Epic U13 Semi-Final Draw

Pearses 1-14 Moycullen 4-5: Match Report by Martina Donnellan. An epic in every possible sense of the word was played this evening as 60 minutes of hurling couldn’t separate Moycullen and Pearses in the U13B semi-final played in Ballymacward this evening. It was almost dark by the time the game finished as supporters teeth chattered, hands trembled, knees buckled and finger nails were eaten half way down with the pure tension such was the raw passion and pure dogged determination showed by both teams who lived to fight another day, which will be this Thursday evening in Moycullen.

A draw was probably the fairest result as neither team’s hearts deserved to be broken as the momentum swung over and back throughout the game. It finished Pearses 1-8; Moycullen 3-2 after full time and after a long delay and contact with the County Board extra time was deemed necessary. The game finished level; Pearses 1-14; Moycullen 4-5 after extra time.

Both sides wasted some early chances as it took Pearses awhile to settle. Pearses were first to get on the scoreboard as Orin Burke sent in a free which Cillian Fahy was on the end of and as his pointed effort rebounded off the upright, Ronan Hynes swept home a smashing goal for a dream start after 5 minutes. Immediately down the other end Harry Mitchell had to stretch well to deny Moycullen from striking back. Ronnie Hynes picked up a loose Moycullen clearance to fire over on 12mins.

Then as Pearses had a barren spell Moycullen clocked 2-1 within 4minutes. Their first goal from a 21’ free rattled the roof of the net while immediately from the puck out they rattled Pearses with another goal. Moycullen tapped over a point from play to push them 3 points ahead. Just before half time as Pearses defence was breached Orin Burke was on hand to sweep the ball off the goal line. Half time score: Pearses 1-1; Moycullen 2-1.

The visitors could not have asked for a more positive resumption to the 2nd half as they struck another blow to raise another green flag with an immediate impact. However, with the wind at their back, Pearses failed to panic. Jason Rabbitte tapped over a free after he was fouled himself. Ronan Hynes set up Rabbitte who pointed from play. Jonah Donnellan converted a free after Cillian Fahy was fouled and Anthony Feeney nailed a great score to bring Pearses right back into it. Donnellan converted another free after the flyer Rabbitte was taken down. The momentum was firmly with Pearses as Rabbitte levelled matters with an exquisite point. Jonah Donnellan’s clearance from defence found Rabbitte’s glove and as he shook off three players he fired over his left shoulder and it looked as if Pearses had absorbed the first half blows.

Moycullen advanced to the front again with a pointed free to make it Pearses 1-7; Moycullen 3-2. Then Moycullen’s inrushing pacey forward was dragged down and the ref awarded a penalty. Brave Harry Mitchell stood his ground well to make a fine stop. Rabbitte scored a tonic goal but for some strange reason the ref adjudged a square ball and a free out was awarded instead. Darragh Roche proved his profitability with the equaliser after a timely interception from Cormac Hillary in defence which Ronan Hynes latched onto, to feed Roche who dragged the game to extra time.

After a half hours confusion on whether extra time would be played or not and delays through phone calls, trawling through fixtures booklets etc. extra time commenced. Orin Burke was redeployed in defence midway through the 2nd half and for the entire extra time to help thwart Moycullen’s pacey attackers. Pearses clocked 4 points in the 1st period of extra time, through Jonah Donnellan (free), Jason Rabbitte, Ronnie Hynes and David Walsh whose fine effort from the right corner took a deflection off the goalie and over. Half time in extra time Pearses 1-12; Moycullen 3-2.

Another tonic goal from Moycullen immediately after the restart kept them ticking over and Pearses knew they would have to withstand a late surge. Cillian Fahy provided a brace of points from play in quick succession to put Pearses three points in front but two frees sandwiched by a point from play from Moycullen ensured a share of the spoils and another evening of nervous tension before the winner awaits Ballinderreen in the final. Well done to both teams on a superb display of hurling.

Scorers: Ronan Hynes 1-2; Jason Rabbitte 0-4 (0-1f); Jonah Donnellan 0-3 (0-3f); Cillian Fahy 0-2; David Walsh 0-1; Darragh Roche 0-1.

Panel: Harry Mitchell, David Walsh, Conor Kelly, Conor Hillary, Cormac Hillary, Anthony Feeney, Jack Reilly, Jonah Donnellan, Orin Burke, Ronan Hynes, Jason Rabbitte, Darragh Roche, Dara Scarry, Cillian Fahy, Oliver Laheen, Padraig Kelly, Patrick O’Neill, Ross Lally, Jamie Nutley, Cathal Hynes, Cian Burke, Diarmuid Ryan, James Queeney.