Emeralds joint captains Francis Clohesy and Anthony Farrell receive the Junior C cup from Pat Dunphy and Paul Kavanagh. Pic: Willie Dempsey
All roads led to Kilmanagh on Sunday, the 3rd of July for the Iverk Produce Junior C Hurling League Final between Emeralds and Piltown.
A lot of work has been put in by the Graigue Ballycallan Club in recent times and the grounds were in excellent condition.
Emeralds took control of the game right from the start and never gave their opponents a chance to get into the game.
Their work rate over the course of the 60 minutes was impressive and even while holding a substantial lead, kept the pressure on and were deserving winners.
Both sides registered a number of wides in the first few minutes but Emeralds were first to settle and found their rhythm in the fifth minute with a fine point from Oliver Kenny.
Piltown responded on the next puckout with a point from Neil Moriarty.
Emeralds, with a short puckout to Tomas Cussen, worked the ball up the field to JJ McLoughlin whose strike was just short of the target but Darragh Queally was on hand to put it over the bar.
JJ’s next strike, however, sailed over the crossbar for his first point of the evening.
In the 13th minute, corner forward Darragh Queally got around his man and ran on goal with only one thought on his mind and he let fly with an unstoppable strike to the back of the Piltown net.
Emeralds continued to press on with points from Anthony Farrell, John Doyle and Calvin Ryan (on free-taking duties) before Piltown registered another score from captain Jamie Norris.
Alex Burke, top scorer on the night with an impressive 3-2 put his name on the scoreboard in the 22nd minute.
A goal opportunity for Piltown’s Neil Moriarty in the 25th minute was denied by Enda Kelly and a number of points by Daryl Maye from placed balls closed out the first half with Emeralds in control. Emeralds 1-11, Piltown 0-5.
Emeralds wingback, Kieran Cleere opened the second half scoring with a point from a long range free.
It looked like Piltown might put it up to the Emeralds men in the second half with three points from Daryl Maye but Alex Burke, in a period of nine minutes registered 2-1 leaving a shell-shocked Piltown wondering how to respond.
They didn’t give up, however with Aidan Walsh, Eddie Brennan and Conor Hogan each getting on the scoreboard but Alex Burke scoring his hat trick in the 27th minute really sealed the victory. FT Emeralds 4-18, Piltown 0-12.
For Emeralds, Alex Burke and Darragh Queally did some serious damage, scoring 4-5 between them and JJ McLoughlin and Calvin Ryan worked the ball cleverly throughout and fed some great ball into their forwards.
Credit also to Anthony Farrell who led the Emeralds defence. Best for Piltown were Eddie Brennan and Seamus Norris.
Emeralds: Enda Kelly, Gavin Moriarty, Ciaran Phelan, Tomas Cussen, Kieran Cleere (0-1f), Anthony Farrell (JC) (0-1), Niall O’Gorman, Calvin Ryan (0-5, 0-3f), Francis Clohosey (JC), JJ McLoughlin (0-2), John Doyle (0-1), Oliver Kenny (0-1), Darragh Queally (1-3, 0-1f), Jack Kavanagh (0-1), Alex Burke (3-2).
Subs: Fergal Tobin, Edward Ryan, Luke Phelan (0-1), Adam Barnaville, Kacper Woloczko, Brendan Cleere.
Piltown: Pauric Wall, Tom Reid, Seamus Norris, James Kirby, Artjoms Sergejs, Shane Walsh, Shane Doody, Aidan Walsh (0-1), Gavin Flynn, Daryl Maye (0-5, 0-3f), Jamie Norris (C) (0-3, 0-1f), Eddie Brennan (0-1), Francis O’Brien, Neil Moriarty (0-1), John Kenny.
Subs: Aidan Ryan, Darragh Anthony, Dan Norris, Conor Hogan (0-1), Sean O’Neill.
Referee: Conor Everard (Graigue Ballycallan).
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