Pearses won Round 3 of the U15B Championship courtesy of a comfortable 0-18 to 2-9 win over St. Thomas’ in cold and hailstone conditions yesterday evening in Ballymac.
It was a good all round team effort as everyone played their part in Pearses dominance. The hosts got off to the best possible start and were 0-5 to 0-0 up after 10mins – Jonah Donnellan with 0-3, (1 a free ) and Conor Hillary from a difficult angle with a neat score, his broken pinkie heavily strapped with young Jack Kenny also chipping in. St Thomas’ then ended a spell of poor shooting with a free from their No. 6. Pearses responded through Jonah Donnellan who fired over from near the sideline after good harrying from Diarmuid Ryan. The visitors tagged on a 65’ which just crept over & 3 more frees to make it 0-6 to 0-5 in what looked like the promise of a fairly evenly contested game at that point with just the minimum between the sides on 25mins. Donnellan converted 2 more placed balls towards the end of the half after Conor Hillary & Conor Walsh respectively were fouled. Both teams squandered scoring opportunities just before the break as the teams parted for half time with Pearses ahead by 0-3. Pearses 0-8; St. Thomas’ 0-5.
The start of the 2nd half saw a quick scoring spree. Jonah Donnellan tagged on his 4th from play as the 2nd half was only seconds old. Then a long range Thomas’ free somehow eluded backs & forwards & found its way to the net. Thomas’ added a point from play moments later and it looked like it would be all to play for at 1-6 to 0-9. However, Pearses bossed the play after that with Diarmuid Ryan & Dillon Roche particularly commanding at the back. Jack Kenny fed Darren Moran who pointed from play while Jonah Donnellan intercepted a Thomas’ line ball to fire over and push Pearses ahead by 2. No.6 for Thomas’ kept them in touch with another free but Pearses were always a step ahead. Donnellan was on the receiving end of a lovely scooping pass from young Sean Kelly and then Kelly himself picked up a loose ball to fire over Pearses 13th point.
As Thomas’ tried to assert themselves more, a high lobbing ball into the square was batted out by the vigilant Tommy Nutley in goal and who else but the distinguishable red helmet of Dillon Roche emerged from a crowded area with the ball in hand, sweeping away from danger with Fionn Donohue adding to the clearance. Donohue’s clearance made its way to Donnellan who burst through the middle with pace, fired to his right to David Walsh who seen his goal bound effort thunder off the crossbar. Midway through the 2nd half Thomas’ kept in touch with a free. Jonah Donnellan bulked up the lead with 4 points on the trot; 2 frees & 2 from play as both Conor Walsh & Conor Hillary were instrumental in winning the frees & in the build up to the points. Thomas’ saw their free deflect off the post and again the red helmet of Roche was seen emerging with the clearance. They tagged on another free soon after but Pearses again kept a step ahead as the 2 Conor’s combined Hillary & Walsh who found the unmarked Sean Kelly who effortlessly pointed his 2nd of the evening. At this stage, the backs were exemplary with young Daniel Lydon, Roche, Eoghan Ryan. James Queeney, Diarmuid Ryan Cathal Hynes & Kyle McDonagh in super form.
With the result beyond doubt at the closing stages, Tommy Nutley made a point blank save as the powerful Diarmuid Ryan worked the ball to Conor Hillary’s area of the field and in turn found David Walsh who ran at speed towards goal only to see his goal bound effort saved on the line. No. 6 for Thomas’ grabbed their second goal after a close range free was saved on the line by Roche but the ref pulled for over carrying and the resulting free in from almost the same spot, this time went under the legs of Tommy. At this stage though Pearses were home and dry as the late consolation goal had little impact but did put a better gloss on the final score which finished Pearses 0-18; St. Thomas’ 2-9.
Scorers: Jonah Donnellan 0-13 (0-5F); Sean Kelly 0-2; Conor Hillary 0-1; Jack Kenny 0-1; Darren Moran 0-1.
Panel: Tommy Nutley, Daniel Lydon, Dillon Roche, Eoghan Ryan, James Queeney, Diarmuid Ryan, Cathal Hynes, Fionn Donohue, David Walsh, Jack Kenny, Jonah Donnellan, Darren Moran, Sean Kelly, Conor Walsh, Conor Hillary, Kyle McDonagh, Cian Burke (injured).