Óg .............................. 4-8 Holycross-Ballycahill .............................. 1-4

Durlas Óg won their 7th Mid Under 16 ‘A’ hurling title in eight years when they defeated Holycross-Ballycahill in the final at The Ragg on Saturday. The first half was evenly balanced and two Durlas Óg goals were to prove crucial as they led by four points at the break. Holycross were unlucky for goals in the opening half as they saw a Peadar Wade penalty expertly saved and close to the half time whistle Durlas Óg goalie Mark Shannon brought off a fabulous double. Durlas Óg dominated the second half on the scoreboard but Holycross had many chances but their shooting let them down and they struck nine second half wides. Their only second half score was a 53rd minute goal from substitute Jamie Woods while Durlas Óg added 2-6 to their first half tally to run out convincing winners in the end.

This final which attracted a good sized attendance was expected to be a close contest and the opening exchanges didn’t disappoint with both teams fully committed. It was 0-2 to 0-1 to Durlas Óg after eight minutes of play with Dylan Bourke and Mossie McCormack on target for the Thurles side and Gavin Shelly pointing for Holycross. Durlas Óg then scored two goals in a three minute spell. The first arrived in the 10th minute when Mossie McCormack got on the end of a long delivery from Dylan Bourke to finish to the net after the Holycross defence failed to clear. McCormack set up the second goal for wing forward Stephen Cahill to blast to the net from close range. Holycross fought back and they were awarded a penalty in the 16th minute when Shane Moloney was fouled. Goalie Peadar Wade came all the way up the field but his powerful shot was brilliantly saved by Durlas Óg captain Michael O’Dwyer. It was all Holycross in the second quarter and midfielder Cathal Barrett who was causing problems for Durlas Óg scored three points (two frees and a ‘65’) to reduce the deficit to four points and it could have been closer were it not for Durlas Óg goalie Mark Shannon who had an outstanding game bringing off a double save in first half injury time to leave the scoreboard reading Durlas Óg 2-2 Holycross-Ballycahill 0-4 at the interval.

Durlas Óg got the opening score of the second half when Stephen Cahill pointed a free after four minutes and this was their first score since the 13th minute of the first half. They added a further 1-4 by the end of the third quarter while Holycross failed to score having missed a number of opportunities. Their wides tally began to mount up and this was due in no small part to the tight marking Durlas Óg defence. Mossie McCormack was the Durlas Ó g goal scorer and Shane Butler, Dylan Bourke, Stephen Cahill and Jamie Stapleton all had points to give their team a 3-7 to 0-4 lead as the game entered the final quarter. Great play by Cathal Barrett set up substitute Jamie Woods for a Holycross goal in the 53rd minute and Barrett was denied a goal himself by a great save from Thurles ‘keeper Mark Shannon in the 58th minute. Durlas Óg had the last score of the game when Padraig Phelan and Dylan Bourke combined to find substitute Conor Lanigan on the end of the square and he rattled the net to seal victory for his team.

Durlas Óg had many impressive displays and all players including the substitutes used contributed to their victory. Their defence was excellent with Mark Shannon outstanding in goals, David Corbett was very influential and dominant at centre back while James Ryan controlled the edge of the square and cleared many a dangerous situation. Jamie Stapleton and Shane Butler had their moments at midfield and in attack Stephen Cahill, Dylan Bourke and Mossie McCormack who finished as top scorer with 2-1 had impressive outings.

Holycross-Ballycahill were disappointed with the outcome of this game and they will rue the missed chances especially in the first half that could have made all the difference. Eoghan Moloney gave a top class display at full back. Kieran O’Dwyer and Thomas Quinlan also caught the eye in defence. Cathal Barrett was consistent throughout and he was their most influential player while John Dunne and Shane Moloney also impressed.

Teams and scorers:

Durlas Óg: Mark Shannon; Darragh Mulcaire, James Ryan, Michael O’Dwyer; Mark Beresford, David Corbett, Paul Maher; Jamie Stapleton (0-1), Shane Butler (0-1); Stephen Cahill (1-3), Dylan Bourke (0-2), Padraig Phelan; Aidan Doyle, Ciaran Dowd, Mossie McCormack (2-1). Subs: Dean McCormack, Conor Lanigan (1-0).

Holycross-Ballycahill : Peadar Wade; Pa O’Dwyer, Eoghan Moloney, Kieran O’Dwyer; Steven Manning, Thomas Quinlan, Sean Nally; John Dunne, Cathal Barrett (0-3); Gavin Shelly (0-1), John Paul Butler, Shane Moloney; Paul Morris, Dan English, Matthew Dean. Subs: T.J. Medley, Shane Ryan, Jamie Woods (1-0).

Referee: Liam Shanahan (Upperchuch-Drombane)