Spirit and pure heart leave ’Irelands whistling happy tune

Young Irelands 1-10

Young Irelands 1-10

John Lockes 0-11

IT WAS a win chiselled out through sheer heart and hard work by a team decimated by injuries, but Young Irelands (Gowran) were full value for this fine victory over disjointed John Lockes (Callan) in the second round of the intermediate hurling league at windy Thomastown on Sunday.

The winners didn’t fancy themselves at all before the game because of their troubles, but when the ’Lockes failed to hurt them when backed by the wind in the first half they grew into the game. And when it came to a dogfight at the finish they had the passion for the play.

In the end points from that great warrior, Tom Drennan, a super effort from beyond midfield, and Ollie Carter from a bad angle on the right at the town end in the 60th and 61st minutes respectively left ’Irelands whistling a happy tune as they all trooped off in the wind.

Full of threat

While the ’Lockes were all action and full of threat during the opening period, there was no real method to their hurling, or rather, there was no real cohesion.

Twice during the opening dozen minutes the scores were level. Then on the quarter hour P.J. Coady shot over a free following a foul on the zippy Ger Shelley, who was causing problems at top of the left without reflecting good work on the scoreboard (0-3 to 0-2).

The ’Lockes paid the price for poor shooting - seven wides during the half - and reached half-time with a slim enough lead of 0-8 to 0-3. Indeed, their attack didn’t really function, and six of those scores came from frees by Coady.

Young Irelands pulled back a point from a free by Frankie Farrell in the 33rd minute, and shortly afterwards they enjoyed a lucky break which earned them a goal. Tom Drennan drove in a hopeful ball from midfield, but when it was dropped by the ’keeper tall full-forward Peter Carroll bundled it into the net.

The ’Lockes held their nerve, and their spirited replay came in the shape of a pointed free from Coady. Frankie Farrell posted a reply before he landed the equaliser in the 45th minute, 0-9 to 1-6.

From here to the finish the action tingled as both sides threw everything they had into the fray. ’Irelands hit the front for the second time when John Morris clipped over a nice point from 45 metres on the left. Coady levelled (1-7 to 0-10).

All square

The teams swopped points after that and then both missed chances as the excitement level reached hit the roof. With normal time completed it was all square. The door then opened and Drennan and Carter decided it with terrific scores.

Tom Drennan couldn’t have offered any more to the cause for ’Irelands. He won a lot of hard ball, and he delivered in forward with menace. He had a bevy of bravehearts around him, including Ciaran Carroll, Jonathan Dunphy, Ollie Carter, Paul Kehoe, Frankie Farrell, John Morris and Michael Walsh.

In terms of effort, the ’Lockes couldn’t have given much more, but their play was directionless too often for their own good. Their best were Michael Gordan, who could have contributed no more to the cause, Paddy Kennedy, Michael Hartley and Coady on the frees.

Scorers: Young Irelands - Frankie Farrell (0-5, two frees); Peter Carroll (1-0); Tom Drennan (0-3); Ollie Carter, John Morris (0-1 each). John Lockes - P.J. Coady (0-9, frees); Matty Holohan, Shane Bergin (0-1 each).

Young Irelands - Martin Carey, Niall Walsh, Michael Walsh, Patrick Lennon, J.J. Lennon, Jonathan Dunphy, Ciaran Carroll, Paul Kehoe, Chris Nolan, Frankie Farrell, Tom Drennan, Ollie Carter, John Morris, Peter Carroll, Jody Foley. Subs - Thomas Carroll, Michael Lennon.

John Lockes - Paul Morrissey, Michael Gordan, Michael Roche, James Power, Tony Delaney, Michael Hartley, Owen McGrath, Paddy Kennedy, Matty Holohan, P.J. Coady, Robert Jackman, Shane Bergin, Ger Shelley, Simon Burke, Dan McCormack. Sub - Jack McDowell.

Referee - Domo Connolly (Mooncoin).