U16B Hurling Final 2013

St Thomas 2-11 Pearses 1-6: Earlier today in Kenny Park, St Thomas’ overturned the result when these two teams met in Round one of the Championship back in April, to become U16B Hurling Champions for 2013. St Thomas’ were fully deserving of their win and their two first half goals were a double blow from which Pearses never recovered.
Pearses started well and Keith Connell got the scoreboard moving with a long-range free. St Thomas’ equalised and then Lee Murphy pointed from play to get Pearses back into the lead. St Thomas’ had the next two points, from lively centre-forward Damian Finnerty and full-forward Billy Riordan. Brian Sweeney pointed from a placed ball to leave the game finely balanced at 0-3 each.
There was a scoring lull of seven minutes before the arrival of the game’s first goal. A high ball into the Pearses square, by Fintan Burke, broke loose and despite two good blocks by Keith Connell and Sean Murray, the ball was finished to the net by Billy Riordan. Keith Connell converted again from long range, to narrow the margin, now 1-3 to 0-4. Then disaster struck, when Riordan found the net again for Thomas’ in the 23rd minute. Lee Murphy and Brian Sweeney points were sandwiched between another St Thomas’ point in the following minutes, leaving the half-time score 2-4 to 0-6.
Thomas’ two first half goals may have put them in the driving seat, but it was their third quarter display that put them out of sight. They had hit their remaining seven points without reply by the 24th minute of the second half. Fintan Burke at midfield was immense, hitting four of these (three from play). Riordan and Finnerty continued to impress and Oisin Gloster at centre-back was putting in a solid display.
Pearses did apply some pressure in the final minutes and Daniel Masterson hit a good goal, for our only score of the second half. It was however too little too late and Thomas’ ran out 2-11 to 1-6 winners. Best for Pearses were Sean Murray in goals, Keith Connell andamp;ndash; solid at full-back, Paul Lally, Conor O’Neill and Lee Murphy. Brian Sweeney tried hard but was well shackled by the St Thomas’ defence having hit 0-14 in the team’s April meeting.
It was a disappointing day for all involved, but the lads can be proud of their run in this year’s Championship. From nine Championship games they were defeated just twice (by Oranmore-Maree and today). Despite having a small panel, there are plenty talented players in this bunch. They will be back.
Thanks to the management team of Paul O’Brien, John Jenkins, Martin Campbell, Kevin Connell and Gabriel Flannery. Thanks to Martin Bellew for being on stand by with Medical. Also, a special thanks to Beckett Agri Contractors for their sponsorship of Hoodies for the panel and mentors.
Pearses: Seandamp;aacute;n Murray; Ronan Carr, Keith Connell (0-2), Ronan Flannery; Matthew Walsh, Ronan O’Neill, Dermot Byrnes; Brian Sweeney (0-2), Paul Lally; Daniel Masterson (1-0), Matthew Ruane, Eoghan Burke; Conor O’Neill, Lee Murphy (0-2), Emmet Costello. Subs: Sean Flaherty, Darren Lally, Tomas Carr.
St Thomas: Sean Fallon; David Massey, Jack Haverty, Gary Finn; Ciaran Slattery, Oisin Gloster, Cian Mahony; Fintan Burke (0-7), Mark Caulfield; Malachy McCormack, Damian Finnerty (0-1), Conor Ruane; Kevin Niland, Billy Riordan (2-2), Gearoid Brady (0-1). Subs: Conor Haverty, Shane Murray, Cathal Haverty, Dara Fitzgerald, Colin Devine, Gary Connolly, Jason Niland, Jack Skehill, Kenneth Murray.
Referee: Shane Hynes (Liam Mellows)