Kilkenny Honda Centre Minor A Hurling League /Championship
Young Irelands Gowran 4-12 Galmoy/Windgap 3-13
For Bank Holiday entertainment it would be difficult to surpass the fare served up by these two Minor hurling teams in Galmoyon Monday night last. Quite simply, this was a brilliant exhibition of all that is good in hurling with no little part played by referee Peter Burke in letting the play flow between two disciplined teams who focussed purely on the game on hand.
Galmoy/Windgap were the outsiders coming in to this tie, but in hindsight, they will see it as a chance missed, as they dominated the game for 58 minutes only to be hit by a sucker punch goal at the end which put the Gowran boys in front.
Two players who were direct opponents and marking each other,Paddy Langton and Adam O Shea, exchanged points in the opening minutes. Midfielder Jamie Middleton put Young Irelands ahead with Daniel Hanrahan levelling it again. MikieKnox and Daniel Manning sent the Gowran lads two up after six minutes. It was now obvious that the Gowran mentors had a ply to keep Galmoy/Windgap’s Billy Drennan out of the game, by double marking him with both Tommy Phelan and PadraigNaddy policing the centre forward. By withdrawing Naddyhowever, they left centre back David Sherman free in the home defence and he had a super first half with numerous long clearances. James Darcy was also very prominent in the home defence all through. Drennan wasn’t going to be shackled for long and he picked his first of eight points from play in the 10th minute. Ben Phelan quickly made it 0-5 to 0-3 before we had the first goal of the night. Blade O Gorman caught a Billy Drennandelivery , raced across the Gowran goal, before unleashing a shot which was deflected to the net by Daniel Hanrahan in his attempts to duck O Gorman’s searing drive. Billy Drennan then added two quick points from play both off his right to leave the home side ahead 1-5 to 0-5 at the end of the first quarter.
Killian Carey now added two pointed frees, the second for a foul on himself. Young Irelands goalkeeper Barry Dunne then came to his side’s rescue, not once but twice, as he saved two point blank shots, both from Karl McCoy. Three wides followed by the hosts, before McCoy made amends. After winning possession 30 metres from goal, he turned his man and soloed straight up the middle. Knowing that two defenders were in hot pursuit, he did the clever thing and batted the sliotar to the net, 2-5 to 0-7. Killian Enright worked hard all night for Galmoy/Windgap and he threw a pass to Billy Drennan for the next point before Drennan closed the first half scoring to leave Galmoy/Windgap ahead 2-8 to 0-7 at the interval.
Conor Fitzpatrick opened the second half scoring with a point following a Daniel Manning pass before Billy Drennan fielded the resultant puckout and sent the ball straight over the bar. He then added a free, won by himself , from 50 metres, 2-10 to 0-8. Galmoy/Windgap were on top but one sensed that this Young Irelands team had more in them. And so it came to pass.
Conor Fitzpatrick and Killian Carey were now operating as a two man full forward line for the visitors and they combined well in the 40th minute, with Fitzpatrick setting up Carey to rattle the net, after a neat solo across goal. Billy Drennan replied with another free to put his side six points up again before the hosts were dealt a double whammy. In the 42nd minute a shot for a point from the right wing by Conor Fitzpatrick hit the upright and quickest to react was Daniel Manning as he rifled home the rebound. The sliotar was in the net a minute later again, this time with Fitzpatrick striking a ground shot after some good grafting by Carey. The sides were now level, 2-11 to 3-8, with 15 minutes of superb entertainment still to come, something which was hugely appreciated by the large crowd present .Billy Drennan again struck a huge point from distance before Killian Carey brought parity once more from a placed ball after a foul on Ben Phelan.
In the 45th minute Matt Delaney went on a meandering solo towards the Gowran goal. He laid off a clever pass to Blade O Gorman who struck to the net from 20 metres to put Galmoy/Windgap ahead once again in this now pulsating tie, 3-12 to 3-9. A needless foul on Carey saw him punish the home defence before Tommy Phelan, now operating at centre forward, split the posts. Phelan reduced the deficit to the minimum when he converted a 65 in the 56th minute. Another cracking point from Billy Drennan drew a sigh of relief from the home supporters, but more was to come. Galmoy/Windgapintroduced a pair of substitutes and it didn’t help their cause, when the ball was lost up front, before a long clearance out of the Gowran defence reached Killian Carey who left James Purcell motionless in the Galmoy/Windgap goal with a low shot which sneaked inside the upright to grant victory to the visitors.
Young Irelands will realise that they got out of jail here and will certainly improve. They had two ace attackers in Killian Carey and Conor Fitzpatrick, while Paddy Langton and Bobby Brennan did well in defence. For Galmoy/Windgap, Billy Drennan had a great game all through despite the close attention. David Sherman, Gearóid Phelan and James Darcy were very good in defence while Killian Enright and Karl McCoy worked hardest up front.
Young Irelands Gowran: Barry Dunne,Sean Fitzpatrick,CathalDarcy,David Drennan,Paddy Langton(0-1),Tommy Phelan(0-2, 0-1 65),Bobby Brennan,Jamie Middleton(0-1),Jimmy Lennon,Padraig Naddy,Killian Carey(2-4,0-4 frees),,Daniel Manning(1-1),Mikie Knox(0-1),Conor Fitzpatrick(1-1),Ben Phelan(0-1).
Subs: Rory Farrell for Mikie Knox 53 mins and Aaron Hoseyfor Sean Fitzpatrick 53 mins.
Galmoy/Windgap:James Purcell, James Darcy,Sean Purcell,Jamie Joy , Gearóid Phelan,David Sherman , Calum Lonergan , Sean Barron ,Matt Delaney, Killian Enright ,Billy Drennan(0-11,0-3 frees), Adam O Shea(0-1) , Daniel Hanrahan(1-1) ,Blade O Gorman(1-0),Karl McCoy(1-0).
Subs used: Zak Kennedy for Daniel Hanrahan 38 mins, Niall O Brien for Callum Lonergan (inj) 57 mins and Killian Doyle for Jamie Joy 57 mins
In the other Roinn A games James Stephens just about had enough to get over the Rower Inistioge 0-11 to 0-10 despite a fine performance from Eoin O’Brien whilst Dicksboro turned on the afterburners in a comprehensive victory over Thomastown with Timmy Clifford leading the ‘Town defence on a merry dance whilst Naoise Dempsey landed some nice scores in response.
In Roinn B it took Erins Own all their time to get the result from Dicksboro B 3-12 to 1-13. The Palmerstown outfit led for most of the way but Mick Brennan & co had a fine last quarter to seal their first win of the campaign. In Jenkinstown St Martins defeated Conahy Shamrocks 2-21 to 0-16 as a pair of Sean Hunt goals & long range points from Oisin Kelly proved vital.
The amalgamated Blacks & Whites/Slieverue had their first win when they defeated Danesfort whilst Bennettsbridge made home advantage pay with one point to spare 2-13 to 2-12 over Graignamanagh.
Emeralds opened up the game with a point from Alex Burke after 2 minutes followed by 3 early goals from Graigue Ballycallan which put the emeralds under pressure from the start and were always chasing the game. Graigue Ballycallan were strong all over and were hard to break down. Final score GBC – 6 15 emeralds 2 10. Emeralds scorers Alex Burke 1 5 (1 4 from play) darragh Queally 3 point. Jimmy Cleere 1 goal. Kieran Cleere and killian Doyle 1 point each.
In Roinn C there were wins for Carrickshock, St Patrick’s & John Lockes. The Lockes had a superb win over Tullaroan in a high octane affair 2-22 to 3-17 with Ciaran Phelan proving to be the main man for the Callan outfit despite the best efforts of Gearoid Dunne.