Walz hits hat-trick as Finuge take the Division 2 title

Minor Division 2 Final - Finuge 6-6, Ballyduff 2-12

Mairead O'Sullivan

A hat-trick of goals a piece from Colm Walz and Liam O'Brien were key to Finuge overcoming the challenge of Ballyduff in the NK League Division 2 Minor Final on Thursday last in Coolard.

Both sides were down players on the night and the game was played on a 13-a-side basis. The first quarter saw Ballyduff lead 1-3 to 1-2, but in the remainder of the half Finuge upped the tempo considerably outscoring their opponents 3-3 to 0-2 to leave the half-time score reading Finuge 4-5 Ballyduff 1-5.

Ballyduff needed a start in the second half but it was Finuge who goaled through Walz on the resumption. Twelve points is a big lead, but to Ballyduff's credit they did not drop the heads and added six unanswered points before the 50th minute to leave six points between the sides.

The excellent Liam O'Brien added 1-1 from play for Finuge and, while Ballyduff cancelled those scores out, try as they did, they couldn't break down a resilient Finuge defence for the goals they so desperately needed.

The final score was Finuge 6-6 Ballyduff 2-12. Finuge had heroes all over the pitch. Seán Kissane, Christian Griffin and the powerful Aodhan Shanahan in defence, young Darragh Conway excellent in the engine room alongside team captain Rory McAuliffe while upfront Darragh Mackessy, Colm Walz and the outstanding O'Brien hurt Ballyduff on the scoreboard.

For Ballyduff Darragh Slattery, Pádraig Walsh, Nathan McGrath, Seán Lucid and the ever threatening Dylan Moriarty shone brightest but it was Finuge's night as Seán Moriarty presented the trophy to a delighted Rory McAuliffe.

Referee Dermot Hughes, Emmets, had a full compliment of umpires and got all the calls right and thanks also to Ballydonoghue for the use of their new facility, of which they should be very proud.

The draw for the championship takes place this Friday night and this competition will begin straight away.

FINUGE: Gavin Leen, Christian Griffin, Sean Kissane, Colm Walz (3-0), Aodhan Shanahan, Kieran Walsh, Darragh Conway, Rory McAuliffe, Evan McCarthy, Daniel Walsh, Liam O'Brien (3-1), Jacob Lucey (0-1), Darragh Mackessy (0-4)

BALLYDUFF: Shane O' Sullivan, Darragh Slattery (0-1), JP O'Carroll, Stephen O'Carroll, Padraig Walsh, Kyle O'Connor, Nathan McGrath (1-1), Cian McGrath (0-1), Jake Brosnan, Seán Lucid (1-2), Dylan Moriarty (0-6), Darragh Quinlan, Andrew Murphy (0-1)

REFEREE: Dermot Hughes (Emmets)