resistance delivered a powerful finish in extra time to get the better of Banteer in a keenly contested Hannon’s Mace & Maxol Duhallow Cup Hurling Final in Kilbrin on Tuesday evening.
In doing so, Meelin checked the impetus of Banteer, the latter enjoyed an eight point grip early in the second half only for a persuasive Meelin response gained parity at the end of the hour.
Again Banteer enjoyed the better of the exchanges at the commencement of extra time only for Meelin to respond positively to the challenge and impeccable free-taking from Nicholas Linehan helped secure the silverware.
Though Linehan helped Meelin into a brief lead, a breeze assisted Banteer dominated the opening half, settling into a rhythm that left intermediate with a major problem to match.
Indeed Meelin’s game held a neat and methodical approach, helped by the input of Richard O’Connor, Alan Coughlan, David Murphy and Rory O’Connell.
The Banteer attack utilised possession to good effect with Murphy and Denis Roche on target before good work from Coughlan yielded a goal from Luke Philpott for Banteer to hold a 1-9 to 0-5 advantage at the interval.
And Banteer enjoyed the perfect restart, Roche adding to their tally and a surprise looked on the cards. However, with the chips down, Meelin stepped up to the plate and their hopes were rekindled on a smashing goal from Jack Curtin.
Though Roche chipped in with a pair of pointed frees, Meelin’s new found intensity surfaced from the influence of Moss O’Keeffe, William Murphy, James Forrest, Linehan and substitute Ciarán Curtin.
Five points without reply from Linehan and Jason O’Callaghan trimmed the arrears to just two prior to David Murphy responding with a much needed Banteer score.
Again Meelin made an all out effort to retrieve the situation, Linehan nailing three pointed frees for parity. Though Roche regained the lead for Banteer, that pointed free was cancelled out by a duplicate score from Linehan, all square 1-17 apiece by the full-time whistle.
That generated extra time, Roche posting back to back points only for Meelin to quickly counter for Ciarán Curtin and Linehan to split the uprights for a 1-21 to 1-19 lead at the close of the initial 10 minutes.
A Forrest point extended Meelin’s hand, but Banteer came with a big surge, points from Philpott and David Murphy trimmed the arrears to the minimum.
On the run in, Meelin held the edge and made the push for home with late points from Linehan and Michael McAulliffe that allowed team captain Shane Hehir accept the silverware.
MEELIN: J Moynihan; S Geaney, S Curtin, B Carroll; B O’Sullivan, M O’Keeffe, J Curtin 1-3; W Murphy, J Forrest 0-3; Cian Curtin, J O’Callaghan 0-2, S Hehir; Cormac Curtin, M McAulliffe 0-2, N Linehan 0-12 (11f) Subs: J O’Sullivan for Cian Curtin, Ciarán Curtin for Cormac Curtin
BANTEER: K Roche; J McAulliffe, B Withers, C Coughlan; A Coughlan, R O’Connor, R O’Connell 0-1; C Shine, D Kearney; D Barrett, D Wilson 0-2, K Tarrant; D Roche 0-9 (7f). L Philpott 1-2, D Murphy 0-6 Subs: L O’Brien for D Barrett, E O’Brien for D Kearney, B O’Keeffe for L O’Brien, D Murphy for C Coughlan, M Kearney for D Wilson
REFEREE: J Hartnett (Boherbue)