Robert Emmets held out a late onslaught by Dr. O’Callaghan’s for a fine victory by 2-10 to 2-9 in the under 21 hurling championship game played in ideal conditions at Banteer on Tuesday evening.
Both sides stormed into action from the opening whistle and Robert Emmets classy forward, Donal Hannon pointed within a minute. Dr. O’Callaghans gained parity in the second minute but aided by the breeze, Robert Emmets set the platform for success in the opening quarter. Donal Hannon, Billy Lane and David Enright added a trio of points in quick succession and a monstrous free from distance by Gavin Forde built up a four point advantage by the thirteenth minute.
Midway through the half, Donal Hannon snapped up possession and soloed in on goal before expertly smashing the ball to the net for a wonderful individual goal. Dr. O’Callaghans response was immediate and from the resultant puck out within seconds the ball was in the net at the other end. Donal Hannon converted a free to leave the score reading 1-6 to 1-1 after twenty minutes play. Dr. O’Callaghans pounced for a second goal as a tight, fast contest unfolded.
Paul Verling answered with a point and in the twenty fourth minute, Robert Emmets crashed home a second memorable goal. This time it was Barry O’Connor who crafted an opening and dispatched an unstoppable shot to the top corner of the net from a difficult angle. As the half concluded the sides traded points, with Brian O’Callaghan’s effort narrowly grazing the crossbar for Robert Emmets who ended a most satisfactory half in front by 2-8 to 2-2.
The second half resumed with the home side pressurizing the Robert Emmets rearguard from the outset. Three points followed within eight minutes but the defence of Colm Noonan, Padraig Allen and Richard Guinee held firm and solid against waves of attacks.
Gavin Forde was superb outside them as the forwards saw much less possession come their way in the second period. Robert Emmets had to wait sixteen minutes for a score but when it came it was another gloriously taken point at an angle and distance through the skills of Donal Hannon. Dr. O’Calllaghans were next to score but Donal Hannon re-established a four point lead as again he was immaculate in converting a difficult free. As the game entered the final ten minutes, Robert Emmets had to withstand a barrage of traffic towards their goal. Dr. O’Callaghans saw several efforts throughout the half drift either side of the posts, but three points reduced the deficit to a solitary point as three minutes remained.
Robert Emmets fought doggedly to hold on to their advantage and held out the closing minutes plus injury time to claim a fantastic victory.
The Newmarket team and scorers…
Donal Hannon (1-5), Barry O’Connor (1-0), Gavin Forde (0-1), David Enright (0-1), Brian O’Callaghan (0-1), Billy Lane (0-1), Paul Verling (0-1).
|Colm Noonan||Nicky Barrett||Paudie Allen|
|Alan Ryan||Gavin Forde||David Enright|
|Eddie Allen||Brian O'Callaghan|
|Jacko Flaherty||Michael O’Leary||Barry O'Leary|
|Billy Lane||Donal Hannon||Paul Verling|
|Subs: Richard Guinee, Jack Birtley, Vincent Molloy|