Kilconieron stormed into the U13B County final yesterday evening with a superb second half demolition of Pearses as both teams pretty much cancelled each other out in the first half as both sets of supporters warmed to the hurling show on display. It was a superb first half by both teams with some fine running, turnovers from Anthony Feeney, Cian Burke, Padraig Kelly, Dylan Roche and James Queeney and some great scores. However, Pearses were unable to maintain the momentum and Kilconieron kept them scoreless in the 2nd half. The match-ups were always going to be interesting in this one as Conor Hillary at midfield marked his first cousin Eoghan Mulleady on the Kilconieron side while the relationship was forgotten about for a while as timber was let fly.
Jonah Donnellan got Pearses off the mark on 4mins with a perfectly executed free as Donnellan, Cilly Fahey and the tanned David Walsh were all involved in play resulting in a foul on Fahey which was duly tapped over. Kilconieron levelled matters with a superb point from play out near the trees on the sideline. Kilconieron shot into a 3 point lead on 7mins with a smashing goal from Stevie Keane, nephew of the legendary Johnny, Vinnie andamp;amp; Therese Maher as he wiggled loose from a goalmouth scramble with the ball tightly clutched and smacked home a great goal. Pearses responded well as Diarmuid Ryan pointed from play.
Then Dara Scarry goaled a whopper for Pearses as Donnellan originated the move involving Fahey and Conor Hillary whose crossfield pass found Dara Scarry who took a step or two before steadying himself as he lashed to the net on 8mins. Kilconieron restored parity almost immediately as their striker ran up the flank and hit from a good distance out as the ball landed on the roof of the net on its way over the crossbar.
Stevie Keane then scooped over a lovely effort from play as he got ahead of his man and made little of the effort. Then the hosts goaled again from which they never looked back as young Darren Moran made a great save in the big goals but the loose ball fell to Kilconieron’s lurking forward whose ground stroke found the net to put them in the driving seat 2-3 to 1-2 in charge. Cilly Fahey’s effort just had the legs to carry over as he got on the end of Harry’s Mitchell’s free from his own half and throttled forward before finding the net.
Darren Moran made another good save for Pearses but as the backs conceded a 65’ it was quickly taken, found a man unmarked and he scooped over another point. The last point of the half came Jonah Donnellan’s way and although he had fallen to the ground managed to scoop the ball on his knees, lift himself up and throw over from a long way out to leave the score at half time: Pearses 1-4; Kilconieron 2-4.
Immediately on the resumption, Kilconieron added to their tally with another point from play. Then Cilly Fahey went on a mesmerising run, pure Kevin Broderick style, as he flicked the ball on two occasions over the heads of oncoming defenders but worked himself into an acute angle – it was a big ask to go over but surely would have been the underage hurling point of the year, had it found the range. Kilconieron added a third goal and although it didn’t appear likely at the time but that score started a sequence which ultimately put the game well past Pearses reach as Kilconieron added a further 1-3 (0-2 frees) in devastating fashion without reply from Pearses. – the goal again coming from the stick of Stevie Keane as Pearses quietly finished the game. Final Score: Pearses 1-4; Kilconieron 4-8.
Although Pearses only trailed by three points at half-time and gave as good as they got in the first half, Kilconieron obliterated them in a superb 2nd half during which they hit 2-4 to 0-0 to flip the contest completely on its head. Nevertheless it has been a super campaign to compete at this level and certainly a good learning curve for Larry Hillary and Kevin Ryan and their charges. So that’s the end of U13 hurling for this year although the U12’s are through to a County semi-final at the end of the month while the U16’s are also through to a Co. semi-final
Scorers: Dara Scarry 1-0; Jonah Donnellan 0-2 (0-1F); Diarmuid Ryan 0-1; Cilly Fahey 0-1.
Panel: Darren Moran, Dylan Roche, Harry Mitchell, James Queeney, Padraig Kelly, Jonah Donnellan, Cian Burke, Anthony Feeney, Conor Hillary, Cilly Fahey, Ross Lally, David Walsh, Dara Scarry, Diarmuid Ryan, Cathal Hynes, Conor Walsh, Fionn Donohue, Eoghan Ryan, Jamie Nutley, Tommy Nutley, Alan Burke, Patrick O’Neill, Ciarán Hogan, Brián Thompson, Keith Kitt.