In what may have seemed a one sided but yet highly entertaining game in terms of scores, spectacular saves, individual performances, and great block-downs, Pearses U15’s lost to near neighbours Ahascragh / Fohenagh in Round 3 of the U15B championship played in Ahascragh on Monday evening. The result sees Pearses take the Shield route & Ahascragh /Fohenagh take the Cup route in the final stages of the competition.
The winners dominated for most of the game but some fine goals by Pearses in the final quarter put them right back in contention. Ahascragh / Fohenagh had 2 points on the board from play within minutes before Darren Moran made a super diving save on 6mins but the rebound was whipped to the net from close range. Pearses response was a Cilly Fahey free from the half way line. Moran made another point blank save for Pearses on 10mins only to see the rebound find the net. The hosts added 3 more points from play with ease, the pick of them an effort from Luke Kennedy. Cillian Fahey responded with an effort from midfield which sailed over but Ahascragh quickly widened the gap again with a sensational score from 40yards out from the sideline. Ahascragh / Fohenagh 2-6; Pearses 0-2 after Q1.
On the resumption, Ahascragh continued their dominance with a free & an Andrew Fitzgerald beauty from distance. Diarmuid Ryan fired over from play after collecting a pass from Dara Scarry. A quick well placed puck out from Harry Mitchell landed nicely for Fahey who also pointed from distance. Another point blank save from Moran was cleared off the line by young Fionn Donohue but Ahascragh pressed again & centre back Mikey Mulryan & full forward Luke Kennedy added 2 more points & a free was converted to bring their tally to 2-11. Cillian Fahey hit the target again just before half time but then Luke Kennedy got the better of Harry & raised another green flag and there was nothing Moran could do. 3-11 to 0-5 at the break & an uphill task to face.
After the restart, Anthony Feeney was introduced; his broken finger heavily strapped. Both sides exchanged early frees, Fahey the Pearses provider. Adam Mockler added from play for Ahascragh. Feeney made an immediate impact as he went on a solo run, cut in along the end line and passed to big Diarmuid who fired a bullet past the goalie. Fahey tacked on a point from play but Ahascragh responded with one of their own. Big Diarmuid added his 2nd goal after being fed by Cillian Fahey; his first attempt saved but snapped the rebound to the net. Luke Kennedy split the posts while Fahey added his 5th from play after good work from Conor Walsh & Cian Burke but the ball could easily have dipped under. The hosts tacked on 3 more before the end of Q3; the pick of them a long range effort from Andrew Fitzgerald & a sublime effort from Mikey Mulryan after a good burst through the middle. End of Q3: Pearses 2-8; Ahascragh / Fohenagh 3-18.
Pearses improved as the final quarter progressed with a trio of goals. A clearance from Padraic Kelly saw Cillian Fahey whip on the bouncing ball to find the net soon after the resumption. Kyle McDonagh did a lot of the donkey work to allow Cilly raise another green flag moments later. Ahascragh’s barren spell was ended with 2 points from Adam Mockler & Andrew Fitzgerald. Cian Burke pointed for Pearses after a lot of twisting and turning & havoc caused by Cilly Fahey in the forward line. Fahey supplied again through play with another point as his man received his marching orders for a 2nd yellow. The hosts kept their scoreboard ticking over with another point as Fahey added his 3rd goal of the evening to bring his personal tally to 3-8. Ahascragh got the last 3 scores as they converted 2 frees into the sun & Mickey Mulryan from play. Time ran out as Pearses battled to the end and Ahascragh / Fohenagh emerged worthy winners. A Lazarus like recovery was not to be. It was a disappointing result but however we look forward to a Shield semi-final next week against Ballindereen in Ballymacward on Mon evening. Final score: 3-24 to 5-10
Scorers: Cillian Fahey 3-8 (0-2F); Diarmuid Ryan 2-1; Cian Burke 0-1.
Panel: Darren Moran, Fionn Donohue, Harry Mitchell, James Queeney, Conor Hillary, Jonah Donnellan, Padraic Kelly, Cillian Fahey, Dylan Roche, Kyle McDonagh, Dara Scarry, Jack Kenny, Conor Walsh, Diarmuid Ryan, Sean Kelly, Anthony Feeney, Eoghan Ryan, Keith Kitt, Ciárán Hogan