After numerous ebbs and tides in 60mins of hurling, Pearses U15s convincingly beat St. Thomas’ after extra time to win the U15B Shield in Ballymacward yesterday evening. Pearses had a rollercoaster start and were 0-4 up before St. Thomas’ registered their first score on 11mins. Pearses points came from the stick of Cillian Fahey (3) – 2 frees and full back Harry Mitchell – a great score from under the stand while the ref had to consult the umpires before Thomas’ point was awarded. Big Diarmuid tapped over from play when he was first to a 50/50 ball from Cilly Fahey. Darren Moran was called into action with a good stop from No. 11, only for the ref to call back play for a free in which Thomas’ easily tapped over. 0-5 to 0-1 at the first water break.
St. Thomas’ converted an early free on the resumption although it looked like Jonah Donnellan legitimately dispossessed his man. Then in his usual prime fashion Fahey went on a run, his effort thundered off the crossbar but the ball found its way to David Walsh who fired over a wonder score over his left shoulder. Good work underneath the stand involving Anthony Feeney & Dara Scarry found Padraig Kelly on the run but he was flattened with a shoulder & the spilled ball by picked up by Fahey & fired over. Conor Walsh then held play up nicely for Fahey to latch on to the ball & his low hard effort was saved by the goalie but the ref called back play for a free in, fired over with ease by Fahey. St. Thomas’ responded in true fashion with a free and raised the first green flag on a sunny Monday evening as Darren Moran advanced off his line to meet a dangerous high lobbing ball, but the corner forward kicked to the net to put the minimum between the sides. Fahey added to his tally from play after good battling from Feeney & Scarry in midfield but Thomas’ had the final say before half time when a 65’ deflected off Darren Moran’s crossbar and over. Half time: Pearses 0-9; St. Thomas’ 1-5.
Pearses outscored their opponents 0-5 to 0-4 in Quarter 3, all St. Thomas’ scores from placed balls. Pearses contributors were Cilly Fahey 0-3; 2 of them frees – his best free from a particularly acute angle as he aimed for the far post & squeezed inside the upright after Cian Burke was fouled. Diarmuid Ryan grabbed his 2nd of the evening when a long free from Jonah Donnellan bounced nicely for him & Dara Scarry spilt the posts from 45 yards out. 0-14 to 1-9 at the 2nd water break.
It was tit for tat in Quarter 4. Diarmuid Ryan was denied a vital goal when his effort was saved while down the other end, Harry Mitchell made a vital interception when St. Thomas’ looked dangerous. Fionn Donohue also won an important free as St. Thomas’ were beginning to seize the initiative. The visitors reduced the deficit to the minimum as the ball crept over Darren Moran’s crossbar. Moran made another superb save and Harry added with the clearance in a nervy final few minutes. Thomas’ pointed from play to draw the match but Fahey edged Pearses in front with a mighty score from way out the field; James Lundon consulting his umpires to make sure. With manic work-rate St. Thomas’ won a free in midfield with the clock ticking which they converted to level matters 1-12 to 0-15. Pearses received a late let off when a free deflected off the post and so to extra time.
Pearses took respite and regrouped during the break. Some jellies supplied by Dorothy Scarry & Helena Mitchell replenished the energy required under glorious sunshine. Pearses restarted like lads on fire. The jellies had done the job. Wow what a 10mins of scoring. They found the precious scores to get the job done. They outscored their opponents 1-6 to 0-1 in an extra time 1st half blitzkrieg. Fahey scored immediately from the throw in as St. Thomas’ responded with one from play. Fahey added to his tally from play. Pearses pushed on when Diarmuid Ryan somehow guided past the goalie as Fahey & Feeney were instrumental in the move. Darren Moran made another exceptional save to keep the visitors at bay. David Walsh & Padraig Kelly kept the scoring spree alive with fine efforts from play & Fahey tapped over a free. Padraig Kelly then got on the end of a lovely move involving Jonah Donnellan, Dara Scarry & Fahey, turned his defender & fired over. 8 ahead at the break, it was Pearses final to lose.
St. Thomas’ brought it back to 7 points from a placed ball early in the 2nd period of extra time. Padraig Kelly fired over a wonder score after Anthony Feeney’s effort was blocked by the goalie & Kelly gathered the spilled ball. Harry Mitchell in his new role at centre back then roamed up the field and his shot along the ground was swept over the line by 11 year old Jack Kenny to put his age between the sides. Another top drawer save from Moran kept 11 between them as Conor Hillary added a fine clearance. St. Thomas’ clawed back a goal but it did little to unsettle Pearses. Harry Mitchell won the ensuing puck out, bore down on St. Thomas’ goal and was fouled. James Lundon signalled a penalty and Harry shaped up to take it. The sideline signalled to put it over but Harry does his own thing… he drilled it low and hard to the right of the goalie. A close-in free from Thomas’ saw Dillon Roche make a good diving save which was eventually cleared by James Queeney. As extra time took its toll, Fionn Donohue was down with cramp & Scar was floored for a while but they battled on. In a good passage of play from St. Thomas’ a goal effort late on was saved by Moran and as he made his way out with the clearance, he was dispossessed but Harry Mitchell read the game brilliantly and was back on the goal line to deflect a goal bound effort over. Thomas’ scored again from play to take the bad gloss off the final scoreline. Pearses 3-22; St. Thomas’ 2-16.
It was an all-round cracking team effort with everyone playing their part. Captain Scar fixed his hair before accepting the shield on behalf of his team mates. He thanked the team mentors, Declan Lawless, Michael Kelly, Tony Walsh & Niall Skehill & all parents for their efforts in a difficult year while the man of the match award was presented to Harry Mitchell.
Scorers: Cillian Fahey 0-13 (0-6F); Diarmuid Ryan 1-2; Harry Mitchell 1-1 (Pen); Padraig Kelly 0-3; Jack Kenny 1-0; David Walsh 0-2; Dara Scarry 0-1.
Panel: Darren Moran, Fionn Donohue, Harry Mitchell, Conor Hillary, James Queeney, Jonah Donnellan, Dillon Roche, Cillian Fahey, Anthony Feeney, David Walsh, Dara Scarry, Cian Burke, Padraig Kelly, Diarmuid Ryan, Conor Walsh, Jack Kenny, Keith Kitt, Eoghan Ryan, Daniel Lydon, Ciarán Hogan.