Young Irelands 1-13
Conahy Shamrocks 1-11
STRENGTH proved key as Young Irelands (Gowran) got the better of Conahy Shamrocks to move off the bottom of the table in the intermediate hurling league.
The Shamrocks showed better form in the early exchanges - at one stage they led by five points - but the men from Gowran eventually caught their opponents and trampled down their lead.
A David Carter free opened the scoring for Young Irelands, but a brace from Micheal Lawlor and one from David Healy soon had Conahy in the lead. However, they couldn’t add to their advantage in the next ten minutes, driving a series of wides while also losing Lawlor to injury.
The Shamrocks got back on track when sub Barry Murphy found the target, putting the sliotar over the bar from the right hand side of the pitch.
The leaders seemed to be taking control of the game, with centre-forward Paul Buggy adding his name to the scoresheet with a point. The Shamrocks now had a four point lead but ’Irelands responded with two quick points. Half-forward John Morris got the first before David Carter added a second, judging the wind expertly to curl the sliotar over the bar. Keeping the pressure on, Young Irelands almost grabbed a goal, but were denied as Conahy goalkeeper Andrew O’Keeffe was forced to clear the ball from his line.
Conahy continued to take their points as half-time approached. Paul Buggy knock over two more points before Paul Holden responded with a free on the stroke of half-time to leave three between the sides (0-7 to 0-4).
The Conahy supporters were confident as their team headed to the dressing room at the break. Young Irelands opted to stay on the pitch for the interval - maybe that’s what made the difference.
Conahy retook the pitch and tried to put the game beyond Young Irelands with a move that ripped Gowran apart. Padraig Nolan had the vision to pick out Barry Murphy in space on the left side of the target. Nolan squared the ball to Murphy, who struck early. Keeping the ball low, he found a gap in Martin Carter’s goal line defence.
Conahy looked comfortable with a six point lead, but Young Ireland began to quietly work their way back into the game, taking points from frees as they came.
Gavin Nolan was working hard for Conahy, making solo runs into the Young Ireland territory, but it was Gowran’s Paul Kehoe who was racking up the points. Three Kehoe points to a single Conahy score gave Young Irelands a glimmer of hope. A point from Gavin Nolan for Conahy and a response from Gowran’s Thomas Carroll was the prelude to the turning point of the game.
A high ball from Young Irelands Paul Holden wasn’t dealt with by the Conahy defence. Paul Kehoe seized on the sliotar and found the back of the net. In an instant, ’Irelands had moved to within a point of their opponents.
Gavin Nolan responded with a minor score but the momentum had switched sides and was now with the Gowran men. J.J. Lennon and Paul Kehoe shot points without a response to draw their side level before, in the 57th minute, Paul Holden put ’Irelands ahead.
Now in their stride, the Gowran men moved further ahead when a long range Ollie Carter shot was deflected over the bar by Conahy ’keeper Andrew O’Keeffe. A solo effort from the half-way line by John Morris was the final nail in the coffin for Conahy hopes in the 59th minute, with a last minute Gavin Nolan point proving scant consolation for the Shamrocks’ followers.
SCORERS: Young Irelands - Paul Kehoe (1-4); John Morris, Paul Holden (0-2 each); Padraig Nolan, David Carter, Thomas Carroll, J.J. Lennon, Ollie Carter (0-1 each). Conahy Shamrocks - Barry Murphy (1-1); Paul Buggy, Gavin Nolan (0-3 each); Michael Lawlor (0-2); David Healy, Kieran Mooney (0-1 each). Young Irelands - M. Carter, N. Walsh, W. Bolger, P. Lannon, J. Dunphy, M. Walsh, C. Carroll, P. Holden, S. Byrne, J. Morris, T. Carroll, P. Kehoe, J.J. Lennon, O. Carter, D. Carter.
Conahy Shamrocks - A. O’Keeffe, S. Og Brennan, D. Healy, T. Nolan, P. Harding, D. Kelly, I. Kavanagh, G. Nolan, G. Kavanagh, M. Bergin, K. Mooney, A. Healy, M. Lawlor, P. Buggy, P. Nolan. Sub: B. Murphy.
Referee - G. Rafter (Threecastles).