Lovely Buggy goals give the Shamrocks the silverware

Conahy Shamrocks 2-12

Conahy Shamrocks 2-12

James Stephens 2-10

A PAUL BUGGY goal in the dying minutes proved to be the difference as Conahy Shamrocks got their hands on the Johnny Ivory Cup at the weekend.

The Shamrocks picked up the junior B hurling title, their first since 2004, when they saw off the challenge of James Stephens at Parc Lactain on Sunday evening.

In an entertaining game played in ideal conditions Conor Brennan opened the scoring after two minutes with a Conahy point from a free. Paul Buggy added a similar score before grabbing a goal to put Conahy 1-2 to 0-0 ahead after just seven minutes.

It took James Stephens eight minutes to open their account courtesy of a Joey Murray free, but once the city side trained their sights they pushed on. Gary Whelan added two points for the Village by the 11th minute, before a Jack McGrath point brought ’Stephens to within a point of their hard-working opponents.

By the 20th minute the sides were level (Conahy 1-4, James Stephens 0-7) - but not for long. The Village upped the tempo and took the lead when Joey Murray struck for their first goal. Jack McGrath added a point before Keith Mulcahy had a well-taken goal as James Stephens took a double score lead (2-8 to 1-4) by the 26th minute. Conor Brennan grabbed the last point of the half, but that still left Conahy with plenty of work to do after the restart (James Stephens 2-8, Conahy 1-5).

Conahy began the second half in positive mood and two points by Conor Brennan, followed by one from Paul Buggy, brought them back into the game. Although two Joey Murray frees extended the ’Stephens lead to five points by the 40th minute Conahy then hit a purple patch. Three Brennan points from placed balls (two frees and a 65), coupled with a Buggy free, reduced the arrears to a single point with seven minutes remaining (2-10 to 1-12).

The game was in the melting pot, but full-forward Paul Buggy sealed the spoils for the Shamrocks when he goaled in the 54th minute. That proved to be the last score of the match as Conahy held on for a narrow victory, leaving their opponents to rue a couple of late missed chances.

Conahy Shamrocks - Andy O’Keeffe, Conor Healy, Peter Dollard, David Baldwin, Darren Leahy, Martin Fitzpatrick, Patrick Harding, Paddy Mullen, Gary Kavanagh, Conor Brennan (0-7, 0-5 frees, 0-1 65), Michael Bergin, John Mullen, Barry Murphy, Paul Buggy (2-5, 0-4 frees), Conor Whelan. Sub: David Buggy for Conor Whelan.

James Stephens - Joe Murphy, Paddy Noonan, Bill Keogh, Luke Hickey, David Hennessy, Keith Ryan, Michael Neary, James Hennessy, Anthony Lawlor, Ian Hayes, Shane Egan, Gary Whelan (0-2, free, 65), Jack McGrath (0-4, 0-2 frees, 0-2 65s), Joey Murray (1-4, 0-4 frees), Keith Mulcahy (1-0). Sub: Ben Lahart for Anthony Lawlor.

Referee - John Guinan (St Lachtain’s).