Gurteen NS Hurling Champions

St. Kerrill’s NS: 4-20; Tullykyne NS: 4-6: Report by Martina Donnellan. St. Kerrills N.S. Gurteen must surely have joined an elite group today as they evened up the school’s honours in both hurling andamp;amp; football codes when they won the Cumann na mBunscol 9-a-side hurling title in Claregalway this morning. This latest win makes it 4 of each in both football andamp;amp; hurling school titles since 2014, winning the double in 2015 andamp;amp; 2017 and possibly entered the history books in the process, most definitely history in Gurteen NS’s archives. Having lost to Tullykyne NS after extra time in the final last year, the Gurteen boys were out for revenge and they put on an exhibition particularly with an impressive 2nd half showing to win by 14 points on a final tally: St. Kerrill’s N.S.: 4-20; Tullykyne N.S.: 4-6

The Moycullen side had the backing of the breeze in the first half and opening their account almost straight from the throw-in. Diarmuid Ryan responded immediately with a goal after Jonah Donnellan andamp;amp; Sean Kelly were involved in the move. It was ping-pong with scores after that. Tullykyne struck immediately with another quick fire goal from their towering No.6. as Jonah Donnellan pointed from play at the other end. Both sides added a goal apiece; No. 6 for Tullykne and 9 year old Sean Kelly for Gurteen after a big bear paw grab in defence from Dean Connaire. Moycullen pointed from play as Darren Moran made an exceptional save and Conor Walsh’s goal opportunity went wide. Tullykyne extended their lead with a pointed free to put them in charge 2-3 to 2-1. Both sides exchanged scores twice; Jonah Donnellan twice from play for Gurteen and No. 8 from play and a massive long range point from Moycullen’s No. 6 from his own half back line. That saw the end of the Moycullen’s scoring as we saw the Gurteen lads break from here on for the winning line.

Darren Moran made another tremendous save as No. 6 put the resultant 65’ wide of the post. Gurteen rattled off the next 6 scores without reply; 2-4 before half time – Donnellan with 2 points from play; David Walsh helped himself to 2 from play and Diarmuid Ryan provided the all-important two goals; his first coming from a goalmouth ruck that sucked in a few lads and with Conor Walsh’s first attempt half blocked; Ryan was on hand to rattle the net when he latched onto a spilled ball. His 2nd arrived not long before half time when David Walsh’s high lobbing ball thundered off the post and Ryan lashed the rebound to the net. Gurteen never looked back after that as their defence line Cathal Hynes, Dean Connaire andamp;amp; Ross Lally were unyielding from there until the end. Gurteen NS went in at the break 8 points to the good on a scoreline: Gurteen NS 4-7; Tullykyne NS 2-5 and with the strong breeze at their backs for the 2nd half.

Tullykyne hit back immediately on the resumption with 1-1; the goal unstoppable supplied by their No.8. Gurteen weathered the short onslaught and hit a purple patch with seven excellent points from play – Donnellan (2); Walsh (2), Diarmuid Ryan (2) – the pick of his a lovely sweet effort from way out the field and Conor Walsh after the ball was worked up the wing from Cathal Hynes in defence and added to by Davy Walsh in the middle of the park. Tullykyne’s only real chance during this spell was bulleted wide by their No. 6 after some great combined battling and workrate from Ross Lally andamp;amp; Dean Connaire while a close range free was walloped low and hard and stopped on the goal line by Jonah Donnellan. They were rewarded for their brief period of pressure when No. 6 smacked another close range free low and hard and under the legs of everyone in a crowded goalmouth to give them a sliver of hope and claw the lead back to 8 points. 4-14 to 4-6.

The rest of this final totally belonged to the Gurteen boys. Six more points from play totally ended the game as a contest with Donnellan (2); young Sean Kelly (2); Walsh andamp;amp; Ryan all chipping in. In the end absolutely no one could question the merit of their 8th Cuman na mBunscol triumph. It has been a remarkable journey for Mr. Seamus Walsh and this cohort of players since his instatement in the school. He has contributed so much time and hard work on a voluntary basis since the school were lucky enough to ‘find’ him and in this regard we thank him sincerely.

Afterwards, Mr. Pat Moore presented the cup to a delighted captain Jonah Donnellan, who thanked Mr. Walsh for all his efforts and commended the huge crowd of supporters who turned out in support, many of whom had no connection with the school. On the teams homecoming, there was a crowd of pilgrims who had as usual for the feast day of St. Kerrill, made their way from 12 noon mass to St. Kerrill’s well and lined the roadside to greet and welcome back this mighty group of youngsters. Well done boys andamp;amp; Mr. Walsh. Yet another final to remember. Final score: Gurteen N.S. 4-20; Tullykyne N.S. 4-6.

Scorers: Diarmuid Ryan 3-3; Jonah Donnellan 0-9; David Walsh 0-5; Sean Kelly 1-2; Conor Walsh 0-1.

Panel: Darren Moran, Cathal Hynes, Dean Connaire, Ross Lally, Jonah Donnellan, David Walsh, Conor Walsh, Diarmuid Ryan, Sean Kelly, Eoghan Ryan, Tadhg Hart, Tadhg Bardell, Ciarán Hogan, Patrick O’Neill, James Somers, Keith Kitt, Jack Kenny, Niall Grady, Dylan King, James Somers.