League title added to championship
SHELMALIERS COMPLETED a championship and Slíabh Coillte New Ross Standard Under-17 hurling tournament top-flight double with victory over HWH-Bunclody in the Division 1 cup final in St. Patrick’s Park.
Playing with the breeze in horrific conditions, the Hollymount side took control of the game in the first-half and were able to empty their bench and give their whole squad a taste of another fantastic success.
They looked so sharp in the sheeting rain that HWH-Bunclody simply didn’t have any answers as they motored into the clear. Their attack was purring, with Paddy Connors doing 1-5 worth of damage in 23 minutes before he was given a rest.
Around him Cathal Harding had a goal but should have had two. Ryan Doyle got in on the act too, and the creative players in the middle third of the field feasted. Yet arguably the most impressive aspect of this display was the second-half showing.
With a vastly different line-up, the Shels lost the territorial battle but didn’t concede a goal and rarely looked like doing so, with their strength in depth very encouraging to see.
On the other hand, HWH-Bunclody kept digging deep too. They battled right to the end and have a few lovely hurlers ready to make the step up to adult level.
It was 0-3 to 0-1 when Harding was denied a potential goal by a premature whistle in the fifth minute, but the Shels didn’t blink and got their first major when he set up Ryan Doyle a few minutes later.
Harding added a second major himself before the water break to make it 2-4 to 0-1.
Connors had three points on the board when he fired low past Paddy Scott in the 21st minute. He quickly added two more points, but HWH-Bunclody got some joy after his withdrawal and Faolán Ó Ceallaigh notched a brace.
Jack O’Leary flighted over the final point of the first-half to make it 3-9 to 0-3 at the change of ends, and the Shels came with a new line-up after the break.
HWH-Bunclody chipped away pretty consistently in the second-half. They scored two, three and three points in each of the ten-minute segments but couldn’t get a real head of steam up.
They were partly hampered in their hopes by a cracking John Sunderland goal in the 33rd minute, but the Shels didn’t score again for 22 minutes.
Meanwhile, Sam Black, Darragh Farrell, Ciarán Whiting and Larry Connors were all on target at the other end.
Both sides seemed happy enough to skip the water break, in the circumstances, and the second-half flew along at a nice clip.
Whiting and the excellent Farrell added more scores for HWH-Bunclody, while Brian Donohoe and Joe Coone rounded out the evening with points for the impressive double champions.
Shelmaliers: Jack Redmond; Adam Murphy, Michael Connors, Jack Kelly; Robbie Morris, Robbie Delaney, Daniel Ormonde; Cian Doyle (0-1), Shane Kelly (capt.); Jack O’Leary (0-1), Luke Roche (0-2 frees), Niall Power; Ryan Doyle (1-0), Paddy Connors (1-5), Cathal Harding (1-0). Subs. (rolling) - Evan Hearne, Jamie Doyle, Evan Gillen, John Sunderland (1-0), Joe Coone (0-1), Rían Ormonde, Ronan Furlong, Kieran Hearne, Joe O’Leary, Adam Murphy, Brian Donohoe (0-1), J.P. Fielding, Eoin Howlin, Alan Neville, Colm Kelly.
HWH-Bunclody: Paddy Scott; Tadhg Byrne, Rory Raleigh, Seán Dunbar; Desmond O’Connor, Thomas Cowman, Larry Connors (0-1); Aaron Dunne, Conor Burke; Sam Black (0-1), Darragh Farrell (0-5), Faolán O Ceallaigh (0-2 frees); Jimmy Connors, Ciarán Whiting (0-2), Sam Lonergan. Subs. (rolling) - Jack Reck, Aaron Whiting, John Cash, Paddy Cash, Adam Dunne, Rían O’Leary, Ryan Kavanagh, Robert Black, Matt Tully, Michael Doyle, Luke Boxwell.
Referee: James Flood (St. Mary’s, Maudlintown).