U14 Hurling, Round 3

Pearses 2-1 Skehana 1-3: This game played in Ballymacward this morning had all the atmosphere of an U14 final. You simply can’t beat a bit of rivalry between neighbours. There’s been very little between these two teams on the last few occasions the sides met and it was similar today with just a mere point separating the sides in the end, although Skehana had a few chances in the end to peg back for a share of the spoils.
Pearses weren’t to be denied today though as both teams battled hard in cold tough conditions while this pulsating local derby finished with Pearses impressive 1point winners. Both sides knew each other so well through other sports and as school mates which added that extra dimension to the tension. What more could one want from a game of hurling.
The game started at a frenetic pace with a wide a piece, first from Sean Hansberry and then Conor Moran. 7mins in and Harry Mitchell made a great save from a high dropping ball sent in from Sean Hansberry. It wasn’t until the 10th minute when the first score came – Moran converted a free after Ronan Hynes was fouled. In the ensuing play Hansberry again sent in a dangerous ball which was batted out by Harry Mitchell but fell to Liam Gormally whose ground stoke found the net to put Skehana in the driving seat. Sean Hansberry added a free moments later and just before half time Ronan Hynes ensured Pearses bounced back with a whopping goal after a lovely cross-field pass from Paddy Kenny. 1-1 a-piece at half time.
The 2nd half continued in the same vein as both sides stood toe-to-toe with little or nothing between them. A goalmouth scramble ensued in front of Pearses goal but Conor Kelly showed great bottle eventually clearing a difficult ball. A similar passage of play ensued moments later as the Pearses backs were under severe pressure but this time the clearance fell to Sean Hansberry who tapped over from play. 5 minutes into the second half as a Skehana player was floored through injury; the ref signalled play to continue, Conor Moran weaved across the field and shot a tonic goal from about 25 yards out past his soccer comrade Jason Connolly.
It was no more than Pearses deserved for their tackling, hassling, harrying and down right will and eagerness to win. 2-1 to 1-2 in favour of Pearses. With 6 mins left on the clock, the towering Hansberry had a lovely pick-up in the middle of the park, burst through the centre and shot a beauty on the run which went straight over the black spot to put the minimum between the sides. With just a minute left to play Skehana pushed hard in search of scores, led by Hansberry.
On 2 occasions as he throttled through the middle he was blocked superbly by Ronan Hynes and was floored with a Mark Donnellan shoulder when a score looked ominous. Sean Hansberry was uncharacteristically wide with a free and Liam Gormally from play 8mins into additional time which drew a superb sigh of relief from the Pearses supporters. That makes it 2 wins out of 3 for both sides who could very well meet again in the latter stages of this U14 competition judging by todays display.
Panel: Harry Mitchell, Conor Kelly, Oliver Laheen, Cormac Hillary, Oisin Donoghue, Mark Donnellan, Anthony Feeney, Paddy Kenny, Conor Moran, Niall McDonagh, David Egan, Ronan Hynes, Darragh Roche, Dara Scarry, Cillian Fahy, Dillion Roche, Ross Lally, Cathal Hynes, David Walsh, Diarmuid Ryan, Jamie Nutley