In a game that produced a fine standard of hurling in spite of the wet and slippery conditions, Conahy Shamrocks gained a vital two points in this hard fought victory over Young Irelands in the intermediate hurling league in Cloneen on Saturday.
Both sides started brightly and exchanged five points apiece in the opening 20 minutes. Paul Kehoe and Dick Carroll were prominent for ’Irelands, while Alan Healy was proving the key man in the Conahy attack, scoring three points from play.
The final minutes of the half were dominated by Conahy. They opened up a four point lead with consecutive scores. Alan Healy continued to be to the fore, scoring two further points from play to cap a superb performance.
The Conahy defence also settled well, with Paul Buggy again leading efficiently at full-back along with the returned Brian Healy. Gowran still looked dangerous, but despite the best efforts of Thomas Carroll and Tom Drennan, they shipped damage.
Conahy held the aforementioned four point lead at the half-time break (0-9 to 0-5).
The ’Irelands management switched their attack, and this had the desired effect. Within the opening 10 minutes of the new half they managed to get level at 0-10 apiece.
The opening goal came when Dick Carroll flicked a through ball to the Conahy net (1-10 to 0-11). The lead was increased to three points with a Paul Holden point.
Conahy stormed back. Shane Brennan shot past Martin Carey in the Gowran goal to level. This reinvigorated Conahy. They added two points from Kieran Mooney and Shane Brennan frees. Their crucial second goal came immediately when Shane Brennan netted from close range.
Time had run out on ’Irelands, but when J.P. Treacy played a short free to J.J. Lennon in an attempt to score a consolation goal, his snap shot found the Conahy net. However, it was too little, too late for them on this occasion as Conahy breathed a sigh of relief.
Conahy Shamrocks - Andy O’Keeffe, Seamus Óg Brennan, Paul Buggy, Tom Mullan, Brian Healy, John Mullan, Donal Brennan, John Wallace, Gary Kavanagh, Kieran Mooney (0-3, frees), Declan Buggy (0-1), Paddy Mullan (0-1), Shane Brennan (2-2, one free), Alan Healy (0-6), Peter Vickery. Subs.: Padraic Nolan, Gavin Nolan.
Young Irelands - Martin Carey, Niall Walsh, Johnny Murphy, Ciarán Carroll, JP Treacy, Michael Walsh, Emmett Byrne, JJ Lennon (1-0), Michael Lennon (0-1), Paul Holden (0-4, two frees), Jodie Foley, Paul Kehoe (0-3), Thomas Carroll (0-1), Tom Drennan, Dick Carroll (1-2). Subs.: Chris Nolan, Ollie Carter.