Pearses 4-9 Ballygar 2-6. Report by Martina Donnellan. This latest U12 hurling game played in Ballymacward this morning was eagerly anticipated as both Ballygar and Pearses both topped the group, but Pearses certainly delivered in this one! After a tumultuous week of sport for these lads between hurling and football, the game began in thundering fashion and within the first 2 mins Jonah Donnellan had 2 points on the board, both exact replicas and assists from David Walsh. No. 7 responded for the visitors from close range after some sloppy defending from Pearses. Ross Lally nabbed himself a goal after Diarmuid Ryan had to work hard to win the ball and then get the cross in to Ross. Ballygar were awarded a close range free in, went for goal, was half blocked but with too many bodies in the area, the cagey clearance fell to Ballygar who somehow poked the ball over the line although Dillon Roche and Patrick O’Neill did try to get their hurls to it.
Jonah Donnellan converted a 65’ on his 2nd attempt; his first effort drilled low and tipped around the upright by the keeper. Seconds later after a thunderous run down the line, he cut in across the goal but his low hard shot found the side net. Donnellan tapped over an easy free after Conor Hillary was fouled to push Pearses ahead by 3points. Ballygar, who were still up for it responded in true style as they mounted a brief comeback.
Padraig Kelly was upended in the middle of the field and although he was harshly done not to be awarded a free, he got the pass away whilst on the ground but was intercepted by a Ballygar player who lobbed a high ball into the square which bounced well for their goalscorer who whipped past Darren Moran in goals to draw the match: Pearses 1-4; Ballygar 2-1.
As both teams continued to play at a furious pace, the Pearses lads were certainly not phased by the physicality of the game. Diarmuid Ryan put in a considerable effort to pick up a loose ball in a crowded area and made space to get enough room to swing the hurl and when he did, he belted a powerful effort past the keeper to put Pearses in the driving seat again. From there on, Pearses never looked back. Davy Walsh was wide from play but the industrious Donnellan got on the end of the resultant puck out to keep the scoreboard ticking. Ballygar scored a lovely effort from play to claw back the lead to 3 points.
Donnellan then sent in a lovely ball for Diarmuid Ryan who stole a yard on his man to get out ahead, snatched the ball with the left handed glove and sent over the black spot. With 2 mins to go as Pearses failed to clear from their own goalmouth, the half clearance fell to a Ballygar lad who sent it over. Pearses finished the first half with a lovely passage of play: Donnellan fetched the ball from the sky, played Diarmuid Ryan in space who found Ross Lally and as Ross left a few players in his wake, he let fly but unfortunately the ball hit the post and out wide. Half Time: Pearses 2-6; Ballygar 2-3.
Pearses restarted economically and continued to knock over points showing experience beyond their years with impeccable shooting. Davy Walsh and Jonah Donnellan combined well as Donnellan’s backhand pass, emulating Cannings pass to David Burke against Cork, to Davy Walsh who blossomed with his first point of the morning. Pearses went on the rampage with Donnellan adding another point as David Walsh batted down the puck out nicely on to his path.
James Queeney, who started the 2nd half at wing forward, and Davy Walsh linked up nicely as Walsh gathered Queeney’s quick flick and again the ball sailed sweetly over. Ballygar pointed from a difficult angle and a goal looked on the cards for them, only for the timely interception by Conor Hillary as the ball looked poised for one of their forwards to latch on to but Hillarys flick away was vital. Diarmuid Ryan then found Donnellan who ran at pace at goal and let fly from 14yards to find the net. Conor Walsh drew a good save in the ensuing play.
Goal no. 4 arrived after great work from Cian Burke under the stand, fed Ross Lally down the line who got the cross into the danger area and although Queeney could have pulled first time, he had time to lift and strike for a clinical goal. At this stage, Fionn Donohue, Brián Thompson, Kyle McDonagh, Ciarán Hogan, Daniel Lydon, Dylan King andamp;amp; Niall Grady were introduced. Ballygar finished with a late flurry scoring 2 points from play to finish on a scoreline: Pearses 4-9; Ballygar 2-6.
Scorers: Jonah Donnellan 1-6 (0-1F; 0-1 65’); Diarmuid Ryan 1-1; Ross Lally 1-0; James Queeney 1-0; David Walsh 0-2. Panel: Darren Moran, Patrick O’Neill, Dillon Roche, Cian Burke, Padraig Kelly, James Queeney, David Walsh, Conor Hillary, Ross Lally, Jonah Donnellan, Cathal Hynes, Diarmuid Ryan, Conor Walsh, Fionn Donohue, Brián Thompson, Ciarán Hogan, Daniel Lydon, Kyle McDonagh, Niall Grady, Dylan King.