Shelmaliers 3-5 Buffers Alley 1-5
SHELMALIERS AND Buffers Alley went into Friday’s Panda Under-19 football Premier championship Group A last round tie knowing the winner would advance direct to the shield decider.
Neither side had managed a win between them, but this appealing prize was on offer because Fethard withdrew from the other section and reduced it to just three teams.
The Shels secured third spot in the league table and that final place by a two-goal margin, while Buffers Alley will have to beat St. Anne’s in Rathangan on December 3 if they want to get another crack at them.
The hosts got the first score when defender-turned-attacker Seán Cullen goaled in the seventh minute and, although Buffers Alley opened their account in the eleventh minute from a free taken by Michael Butler, it proved to be their only score of the half.
The Shels went down to 14 men in the 21st minute, but they still added two further points from Luke Roche and Cian Doyle to lead at the break by 1-3 to 0-1.
Buffers Alley got three scores within minutes of the restart, two from placed balls by Michael Butler and the other from Tomás Walsh.
However, it did not take long for the Shels lads to regain control with a well-taken goal by Jack O’Leary that increased their lead to 2-3 to 0-4.
Two minutes later captain Seán Cullen got his name on the scoreboard again when a Luke Roche free was stopped by Alley goalie Kevin Doyle, but the alert full-forward was on hand to net the rebound.
It was looking bleak now for the Alley with the score reading 3-3 to 0-4. County Minor Niall Furlong and Luke Roche (free) swapped points before the former, who had a solid game throughout, netted in the 49th minute.
The last score came from the lively Seán Cullen to secure a deserved first win in the campaign for the Shels, who will be waiting now until the weekend of December 10-11 for that final against St. Anne’s or Buffers Alley.
Shelmaliers: John Sunderland; Jack Redmond, Jack Kelly, Ryan Doyle; Shane Kelly, Robbie Delaney, Ronan Furlong; Cian Doyle (0-1), Daniel Ormonde; Aaron Kinsella, Luke Roche (0-2, 1 free), Niall Power; Jack O’Leary (1-1), Seán Cullen (2-1), Cathal Harding. Subs. - Evan Hearne for Power, Joe Coone for Cullen, Eoin Howlin for Furlong, Alan Neville for O’Leary.
Buffers Alley: Kevin Doyle; Edward Harney, Fiachra Fortune, Dylan McEvoy; Niall Furlong (1-1), Jack Twomey, Tomás Whelan; Eoin O’Meara, Cormac Walsh; Pádraig Kinsella, Michael Butler (0-3, 2 frees), Brian Doran; Tomás Walsh (0-1), Jack Redmond, Callum Whelan-Byrne. Subs. - Brian O’Meara for Kinsella, Stephen Furlong for McEvoy, Oisín Kirwan for T. Walsh, Adam Back for Whelan-Byrne.
Referee: Justin Heffernan (Blackwater).