Match Report supplied by Joe Bracken, Mid Bord na nOg PRO.
Stakelum’s Hardware Ltd U16B Mid Hurling Final
Upperchurch-Drombane 3-11 Durlas Óg 3-03
In reclaiming the title last won in 2005, Upperchurch-Drombane bridged that six year gap by defeating Durlas Óg in a very entertaining contest on Sunday morning last in Littleton, to give them their first title of the year in what was the last championship final of the year for the Mid Division at Bord na nÓg level. Despite going behind to an early point the influence of Paul Shanahan at centre forward swung the game in the ‘Church favour from where they never looked back running out comfortable winners in the end.
Shanahan did however shoot a couple of early wides before Tom Tierney opened the scoring with a twenty metre free for Durlas Óg. Shanahan followed suit minutes later before his dropping sixty five found it’s way to the net amid a forest of hurls with Rory Purcell having no chance to keep it out .Opposing keeper Gavin Ryan then launched a mighty free from inside his own half over the bar to increase his sides lead. But the Durlas Óg response was swift. A sixty five for them was batted out by the ‘Church full back and Adam Garrett was quickest to pounce as he whipped the ball to the net as it came back over from the left.
As the wind kept up its momentum so did the Upperchurch attack as they continued to lay siege on a resolute Durlas Óg defence. Shanahan added another free before Niall Grant hit a peach of a point to open his account. Upperchurch were then awarded a penalty as a Durlas Óg defender was adjudged to have fouled the ball on the ground and though Shanahan hit it well the shot was excellently saved and the siege lifted. He did find his range again soon after with another free and as half time loomed Robert Murphy pointed for the ‘Church to leave it 1-06 to 1-01 at the break.
Durlas Óg made a significant change at the start of the half moving Rory Purcell to the forwards in a positional switch, a move that would pay rich dividends later. However, an early brace of points from frees for Paul Shanahan saw the game resume where it had left off at half time as Upperchurch took control. Soon Dylan Sheridan found Robert Murphy with a ball from midfield and he made no mistake in finding the net. This was immediately followed up by Shanahan as he too collected a long ball in from a free and fired hard to the keeper’s left to give his side what seemed an unassailable lead.
Queue Rory Purcell as he clawed Durlas Óg right back into the match with his tigerish efforts which resulted in a brace of goals in as many minutes, his second being the pick. That was to be as good as it would get for Durlas Óg though as Upperchurch-Drombane stamped their authority on the remainder of the half to quell any thoughts of a Durlas Óg comeback. Niall Grant hit another beauty of a point with ten minutes left. And with minutes remaining he added another before Toby Clancy also got in on the scoring. The final puck of the game saw Adam Garret complete the scoring with a point for Durlas Óg as Martin Ryan called time on proceedings to the delight of the Upperchurch-Drombane team and followers.
Mid Bord na nÓg PRO Joe Bracken together with Pat Carey representing sponsor Stakelum’s Hardware Ltd presented the cup to winning captain Paul Shanahan to wild shouts of delight from his team mates and supporters. Shanahan played the captains role with assurance and was involved in nearly all of his side’s attacks. Great support play from Niall Grant, Loughlin Ryan, Toby Clancy, Dylan Sheridan, Nathan Delaney and Robert Murphy among others ensured this victory.
Disappointment for Durlas Óg as they failed to add to the ‘A’ title won the day before where Aaron McCormack, Cathal Moloney and Darragh Coffey were prominent throughout, Darragh having a fine second half in particular. Rory Purcell was inspired when moved to the forwards and battled for everything. Adam Garrett, Jack O’Connell and Tom Tierney also tried hard.
Upperchurch-Drombane; Gavin Ryan 01f, Conor Ryan, Nathan Delaney, Ronan Gleeson, Loughlin Ryan, Gerard Grant, Jack Butler, Dylan Sheridan, Toby Clancy 01, Robert Murphy 1-01, Paul Shanahan (C) 2-05 (1-00 ’65, 05f), Brian Sheridan, Niall Grant 03, Aaron Flanagan, Brian Harty, Subs; Cathal Purcell, Patrick Bourke, T.J. Butler, Pat Lavery.
Durlas Óg; Rory Purcell 2-00, Matthew Fogarty (C), Tony O’Brien, Mark Conway, Aaron McCormack, Jack O’Connell, Jack O’Dwyer, Tom Tierney 02f, Cathal Moloney, Brendan O’Loughlin, Darragh Coffey, Robbie Hanrahan, Thomas Fogarty, Jamie Curtis, Adam Garrett 1-01, Subs; Daniel Taylor, Sean Fitzgibbon, Sean Murphy, Colin Doyle, Jack McDonnell, Jack Carroll, Conor Cassidy, Michael Wade.
Referee; Martin Ryan (Moyne-Templetuohy)