Claregalway 2-11 Pearses 1-6. Report by Martina Donnellan. The weather in Ballymacward couldn’t have been better for yesterday evening’s U13 showdown between Pearses and Claregalway. Unbeaten in their first 2 games, Pearses were hoping to maintain the momentum with another win. They got off to the best possible start as Harry Mitchell had them on the scoreboard within seconds with a point from play followed by a free but Claregalway quickly responded with a point of their own.
Harry replied with another pointed free after Cilly Fahey was fouled as Claregalway began to settle with many early chances but couldn’t convert. After numerous wasted chances they eventually pointed from play with a high lobbing ball which could easily have dipped under Diarmuid Ryan’s crossbar.
Diarmuid Ryan then made a great save for Pearses while the rebound fell to one of the Claregalway strike force but he blasted wide. Harry Mitchell then went on a great solo down the stand side of the field and foot passed into Cilly Fahey and he slotted over from 20yards to make it Pearses 0-4; Claregalway 0-2.
Although in charge, Pearses couldn’t seem to stop the Claregalway runs and passing movement in the next few minutes and the visitors were rewarded with a well worked goal which was hand passed to the net (I think!). They found the net again within minutes but the ref ruled out the goal for overcarrying and a free out was awarded instead. Claregalway worked the ball well up the field which resulted in another point. James Queeney changed the scoreline again as he got on the end of a long delivery from Jonah Donnellan, which flew over the head of Fionn Donohue and Queeney gathered the loose ball, worked himself into a scoreable position and tapped over.
Harry Mitchell made a real impact with a cracker of a goal before half time to keep the pressure on the Claregalway side. With the sun beaming down, the game started to get heated as the Claregalway mentors judged Harry to have failed to abide by the U13 rules – only 2 plays and release the ball. However, the ref was having none of it and the goal stood so that Pearses were in the driving seat by half time: Pearses 1-5; Claregalway 1-3.
Claregalway were quickest to settle after the restart as they worked the ball down the field, broke down the Pearses defence and their No. 8 rounded Diarmuid Ryan in goal to tap into an empty net. Claregalway added another point from play as Pearses defence failed to clear. Diarmuid Ryan was called into action again as he made a great save with his feet while the rebound failed to find the target. Diarmuid was quick off his line once more when a long delivery from Claregalway’s midfielder favoured Ryan to make it first to the ball and he blasted the clearance off the ground which rebounded off the inrushing forward. The ref called play back for a throw-in which resulted in another point from play for the visitors.
No. 7 added to Claregalway’s tally as he showed they brought their shooting boots with them whilst the Pearses lads showed the effects of the U14 Co. Hurling Final the day before as they were sluggish and tiring as the game wore on. It was a 4 point ball game at this stage. Pearses 1-5; Claregalway 2-6. Both sides exchanged scores: Claregalway with a point from play taken on the run while Harry converted a free after Conor Hillary was fouled.
Pearses did their best to come back into the game but it wasn’t going their way and with time running out things looked bleak for the tiring boys in black on a warm sunny Summer’s evening. Claregalway converted a controversial point which hit the post and the ref adjudged it to have gone over, even though everyone else seen the ball deflect out wide. Claregalway tapped over three close range frees in the closing stages to see them out comfortable winners as Pearses struggled to get scores on the scoreboard in the 2nd half.
Panel: Diarmuid Ryan, Dara Scarry, Ross Lally, David Walsh, Conor Walsh, Kyle McDonagh, Jonah Donnellan, Anthony Feeney, James Queeney, Harry Mitchell, Conor Hillary, Fionn Donohue, Cillian Fahey, Cathal Hynes, Patrick O’Neill, Ciarán Hogan, Padraic Kelly, James Feeney.