U14 Hurling Semi-Final

Castlegar 3-8 Pearses 0-6: The questions on the players and mentors minds this evening in Duggan Park for the U14 semi final against table toppers Castlegar was: Could Pearses emulate Tommy Larkins toppling of Ardrahan in the other semi-final? Well the score may suggest otherwise, but this was a closely contested and a thoroughly enjoyable game right up until the last 3 minutes. Pearses held the upper hand for most of the first half and were 0-3 up after 5 mins with good scores from play from Cian Murphy, Ethan Lally and Murphy again after a lovely line ball from Conor Moran found him out.
We had 3 more scoring chances but some wayward shooting let us down. Castlegar hit back with 1-02; their first point from play tipped over the crossbar by the ever vigilant Harry Mitchell, followed by a free and then on 14 mins came the decisive blow – a goal which Harry first saved but the rebound was whipped on to find the net. Immediately from the puck out Cian Murphy saw his goal effort go right across the face of goal after a good run through the centre from Ethan Lally with Paddy Kenny involved in the build-up andamp;amp; Murphy was ever so close with his effort. Castlegar tacked on another point from play and Cian Murphy converted a free after he was fouled himself and just before half time Castlegar threw over a free from the stand side of the field to leave the half time score: Pearses 0-4; Castlegar 1-04.
The 2nd half was only 20seconds old when Harry Mitchell made a point blank save to avert the ball from danger. Then Cian Murphy burst through the middle only to be taken down; the resultant free taken by himself was shot low and hard and turned around the post by the Castlegar goalie but unfortunately the resultant 65’ went agonisingly to the right of the upright. The sides then traded points. Castlegar scored from play from near the sideline and Cian Murphy with a free after some great foraging from Luke Mitchell andamp;amp; David Hillary with Ethan Lally earning the free which was duly tapped over by Murphy.
Murphy again scored a whopper from midfield after good work from Ethan Lally but this turned out to be our last score of the game. Then midway through the 2nd half we had our best goal chance of the game with a triple effort. A goal bound free from Murphy was saved on the line, the clearance fell kindly to David Hillary whose rasper was saved and as the clearance was picked up again by Murphy he blasted to the side net. Castlegar tapped over another point to make it Pearses 0-6; Castlegar 1-06.
With 2 mins to go Castlegar scored 2-02 without reply and put the game well past our reach. Pearses 0-6; Castlegar 3-08 but in fairness the scoreboard was not a fair reflection of the game. Pearses showed plenty of heart and determination. Castlegar were just that bit sharper. But there’s no doubt that these young bunch will learn from this experience. Sometimes you’d learn much more in defeat than you would in victory.
Panel: Harry Mitchell, Mark Donnellan, Brian Kelly, Rovert Fahy, Oisin Donoghue, Robert Hynes, Conor Moran, Ethan Lally, David Hillary, Luke Mitchell, Cian Murphy, Paddy Kenny, Conor Kelly, Ronan Hynes, Daragh Roche, Dara Scarry, Jack Reilly, Cormac Hillary.

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