‘Boro too strong for Shamrocks as Harry Shine’s!

Daire Maher gets away from Shamrocks goal scorer, Niall Shortall


U21 title heads to Palmerstown

J.J Kavanagh and Sons Under 21 A Hurling Championship Final
Dicksboro 1-24
Ballyhale Shamrocks 2-12
Venue: John Locke Park Callan

Dicksboro overcame a stubborn Ballyhale challenge to claim the U21 title on a blustery day in Callan last Saturday. While Shamrocks fielded the likes of Eoin Cody, Dean Mason and Darragh Corcoran, it was Michael Walsh’s charges that played the better hurling and ran out worthy 9-point winners.

Ballyhale’s dependance on Young Hurler of the Year Eoin Cody was evident throughout the game, and in the end the mercurial attacker just didn’t have enough around him to repel a rampant Dicksboro.

The Palmerstown outfit played with the benefit of a very strong wind in the opening period, and they were well aware that a substantial lead would be needed at the short whistle if they were to give themselves the best chance of claiming the title.

The side’s exchanged scores in the opening minutes, as both attempted to come to terms with the playing conditions. Boro’s Cillian Hackett, Aran Murphy, Harry Shine and captain Mark Nolan all registered scores in the first quarter, with Eoin Cody keeping his side in touch.

Despite the wind advantage, Dicksboro played the ball through the lines as they ran their opponents ragged with their pace and movement. By the end of the opening quarter, the maroon’s had a five-point lead, 0-8 to 0-3, as Shamrocks struggled to get a foothold in the game. Their cause wasn’t helped, when full-back, Dara Mason had to be replaced early on, having been unable to continue, despite the best efforts of his medical team.

Things would improve for John Drennan’s in the 18th minute, when Jason Devereux was presented with a goal chance that he wasn’t going to turn down. Ballyhale were unable to build on this major and the Boro stretched out their lead as the half progressed and hit a further 6-points to just one from the Shamrocks, as they headed into the interval seven ahead, on a score line of 0-14 to 1-4.

Michael Walsh’s team were worth of their lead, and had it not have been for some fine goalkeeping from Dean Mason, the Boro could have been even more out of sight at the short whistle. Despite some early success in getting the long ball into Stephen Barron, the Dicksboro defence had the upper hand on their opponents, with the half-back line of Eoghan Moylan, Timmy Clifford and the impressive Stevie Dermody very much controlling proceedings.

The Dicksboro attacking threat was working well together, with some great inter-play between the half and full-forward lines. St Kieran’s star, Harry Shine, along with Liam Moore and Aran Murphy were all too much for the Shamrocks defence.

Shamrocks took the first score of the second period when Jason Devereux found Eoin Cody who slotted over, just what they needed. Dicksboro immediately went on the attack from the restart and almost goaled after great skill and play from Harry Shine, only for Dean Mason to pull off his third fine save of the day.

Eoin Cody then popped on over from over his left shoulder to continue his side’s comeback, but that man Harry Shine then notched the Boro’s first score of the second half, following good work from Hackett and Aran Murphy. Kilkenny’s new vice-captain Cody then slotted over a placed ball, as the Shamrocks crowd in attendance found their voices.

It appeared that every time Eoin Cody scored, Harry Shine responded, and that’s exactly happened again in the next period of play.

Then matters got very interesting. A Dicksboro attack was snuffed out and Casey Corcoran launched a long ball toward Niall Shorthall who took delivery and finished brilliantly. All of a sudden from being seven down at the interval, Ballyhale now found themselves just 2-points down. James Carroll got the next score of the game as he tried to settle the Boro nerves.

With only 2 points between the teams, the next score would be vital, and that man Harry Shine was to be the scorer. Great play from centre-forward Liam Moore saw the play find Cillian Hackett who in turn played a lovely pass to Harry Shine, who despite being fouled, who allowed the advantage and finished emphatically past the helpless Dean Mason. Dicksboro notched the next couple of points as well, as they re-established their superiority following Ballyhale’s bright start to the second period. The score board now read, ‘Boro 1-18, Shamrocks 2-10.

The imposing Liam Moore was involved in everything, he was certainly the conductor of this Dicksboro orchestra. Captain Mark Nolan then slotted over a lovely point, a reward for much ‘dirty work’ that he was getting through. ‘Boro keeper, Brian Manogue then pulled off a fine save, which again, gave his side another boost to go and get another score. Ballyhale got a point from Niall Shorthall, as Eoin Cody was moved into the edge of the square.

James Carroll then brought another fine save from Dean Mason, as the Fitzgibbon Cup winner showed his worth, with yet another fine save. Further scores late-on from Shine, the skillful Aran Murphy and Liam Moore saw the Boro home comfortably to claim the U21 championship title, on a final score of 1-24 to 2-12.

Dicksboro- Harry Shine 1-10 (0-7f, 0-1 65), Liam Moore (0-4), Aran Murphy (0-3), Mark Nolan (0-2), Timmy Clifford, James Carroll, Cillian Hackett, Padraic Moylan, Charlie Nolan (0-1 each)
Shamrocks- Eoin Cody 0-10 (0-5f), Niall Shorthall (1-1), Jason Devereux (1-0) Stephen Barron (0-1)
Dicksboro- Brian Manogue; Tommy Farrell, Niall Rowe, Daire Maher; Eoghan Moylan, Timmy Clifford, Stevie Dermody; James Carroll, Charlie Nolan; Padraic Moylan, Liam Moore, Harry Shine; Cillian Hackett, Mark Nolan, Aran Murphy.
Subs: Sean Maher for Hackett 44 mins, Colm O’Hara for C.Nolan 55 mins, Nick Doheny for Carroll 60 mins.
Shamrocks- Dean Mason; Michael Cullen, Dara Mason, Killian Corcoran; Casey Corcoran, Darragh Corcoran, Cian Cullen; Christopher Coady, Edmond Fitzpatrick; Liam Barron, Eoin Cody, John Shorthall; Niall Shorthall, Stephen Barron, Jason Devereux.
Subs: Larry Cody for Dara Mason (injured) 10 mins.
Referee- Peter Burke (Emeralds)


For those that don’t know, there are some decent hurlers on the rise in Palmerstown.
The fact that Boro’s backroom team had greater numbers than the Ballyhale bench says it all.
Captained by Mark Nolan, who worked seriously hard throughout the final in Callan, the winners were deserving of their latest underage title.
A strong spine is crucial to any side with ideas of claiming titles and beating a successful path.
Keeper – Brian Manogue – check. Full-back – Timmy Rowe – check. Midfield – Charlie Nolan – check. Centre-forward – Liam Moore – check. No.14 – Mark Nolan – check.
When you sprinkle huge amounts of quality around that spine, then you have the recipe for success. Aran Murphy, Cillian Hackett and the frighteningly impressive and improving rising star, Harry Shine in attack make this a really dynamic unit.
A Special mention for the performance of Stevie Dermody last Saturday. The defender was immense throughout, and swept beautifully in front of his full-back line.
Let’s go back to Harry Shine –not only does this young lad has it all in front of him, but he’s grasping every opportunity that presents itself, not matter what jersey he adorns. Be it that of St Kieran’s College, last season’s Kilkenny minor’s, Dicksboro minors or U21, Shine delivers.
Ballyhale were beaten by the much better side last week. I do however feel for the talented Eoin Cody. The heartbreak he has suffered in the last couple of weeks will be tough to take, both with the senior club side and IT Carlow. You could clearly see that the twice crowned Young Hurler of the Year was trying everything in his power to drag his team to glory last weekend. Ultimately, that was the difference between the finalists. The Dicksboro rearguard got to grips with the Shamrocks attack and by enlarge kept them in check. Ballyhale’s defensive unit were unable to get to grips with the likes of Liam Moore, Cillian Hackett, Aran Murphy and Harry Shine.
Shamrock’s keeper Dean Mason, despite finishing on the losing side, was in inspired form in Callan, and without him, the difference between the sides could have embarrassing at the long whistle. Mason, along with Eoin Cody, Darragh Corcoran have plenty of medals in their pockets, and while add more to their tally over the coming years.
For now, the dominant force in underage hurling in Kilkenny belongs to Dicksboro. Palmerstown is rising and beginning to Shine – literally!

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