Pearses 6-5; Ballygar 0-13. Report by Martina Donnellan. It’s looking very much like Pearses youngsters will make it two Shield final appearances in a row (depending on other results) with an accomplished second-half performance turning around a seemingly lost situation against St. Brendan’s, Ballygar in Ballymacward yesterday eve. Following a limp enough first half performance by the U13 side, they trailed by 3 points at half time but the introduction of Cilly Fahey steadied the ship and turned the tide completely in Pearses direction in the 2nd half.
The Ballygar boys got off the mark good and early and showed their intent from the word go with two quick points. Pearses responded with a goal on 8mins after combined efforts from James Queeney, David Walsh, Harry Mitchell and Anthony Feeney with the latter’s last effort deflecting off a Ballygar defender and young Fionn Donohue was on hand to tap the rebounded effort to the net. Ballygar tacked on four more points; 3 from play after some great passing movements and a free. At this stage, Ballygar were much more patient and they waited until the right option presented itself to take their scores on each occasion.
Harry Mitchell added Pearses solitary first half point when he got ahead of his man, gathered a quickly taken Anthony Feeney free and pointed with relative ease to keep Pearses in the game with two points adrift. Ballygar closed out the first half scoring as their No. 10 scored a beauty to leave Pearses chasing the game by half time. Pearses 1-1; Ballygar 0-7.
In the 2nd half the Pearses boys brought an intensity that they had lacked in the early exchanges and the visitors simply wilted as they were unable to deal with the pace of Cilly Fahey as he powered everyone else around him into scoring mojos. Fahey originated the move which saw him link up nicely with Harry and Davy Walsh finished aplomb into the back of the net 4mins into the half. Pearses took the lead for the first time 3mins later as Ross Lally’s clearance in defence, found Harry who in turn found speedy and Cilly tapped over the crossbar to turn the game on its head. Pearses were right back in this contest. Ballygar replied with a point from No. 10 to level matters at 2-2 to 0-8. Then Harry finished well as Anthony Feeney turned over a Ballygar attack, his long clearance found Davy Walsh whose perfect delivery found Harry who rounded the goalie to tap into an empty net for a vital goal.
From there on, Pearses never looked back. A great combined save in defence from the 2 Conor’s: Hillary and Walsh kept out a certain goal while the clearance fell to a Ballygar lad who pointed from close range. In the next passage of play, Pearses moved the ball with great menace up the field where David Walsh goaled with that sweet left peg to make it 4-2 to 0-9 midway through the 2nd half. Jonah Donnellan was on hand to whip the ball off the Pearses goal line as Dara Scarry ensured the clearance. Harry added another point from play after great work from Anthony andamp;amp; Davy Walsh. Then Fionn Donohue was taken down and Anthony tapped over the resultant free. Cilly Fahey then did brilliantly to drive into space and hold on to possession until just the right time to release the killer kickpass to David who struck over a lovely point.
Diarmuid Ryan made a good save down under the trees while Kyle McDonagh added to the clearance injuring himself in the process. Ross Lally put his body on the line as the ball ricocheted off him to save another certain goal bound effort. Ballygar tacked on another point from play. Anthony Feeney scored a classic goal as Cathal Hynes’ clearance was added to by Jonah Donnellan andamp;amp; Cilly Fahey and Feeney weaved his way around a crowded area before bulleting to the net. David Walsh’s left peg added another goal as the ball went through the hole in the side net and all eyes were on the ref to see if he would mark it on his book. Diarmuid Ryan made 2 good saves to deflect the ball over the crossbar while young James
Feeney did his utmost to connect in a sliding manner to poke the ball over the goal line but it went out wide. Ballygar’s No. 7 failed to keep down a powering effort as the ball just carried over the crossbar to bring their tally to 0-13. Ballygar made one last effort to salvage a goal but the line of black jerseys on the goal line kept the ball out as Pearses kept their goal intact to finish a splendid 2nd half display.
This was certainly a game of two halves that confirms the old adage that goals win games.
Panel: Diarmuid Ryan, Dara Scarry, Conor Walsh, Kyle McDonagh, Jonah Donnellan, Padraig Kelly, Anthony Feeney, Conor Hillary, James Feeney, Harry Mitchell, Ross Lally, David Walsh, Fionn Donohue, Cilly Fahey, Cathal Hynes, Daniel Lydon, James Feeney