Pádraig Pearses 6-4 Oranmore/Maree 2-3. Report by Connacht Tribune. Pádraig Pearses, as the score suggests, had a surprisingly easy victory over a Oranmore/Maree side in the final of the County Junior Hurling Championship, played in atrocious weather conditions in Kenny Stadium, Athenry on Sunday. After a dream start, the Oranmore/Maree combination faded badly and little time had elapsed before the East Board Champions assumed complete control.
Gerry Murray at centre half forward was ‘Man of the Match’ for the winners, but as a team they were a far superior fifteen to the West Board men and rarely looked in danger of being beaten. A tremendous burst upfield direct from the throw in ended in a fine goal for Oranmore/Maree scored by Michael Carr and when M. Foley added a point, minutes later, it looked as though it could be their day.
Gerry Murray and Billy Kelly exchanged points before the Pearses onslaught began.
James Molloy cut through for a well taken goal, a brilliant save by Jimmy Reilly was deflected to the Pearses net and minutes later James Molloy had his second major to put Pearses well ahead. Before half time Kevin Blehein and Gerry Murray had further points to consolidate their position. The writing was on the wall for Oranmore/Maree at the interval and when James Molloy hammered in another goal for Pearses the game was as good as over. Hanniffy and Blehein exchanged points and before the finish Molloy and Burns had further goals for the winners to which Oranmore/Maree replied with a Liam Hanniffy goal.
Tom Rock in goal for the winners had a good hour and had good cover from his backs especially Joe Molloy, Tom Cloonan and Brendan Hardiman. Paul Ryan and Kevin Blehein got an even break at midfield, while Gerry Murray was the spearhead of the Pearses attack. Tom Burns played a captain’s part at right half forward and James Molloy was a dangerous opportunist.
Jimmy Reilly brought off some fine saves between the posts for Oranmore/Maree and was not entirely to blame for the shots that beat him. Tom Walsh was a sound full back and Sean Hanniffy a tenacious defender, while Kieran Furey and Billy Kelly played well in the centre. Best of the forwards were Foley, Fitzgerald and Liam Hanniffy.
PEARSES: T. Rock, P. Hillary, J. Molloy, T. Molloy, M. Kilkenny, T. Cloonan, B. Hardiman, P. Ryan, K. Blehein (0-2), T. Burns (1-0), G. Murray (1-2), K. Raftery, V. Connor, J. Molloy (4-0), S. McDonagh.
ORANMORE/MAREE: J. Reilly, P. McGrath, T. Walsh, J. Greally, M. Killilea, S. Burke, S. Hanniffy, K. Furey, B. Kelly (0-1), M. Foley (0-1), T. Madden, T. Greally, M. Carr (1-0), D. Fitzgerald, L. Hanniffy (1-1).
Referee: B. Gardiner (Athenry).