Pearses U15’s had most of the bumper 11,434 crowd behind them this evening, seeking a first U15 championship win this year, only soon to find themselves surrendering to Michael Cussack’s absolute superiority. The Beagh/Kilbeacanty combination were far too physical for a young Pearses outfit, many of whom are U13 years of age.
This U15 Shield game was scheduled to throw in at 7.45pm in Ardrahan but instead didn’t start until 8.30 given that extra time was called for in the Kilconieron vs Ardrahan game prior to it. Then just as the ref was about to throw in the ball, believe it or not, the lights went and the game was played in almost dark conditions as there wasn’t a sparky to be seen anywhere in the vicinity.
A phone call to Aidan Kilkenny was nearly required! In fairness to both sides, they did well to get the match played with reduced artificial lighting although both sides agreed to reduce the playing time. At the end of the day there was still school homework to be done!!
Within minutes Michael Cusacks were off the mark with 1-2; a 65’ from their centre back, with the goal originating from midfield, worked through the heart of Pearses defence before finishing well from the edge of the square followed by another free. Conor Moran converted a free in front of the posts after he was fouled to make it 1-2 to 0-1 and that was as near as Pearses would get. No. 9 scored from play for Michael Cusacks as he burst through the centre while Robert Hynes did well to avert another certain goal but in the process conceded a 65’ which was duly converted by their No. 6.
Luke Mitchell converted a free to claw back the lead to 1-3 to 0-2. Cusacks converted another free while straight from the puck out Harry Mitchell showed great bravery between the posts with a smashing save as the rebound was whipped wide. Just before half time Cusacks scored from play to leave the half time score: Pearses 0-2; Michael Cusacks 1-5.
Pearses had a mini revival at the start of the 2nd half as Orin Burke was pulled back and David Hillary’s free tailed just inside the right upright. The sliver of hope was short lived though as straight up the other end Cusacks left Mitchell with no chance with a bullet of a goal. The 2nd half however, totally belonged to Cusacks as they were in devastating form and went on the rampage with a return of 2-3 to finish out emphatic winners.
Robert Hynes was exceptional at full back as he thwarted plenty of attacks while Brian Kelly was redeployed to the forwards in the 2nd half as Pearses sought to change the scoreboard. The young Pearses lads however, failed to get a grip on the game in the absence of their leader Cian Murphy as a Lazarus-like recovery never really looked likely. Final score: Pearses 0-3; Michael Cusacks 4-8.
This game ends underage championship hurling for 2018 as we look forward to 2019 hurling already and its only late September.
Scorers: Conor Moran 0-1(F); Luke Mitchell 0-1 (F); David Hillary 0-1 (F)
Panel: Harry Mitchell, Oisin Donoghue, Robert Hynes, Conor Kelly, Mark Donnellan, Brian Kelly, Paddy Kenny, Ethan Lally, Orin Burke, Luke Mitchell, David Hillary, Conor Moran, Ronan Hynes, Niall McDonagh, Darragh Roche, Robert Fahy, Eanna Cunniffe, Cormac Hillary, Jack Reilly, Oliver Laheen.
Report by Martina Donnellan