Match Report by Joe Bracken, Mid Bord na nOg PRO.
Doran Oil U14C Hurling Final
Durlas Óg 'B' 9-07 Clonakenny 7-04
Those present in the Ragg for the Doan Oil sponsored U14C hurling final were treated to a goal fest as both Durlas Óg and Clonakenny renewed acquaintances once again, having previously contested the football equivalent earlier in the season, with the honours as in the football going to the Thurles lads. But fight for it they had as a second half scoring spree by Matthew O’Sullivan narrowed the margin to five with four minutes left, before a goal and a point from Fred Crowley ensured victory for Durlas Óg, much to the relief of their supporters.
Durlas Óg were straight into the attack from the throw in and never allowed Clonakenny a chance to settle, with Frank McKevitt causing all sorts of problems for the Clonakenny defence.
The opening score came in the fifth minute by Durlas Óg main man in attack Conor Murphy as he pointed from the right. The first of the evenings goals followed shortly, two inside a minute in fact with Rory Fogarty getting his first of three immediately followed by Murphy with his first of three also. Coming on the back of three wides and a sixty five from Durlas Óg, Clonakenny in their first attack at the posts pointed courtesy of a super strike by Tommy Hennessy from tight on the right hand touch line.
Murphy responded with his second goal profiting on an exquisite lay off by Fogarty who had cut in from the right. Not to be outdone Ben O’Carroll then cut through the Durlas defence shooting in flight to the net. Both sides traded points before two more goals in a minute for Durlas Óg, the first from McKevitt who was rewarded for his efforts with a fine goal and then Murphy sealing his hat-trick. With their tails up Durlas Óg kept up the pressure as Fred Crowley scored a smashing point over his shoulder with six minutes left to the break. Fogarty got his second and Durlas Óg sixth goal with a minute of the half remaining, half time score 6-04 to 1-03, a rout looking on the cards.
The second half was four minutes old when Crowley appeared to shoot for a point from outfield but his shot dropped and lobbed the keeper into the goal, daylight growing between the sides. Never panicking Clonakenny stormed back, with Kevin Bracken making two fine stops to keep them at bay. O’Sullivan began his scoring blitz with a point from inside the forty five but still Durlas Óg negated this with 1-01, Fogarty completing his hat-trick.
In the next nine minutes though O’Sullivan turned the game on its head shooting six blistering missiles to the net with pin point accuracy and there was nothing the keeper could do about it. Not alone was O’Sullivan powerful in the strike but his forward momentum was equally as strong as he scorched his way through the Durlas defence in rare abandon.
In scenes reminiscent of Croke Park 2012, two Durlas Óg players were sent to marshal O’Sullivan in an effort to quell his dominance. And it appeared to do the trick as in the nervous remaining minutes Crowley popped up with scores to seal victory for his side.
Comfortable perhaps overall for Durlas Óg and they will know what they have to do go going into a county semi final. With free flowing and scoring forwards in Murphy, Fogarty, Crowley and the industry of McKevitt they have every chance of a county final birth. Clonakenny tried hard and showed tremendous character in taking the fight to Durlas Óg in the second half when all seemed lost. O’Sullivan of course was to the fore but Hennessy and O’Carroll played their part as well, as did Conor Nesbitt and Ciarán Shanahan.
One statistic of interest to note, out of all the scores on the board only two points were from frees, which is a huge credit to both clubs.
Seamus Doran sponsor was then on hand to present the cup with Mid Bórd na nÓg Chairman, Joe O’Sullivan, to Durlas Óg captain Michael Stakelum.
Durlas Óg; Kevin Bracken, Cillian Donaghy, Ben Murphy, Dylan Costello, Seán Butler, Bill Shanahan, Daniel Moloney, Barry McGrath 01f, Fred Crowley 2-03, Michael Stakelum (C), Frank McKevitt 1-00, Conor Murphy 3-03, Rory Fogarty 3-00, Subs; Patrick Bowden, Arthur Geronimo, Michael Mulcahir, Shane Stapleton, Shaun Kennedy, Shane Dunne, Jamie Donovan, Stephen Dorney, Donocha Byrne, Philip Ryan, Killian Ryan.
Clonakenny; Stephen Maher, Stephen Ryan, Jack Casey, Seán Maher, Matthew O’Sullivan 6-02 (01f), Ciarán Shanahan, Cain Russell, Tommy Hennessy (C) 02, Cian O’Dwyer, Ben O’Carroll 1-00, Conor Nesbitt, Daniel O’Sullivan, Denis Hennessy, Sub; Rory Nolan.
Referee: Andy Murray – Upperchurch-Drombane.