U14 Hurling, Round 5

Abbeyknockmoy 4-3 (15) Pearses 2-8 (14): There was fire and brimstone in Abbeyknockmoy this evening in Round 5 of the U14 championship. Some spectators thought Pearses had won it by 2 points, others thought it was a draw but yet the ref deemed Abbeyknockmoy to have won it by 1 point in the end on a final score line of Pearses 2-8; Abbeyknockmoy 4-3. Conor Kelly got Pearses off to the perfect start on 6mins with an exceptional goal which was made by Darragh Roche who cut in a across the end line before passing to the unmarked Kelly. Niall Mannion, son of Galway legendary footballer who won an All-Ireland medal in 1998 andamp;amp; 2001, released their full forward to score a cracker of a goal from a good distance out. Anthony Feeney had to be substituted early on for a crack on his hand and newcomer Orin Burke made his debut.
Cillian Fahy had alot to do to shake off the Abbey shackles before scoring a great point from play and he notched his 2nd from play a minute later after Conor Moran sent in a long ball from midfield. Harry Mitchell made a great save from Abbey’s No. 5 as he batted the ball away from danger. A goal looked on the cards for the Abbeyknockmoy lads only for a vital interception from Paddy Kenny but the loose ball broke to an Abbey lad who struck it over to put the slenderest of margins between the sides. Conor Moran tapped over a free after the hard working and tenacious Cillian Fahy was fouled. Conor Kelly pointed the next two from play. His first came from a combination of Darragh Roche andamp;amp; Peter O’Neill who set him up to coolly slot over while his 2nd was courtesy of a pass from Orin Burke. Niall Mannion, a thorn in the Pearses side, ran up the stand side of the field before cutting in across goal to point from an acute angle to leave the score at the break: Pearses 1-5; Abbeyknockmoy 1-2.
The 2nd half continued in the same vein, a tough, hard, tenacious battle with no mercy shown by either side. Within a minute of the restart, Niall Mannion drew the sides level with a great goal after a good run through the centre of the field. Conor Moran edged Pearses in front again with 2 quick frees; after Peter O’Neill andamp;amp; Orin Burke were fouled respectively. Niall McDonagh was superb in the centre of the Pearses rearguard as he cleared his lines time and time again. Abbeyknockmoy clawed one back as the ball rebounded off the crossbar and over. Conor Moran scored a goal with a ground stroke in a goalmouth scramble to put a bit of daylight between the sides but controversy erupted down the far goal as the ref adjudged the goal to stand. He scored his 4th free of the day minutes later as Pearses seemed to steal a march on the hosts. 2-8 to 2-3.
With 4 mins to go Harry Mitchell made a vital save and then controversy erupted again as Niall Mannion scored his 2nd goal but the umpire adjudged the ball not to have crossed the line but was over-ruled by the ref who allowed the goal to stand. Abbey refused to wilt as they gradually ate into Pearses lead. In the closing stages, Mitch made another vital save as the pressure was intense but he batted down to Niall McDonagh who cleared the danger. With full time on the clock, Niall Mannion scored a late late winner with a bullet of a goal to leave Abbey winners by a solitary point on a score line: Pearses 2-8; Abbeyknockmoy 4-3. Another crack between these 2 teams at the latter stages of this competition would be nice!
Scorers: Conor Moran 1-4 (4F); Conor Kelly 1-2; Cillian Fahy 0-2.
Panel: Harry Mitchell, Mark Donnellan, Niall McDonagh, Cormac Hillary, Oisin Donoghue, Anthony Feeney, Conor Moran, Conor Kelly, Darragh Roche, Cillian Fahy, Peter O’Neill, Orin Burke, Dara Scarry, Eanna Cunniffe, Cathal Hynes, Conor Hillary, David Walsh, Dillon Roche, Diarmuid Ryan.
Report by Martina Donnellan.