An outstanding team effort spearheaded by the individual scoring brilliance of ace talisman Donal Hannon, enabled an impressive Robert Emmets defeat St. Marks by 0-19 to 2-9 in the Duhallow under 21 hurling semi final played in ideal conditions at Tullylease on Monday evening, as the team qualified for a second successive Duhallow Final.
St Marks hit the ground running with two well struck points within a minute of the throw in. Donal Hannon replied with a sublimely struck point from a sideline and a converted free had the sides level on seven minutes.
St. Marks regained the lead but Jonathan Flaherty answered instantly for Robert Emmets after a typical powering solo run and an excellent execution from distance.
Robert Emmets were now in the ascendency with Colm Noonan a rock in defence and Cathal Noonan prominent around the middle of the field. In attack Donal Hannon supplied the finishing touches, as three successive points, two from play either side of a free gave Robert Emmets a lead of 0-6 to 0-3 midway through the half of a flowing contest.
Both defences stood firm at this stage often quelling enterprising attacks while both sides were also guilty of missing the target, at times by the slightest of margins.
Eleven minutes unfolded before St. Marks found parity as the ball nestled in the net from amongst a crowded goalmouth. Donal Hannon edged Robert Emmets in front again but as the game entered injury time, St. Marks struck for a second goal within six minutes, to establish a lead of two points, 2-3 to 0-7 at the half time interval.
Robert Emmets put together a memorable team performance in the second half as they set about retrieving the slender deficit. The game maintained its standard and quality of entertainment and the issue remained in the balance throughout. Six points were traded, point for point, with Donal Hannon twice, and Conor O’Keeffe finding the target for Robert Emmets as twelve minutes of the half elapsed.
As the game approached the final quarter, Robert Emmets found an extra gear. Buoyed on by the exploits of an inspiring defence, Robert Emmets were superb for the remainder of the contest. Donal Hannon and the ever growing influence of Barry O’Connor in the full forward line plundered two points between them to tie the sides for a fourth time. The duo repeated the feat to edge Robert Emmets in front before a St. Marks free cut the margin to a solitary point entering the final ten minutes.
Donal Hannon converted a free before Barry O’Connor added his third superbly skilful point of the half. A St. Marks point followed, but Donal Hannon was mesmeric as he struck three excellent points, memorable in execution and accuracy to push Robert Emmets into a five point lead. A long spell of injury time followed but a point was all that St. Marks could retrieve and Robert Emmets held out to qualify for a second successive Duhallow Under 21 Final.
The Robert Emmets team and scorers…
Donal Hannon (0-15), Barry O’Connor (0-3), Jonathan Flaherty (0-1)
|Eoin O'Connell||Colm Noonan||Daniel Richard Guinee|
|Michael Cottrell||Paudie Allen||Gavin Forde|
|Alan Ryan||Cathal Noonan|
|Barry O'Connor||Jacko Flaherty||David Quinlan|
|Michael McSweeney||Donal Hannon||Conor O'Keeffe|