BY NIALL SHERRY
The Village see-off Dicksboro to book final spot
St Canice’s Credit Union Senior Hurling Championship
Quarter Final Review
Shamrocks Ballyhale 1-27 Clara 0-15
The last of the remaining quarter-final ties took place last Sunday at UPMC Nowlan Park when holders Shamrocks Ballyhale took on Clara with a semi-final against Tullaroan the prize for the winners.
Pat Hoban’s men certainly laid down a marker as they continued their bid for 5-in-a-row County titles with an impressive display against the side that had got one over on them in the league earlier this season.
Adrian Mullen was particularly impressive as he notched 1-7 in the dismantling of Clara, some of his scores were worth the admission alone.
Clara to their credit started brightly, and registered the first couple of scores of the game, thanks to points from John Murphy and David Langton. Clara’s bright start was soon dimmed, when County stars Mullen and TJ Reid began to find their range.
Shamrocks greater attacking quality was proving troublesome for the Clara defence, and even though they employed a sweeper, the Maroon-clad men seemed to be chasing shadows for long periods of the game. A mistake by the normally reliable Kevin Nolan in the Clara goal, allowed Adrian Mullen to raise the only green flag of the day and this score seemed to ignite the Ballyhale charges. Indeed, Mullen’s next score was one of his finest, from way out on the sideline.
The champions were 6 points up with just over ten minutes played, and things were looking ominous for the Shield winners. Clara gave their vocal support something to cheer with points from the dangerous Jason Byrne and another from John Murphy. Paddy Mullen and Darragh Corcoran responded for Shamrocks but the free-taking of Byrne allowed his team to close the gap to five at the mid-way point of the half.
Ballyhale then went up a gear and reeled off some fine scores from Mullen, Eoin Cody and Colin Fennelly. Clara were simply outgunned. Wing-forward Liam Ryan tagged on a couple of tasty scores, Adrian Mullen hit his fourth of the half before further points from Cody, TJ Reid and Darragh Corcoran sent Pat Hoban’s men into the changing rooms ten points to the good.
The County champions of ‘13 and ‘15 simply had no answer to Shamrocks. The second half followed the pattern of the first, with Adrian Mullen and Eoin Cody the chief protagonists, striking over points that highlighted their quality and undoubted class.
Liam Ryan and Conor O’Shea battled in vain for Clara, who in truth never looked like mounting a serious challenge to Shamrocks reign as champions. Defenders Darragh Corcoran and Evan Shefflin struck over points while Colin Fennelly added to his tally and finished with 0-3 on the day.
When referee Peter Burke blew for full-time, Ballyhale had taken another step on the road to 5-in-a-row. Final score Shamrocks Ballyhale 1-27, Clara 0-15.
Scorers Shamrocks Ballyhale: A Mullen (1-7), E Cody (0-6), TJ Reid (0-6, 0-4f and 0-1 65), Darragh Corcoran, Colin Fennelly (0-3 each), Evan Shefflin, Paddy Mullen (0-1 each)
Scorers Clara: L Ryan (0-4), J Byrne (0-4, 0-4f), J Murphy, C O’Shea (0-2 each), C Bolger, M Kenny, D Langton (0-1 each)
Shamrocks Ballyhale: D Mason; K Corcoran, J Holden, B Butler; E Shefflin, R Reid, D Corcoran; R Corcoran, P Mullen; A Mullen, TJ Reid, E Cody; E Kenneally, C Fennelly, N Shorthall.
Subs: J Cuddihy for P Mullen, E Reid for Shortall, L Barron for R Corcoran, S Barron for Butler.
Clara: K Nolan; B Carrigan, J Langton, S O’Shea; S Staunton, D Langton, M Kenny; C O’Shea, M O’Connell; P Cody, J Murphy, L Ryan; D Glynn, J Byrne, C Bolger.
Subs: L Ryan for O’Connell, C Cody for Glynn, T Ryan for Byrne, E Whearty for Kenny.
Referee: Peter Burke
James Stephens 2-18
The Village are the first side to qualify for this seasons St Canice’s Credit Union Senior Hurling Championship Final after an exciting encounter with city rivals Dicksboro at UPMC Nolan Park last Sunday.
Goals win games and so it proved in this semi-final encounter as James Stephens bagged two majors to ‘Boro’s one as they bid for a first county title since 2011.
Seamus Dwyer’s men were quick off the mark and hit three early scores via Tadhg O’Dwyer, Matthew Ruth and Willie Spencer. Dicksboro responded with four of their own, the dangerous Andy Gaffney hit a couple as did Liam Moore and one from Eoin Fennelly nudged them ahead.
A wonderful goal followed from Eoin Guilfoyle as those in attendance were being treated to a scoring spectacle! Bill Sheehan led by example and struck over a fine point, before Village netminder Gavin Costigan reacted smartly to deny a well struck Andy Gaffney effort.
Placed ball specialist Niall Brassil rifled over a brace of frees to confirm his radar was locked in on the day. The city rivals exchanged scores before Brassil nailed another couple of efforts to leave James Stephens four up at the short whistle.
Dicksboro came out determined to claw back the deficit and struck the first few scores of the second half through a hat-trick of placed balls from Andy Gaffney and a lovely score from the roving Liam Moore. The ‘Boro then fashioned a major of their own. Some good play from Moore saw the ball played to Gaffney, and the deadly attacker made no mistake as he finished past a helpless Costigan.
Seamus Dwyer’s team then dug in and pulled a couple back through Niall Brassil and Tadhg O’Dwyer, but Gaffney was in fine form for Michael Walsh’s men and he struck over a challenging free before recently introduced sub, Harry Shine popped over a nice point to leave his side ahead by the minimum as the semi-finalists entered the home straight.
The turnaround in form of this Village team since the opening rounds of the league has been quite remarkable. Could it be that Brian Cody has made a tangible difference since joining Seamus Dwyer’s management team?
Niall Brassil then struck the score that brought the sides level again, but matters were about to get a whole lot better for The Village.
With a little over 10 minutes remaining, one of Brian Cody’s trusted lieutenants got the vital score of the game. Conor Browne picked up possession some 40-odd yards away from goal but drove straight to goal and when he reached the ‘21 he unleashed a firm shot past Holohan in the Dicksboro goal. The Village up by three.
Dicksboro were rocked, but to their credit they fired over points from that man Gaffney and captain Bill Sheehan. However, James Stephens had wind in their sails following Browne’s goal, and they added a couple of more points from their top scorer Brassil and Eoin Guilfoyle to see them home by three in an exhilarating encounter that in truth could have gone in either sides favour. Final Score, Dicksboro 1-18 James Stephens 2-18.
Scorers James Stephens: N Brassil (0-9, 0-7f), E Guilfoyle (1-1), C Browne (1-0), L Scanlon, T O’Dwyer, A Parsons (0-2 each), W Spencer, M Ruth (0-1 each)
Scorers Dicksboro: A Gaffney (1-8, 0-5f, 0-3 65’s), L Moore, B Sheehan (0-3 each), T Clifford (0-2), E Fennelly, H Shine (0-1 each)
James Stephens: G Costigan, L Murphy, D Cody, S Donoghue, N Delaney, C Kenny, N Mullins, W Spencer, C Browne, A Parsons, N Brassil, E Guilfoyle, T O’Dwyer, M Ruth, L Scanlon
Subs: R Whelan for Parsons
Dicksboro: D Holohan, N Rowe, E Cody, A Phelan, O Walsh, P Moylan, E Carroll, T Kenny, E Fennelly, L Moore, B Sheehan, T Clifford, A Nolan, M Nolan, A Gaffney
Subs: H Shine for Walsh, S Farrell for Clifford, C Kavanagh for M. Nolan, S Stapleton for A. Nolan
Referee: Raymond Byrne