Robert Emmets withstood a late Millstreet rally to hold out for a slender single point win by 0-13 to 1-9, in the second round of the Duhallow under 21 hurling championship, played at Kanturk on Monday evening.
Millstreet started the better but exchanges were close and tight. They came up against a resolute Robert Emmets defence with full back Jamie Hayes a towering figure throughout, from beginning to the final whistle. It was Robert Emmets who opened the scoring with prolific forward, Barry O’Connor, on target for the first time in the sixth minute.
Millstreet provided an equalizer in the tenth minute but two converted frees in quick succession from Donal Hannon edged Robert Emmets in front. The impressive Jonathan Flaherty added a point after a telling contribution from Barry O’Connor before two Millstreet pointed frees, left a point between the sides, 0-4 to 0-3 after nineteen minutes of play.
Scores proved difficult to come by as both defences stood firm, especially full back Jamie Hayes who gave a tremendous display. Barry O’Connor and a magnificently executed sideline from Donal Hannon provided Robert Emmets with two successive points but Millstreet answered with two late points, the final score of the half a spectacular effort from ninety yards, to leave Robert Emmets with a slight edge, 0-6 to 0-5 at the turnover.
Barry O’Connor fired over his third point of the evening within three minutes of the restart before Robert Emmets struggled for a period.
Two Millstreet points tied the sides for a second time of a close encounter, seven minutes into the second half. Robert Emmets enjoyed their best spell in the middle segment of the half. Donal Hannon pointed from a free after thirteen minutes, before a typical swashbuckling run by Jonathan Flaherty ended after evading several opponents, with a superbly taken point. This inspirational score was followed by another brace of points from the prolific Barry O’Connor.
At the other end the defence had to be vigilant and Shane McAuliffe was called into action before Jamie Hayes cleared the danger. Millstreet did register a point but Cathal Noonan pointed in style before a mammoth free from Donal Hannon found the target as Robert Emmets took a lead of five points, 0-13 to 0-8 with six minutes remaining.
Millstreet fought to the end and ensured a nervy conclusion when a close in free found the net past a packed Robert Emmets goalline. A Millstreet point quickly followed and Robert Emmets were under pressure to hold on to a one point advantage.
Millstreet threatened on several occasions and as the final cameo of play resulted in a ball dropping dangerously close to the Robert Emmets goalmouth, Jamie Hayes emerged superbly to drive the ball to safety for his side to progress to a quarter final clash with Dr O’Callaghans.
The Robert Emmets team and scorers…
Barry O’Connor (0-5), Donal Hannon (0-5), Jonathan Flaherty (0-2), Cathal Noonan (0-1)
|Michael O’Leary||Jamie Hayes||Eoin O'Connell|
|Colm Noonan||Paudie Allen||Alan Ryan|
|Cathal Noonan||Gavin Forde|
|Barry O'Connor||Jacko Flaherty||Jack Birthley|
|Conor O'Keeffe||Donal Hannon||David Quinlan|
|Subs: Michael Cottrell, Michael McSweeney, Nicky Barrett|