U13B Champions

Pearses 2-11 Ballinderreen 1-2: Match Report by Martina Donnellan. Good things come to those who wait and for Pearses U13’s that was pretty apt this morning as the fairly long long lay-off since beating the Moycullen juggernauts at the semi-final stage on the 2nd attempt was well worth the wait. It may not have been the prettiest of hurling but that matters little as the important thing in any County Final is to win it and that they did with ruthless efficiency. They were particularly electric in the second half with the strong breeze at their back, keeping Ballinderreen scoreless in a 2-11 to 1-2 resounding victory.

On a day when Mr. Walsh and Ms. Ward were getting ready to say ‘I do’ the Pearses mentors were preparing the lads for their first ‘B’ County Final. Ronan Hynes got Pearses off the mark on 3mins with a good point when Orin Burke fed Cillian Fahy with a cross-field pass who in turn picked out Ronnie. 2minutes later Ballinderreen’s full forward, Stephen Mannion cut through the heart of the Pearses defence and unleashed a bullet leaving Harry Mitchell with no chance in goal. Mitchell wasn’t to be beaten again as he put in an exhibition of goalkeeping particularly with his shot stopping and showed the purest of audacity and true bravery.

Ballinderreen’s wing back Donnacha Ganly then took a long range free which was somehow kept off the goal-line as it took a deflection off one of the Pearses defenders and out for a 65’. The 65’ was taken short, with Niall Delaney fouled and he tapped over the free himself. Cillian Fahy worked hard to win a free in the corner and from a difficult enough angle Jason Rabbitte tapped it over on 8mins. Straight from the puck out Ballinderreen had a goal chance which was swept off the line by Jack Reilly but in the ensuing play their forward whipped on the ground, found the net but with a player in the square the ref deemed a free-out to Pearses to huge relief.

Both teams then traded frees: Jonah Donnellan for Pearses after Jason Rabbitte was upended and Niall Delaney for Ballinderreen. The tide turned for Pearses on 14mins when Orin Burke, Donnellan and Anthony Feeney were involved in a ruck; Feeney won the ball but as his strike was half blocked, it fell to Ronnie Hynes who released Rabbitte. The Rabi marched straight through on goal after a probing run and made no mistake in finding the net to put Pearses 1point up: 1-3 to 1-2.

Pearses best point of the day was finished by Ronnie Hynes after Orin Burke and Cillian Fahy were instrumental in the move. At this stage the momentum was all Pearses; Dara Scarry whipped on the ball in search of the net; the ball was poorly defended, fell to Rabbitte who notched his first point from play. Then Cilian Fahy split the Ballinderreen defence but drew a smashing save from their custodian to leave the score at half time: Pearses 1-5; Ballinderren 1-2.

2 mins after the restart Harry Mitchell was called into action; one-on-one with a superb diving save which was eventually cleared by a combined effort of Conor Hillary, Conor Kelly andamp;amp; Oliver Laheen. Moments later Ballinderren’s first half goal scorer Stephen Mannion rounded his man and as he bore down on goal his driving effort was brilliantly saved again by Mitchell who laid his body on the line to also save the rebounded effort with danger eventually cleared by Orin Burke as Mitchell picked himself up, dusted himself down and limped back into position between the posts. It was a crucial moment as straight up the other end in the ensuing play Dara Scarry crossed to Ronan Hynes for a cracker of a goal taken on his left side which found the right corner of the net to an absolute rapturous applause and from there, there was no turning back for the Pearses boys.

Cillian Fahy was then fouled and a simple tap over from Orin Burke put Pearses 7 points in front. Cillian Fahy scored two quick points from play; his first came as Orin Burke drew a great save from Darragh Lyons in the Ballinderren goal; the rebound fell to Rabbitte who did well to get in a successful hand pass as he was being bundled to the ground. The resultant puck-out was easily gathered by Fahy who made no mistake with his 2nd point from play to fire Pearses 9pts in front. Midway through the 2nd half a foul on Darragh Roche was converted by Orin Burke to lay down the siege on Ballinderreen. They were offered a lifeline 13 mins into the 2nd half with a 21’ free which was saved by a combination of Harry Mitchell and Jayo Rabbitte as Ballinderreen failed to register a second half score.

With 2mins left on the clock, Cillian Fahy was thrown on the ground, only for Burke to convert the resultant free. At this stage, David Walsh had been introduced and he was so fired up that his clearance from defence ricocheted off the sideline advertisement hoarding and almost left mentor Martin Scarry with a black eye. It took him awhile to regain his composure such was the force of the shot as David was making his way down in apology. The black ‘Jockey’ brand didn’t cure the eye. Sorry Dorothy…. Right on the stroke of full time, Jack Reilly won the ball, found Rabbitte who inflicted further damage on Ballinderren with another splendid point to finish an emphatic win for Pearses on a scoreline: Pearses 2-11; Ballinderren 1-2.

It was a splendid U13 run for Pearses who remained unbeaten throughout the campaign and once again an overall team performance. Post-match, Tom Monaghan of Ocean Hygiene who have sponsored underage hurling for many years in the county presented the Man of the Match award to an over awed Harry Mitchell who was simply delighted and equally matched by birthday boy, Eddie Mitchell, his father, the team manager. Juvenile chairman, Padraig Lohan cited Harry as the difference between the 2 sides. Captain Conor Kelly accepted the cup on behalf of his team mates and thanked the parents for their efforts during the campaign, thanked Bobby Hynes andamp;amp; Sons for their continued sponsorship and thanked the management team of Eddie Mitchell, Declan Lawless, Sean O’Neill, Tony Walsh, Martin Scarry and his own mum Rose for all her hard work as juvenile secretary of the club.

After the match young Oliver Laheen skipped off to his aunt’s wedding while Martin Scarry had to go home first to change the ‘jockeys’ and spruce himself up to meet the new Mr. andamp;amp; Mrs. Walsh. Well done lads and mentors on capturing the U13B title with an impressive hurling campaign with an unbeaten run.

Scorers: Jason Rabbitte 1-3 (0-1F); Ronan Hynes 1-2; Orin Burke 0-3 (0-3F); Cillian Fahy 0-2; Jonah Donnellan 0-1 (0-1F).

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