Grennan College claimed its second South Leinster Juvenile hurling C title in three years after a thrilling victory over New Ross CBS in a game played in atrocious conditions at Kennedy Park in New Ross.
The CBS were very quick out of the blocks and raced into a 10-point lead by half time. This was due to mainly some great hurling from Corey Bolger and Patrick Murphy.
Grennan College seemed very lethargic in the opening half. They were second to the ball and lost the 50/50 tussles. They did not seem to have the heart for the battle and needed a good talking to at half time before rousing themselves for the second half.
John Donnelly pointed a free and Steward Dunne Maher struck for a well taken goal to set the comeback in motion. Further frees from Donnelly and a good point from play by Cathal O’Neill reduced the deficit to just two points with five minutes remaining.
With Grennan driving forward at every opportunity and the CBS fighting tooth and nail to hang on, the atmosphere was electric as the minutes ticked by. Grennan won a 21-yard free with time running out and the message from the sideline was to go for goal. John Donnelly stood over the free but his well struck effort was saved brilliantly and it looked as if it were all over for Grennan.
However, straight away they attacked again and a long delivery from Conor Hennessy was fielded by John Donnelly, who broke through and roofed the net. There was still time for the bewildered New Ross outfit to launch an attack but superb defending from Jamie Bryan and Sean Roche sealed victory for Grennan College on a score line of 2-8 to 2-7.
Outstanding for the winners were John Donnelly, who scored 1-7; captain Sean Roche was immense, Jamie Bryan had a blinder at full back, Conor Hennessy and Cathal O’Neill dominated midfield in the second half and Steward Dunne Maher and Jack Cullen hurled well up front. New Ross will wonder how they let such a big lead slip away and the fact that they failed to score in the second half was a major contributing factor.
Overall, it was a great game played in a great spirit, despite the awful conditions of driving rain and swirling wind.
Team: P. Duggan, E. O’Keefe, J.Bryan, J. Clifford, J. Delahunty, S. Roche, K. Brennan, C. O’Neill (0-1), C. Hennessy, C. Gibbons, J. Donnelly (1-7), A. Kehoe, J. Cullen, S.S Maher, F. Carroll.
Subs: E. Hanlon, I. Waugh, J. Carrigan, C. Dwan, D. Corr, J. Malone, S. Butler, C. Kelly, S. Duggan, D. Waugh, C. Daly, S. Hanley.