Pearses 4-9 Meelick-Eyrecourt 3-5. Report by Martina Donnellan. Fresh from their championship win in U14A1, the same team togged out for the U15s first round group game against Meelick-Eyrecourt bar 5 players, namely: Oisin Donoghue, Mark Donnellan, Peter O’Neill, Conor Moran and Niall McDonagh. Fielding with a depleted side through holidays and injuries, the young Pearses lads knew they were up against it. Harry Mitchell, Cormac Hillary, Ollie Laheen, Ronan Hynes and Darragh Roche were all missing through injury and holidays while young Patrick O’Neill, Cathal Hynes and Jonah Donnellan had to step into the fray. In the end Pearses had too much for their visitors with a 4-9 to 3-5 win in Ballymacward yesterday evening.
Pearses started out powerfully and were 2-1 in front by 4mins with Paddy Kenny opening Pearses’ account with a point from play and a ground stroke from Niall Mac and a whopper from Orin Burke supplied a goal apiece. Meelick-Eyrecourt hit back with 1-1, their strong and towering No. 11 doing most of the damage. Conor Moran pointed from play after Orin Burke’s pointed effort dropped short and Paddy Kenny landed a spectacular point from midfield. Conor Moran pushed Pearses to 2-4 after Paddy Kenny switched play to his corner and he tapped over from a difficult angle. Meelick Eyrecourt then had a goal disallowed for a square ball but made certain minutes later when their driving forward left two defenders in his wake, throttled through on goal and blasted a difficult bouncing ball past stand-in keeper Dara Scarry.
The visitors pointed again from play while Paddy Kenny was uncharacteristically wide with a free. No 11 converted a free and a goal moments later which arrived after a high lobbing ball was half cleared but fell to their No. 11 who bulleted a rasper. They clawed back the lead through another pointed effort from play. Cilly Fahey won a 65’ as Anthony Feeney did well to get the cross in but again Paddy was off the mark with the 65’. Meelick Eyrecourt had another goal ruled out due to a square ball while Conor Kelly pointed just before half time with a great effort taken on the run to leave the score at the break; Pearses 2-5; Meelick Eyrecourt 3-4.
Pearses maintained the momentum of the game in the 2nd half as Dara Scarry got a hurl to an early goal chance to concede a 65’ but the resultant 65’ was cleanly fetched by Niall Mac and cleared. The best point of the day was finished by Conor Moran who scored after 3 plays of the ball. Full back Jack Reilly fetched in the air, found Cilly Fahey who played Conor Moran and Moran put it straight over to make it a one point ball game.
Paddy Kenny’s goal chance went wide after good work from Orin Burke andamp;amp; Fahey. 9mins into the 2nd half, Conor Kelly supplied the tonic required. Jonah Donnellan originated the move at the back as Paddy Kenny linked up nicely with Orin Burke whose wonder overhead flick into the path of Conor Kelly who made no mistake stepping up a gear and found the net with a powerful drive.
Pearses never looked like losing after that. Cilly Fahey then was fouled but Paddy was off target with the free. Conor Moran stood over the next free, again Fahey was the one who was fouled; Moran spilt the posts to push Pearses 3-7 to 3-4 ahead. No. 11 converted another free for the visitors but it proved to be their last and solitary score of the 2nd half. Moran was on target again with another free and then goaled after a monstrous line cut, his gait low to the ground, almost Canning like, from Orin Burke into the path of Moran and he finished perfectly past an almost hapless goalie.
At this stage Pearses were wearing down their visitors although they did have a close shave on 20mins when Jonah Donnellan saved a goal-bound effort and Dara Scarry came away with the clearance which fell to one of the Meelick-Eyrecourt lads who pulled first time on the ball and as the net shook, everyone was certain it was gone in but it was the ball stop net behind that shook instead as Dara Scarry’s goal was thankfully still fully intact.
There were a few goal chances in the final quarter for both sides but neither could manage to find the net. No. 11 went for goal for Meelick with a close range free but drilled wide while immediately up the other end Conor Kelly’s goal effort was deflected out for a 65’. Conor Moran nailed the final score from play when he got on the end of Jack Reilly’s clearance and made light work of the finish to close out the game on a scoreline: Pearses 4-9; Meelick-Eyrecourt 3-5.
It was a game in which the full squad did their job as Cathal Hynes and Patrick O’Neill who had a quick trip home to collect his gear at short notice, did not look out of place playing at this level. It’s great to be off on a winning start. Next up is Liam Mellows on Monday next by the sea in Ballyloughane.
Scorers: Conor Moran 1-6 (0-2F); Conor Kelly 1-1; Orin Burke 1-0; Niall McDonagh 1-0; Paddy Kenny 0-2.
Panel: Dara Scarry, Jonah Donnellan, Jack Reilly, Oisin Donoghue, Mark Donnellan, Conor Kelly, Peter O’Neull, Orin Burke, Paddy Kenny, Conor Moran, Niall McDonagh, Anthony Feeney, Conor Hillary, Cilly Fahey, Cathal Hynes, Patrick O’Neill.