Tommy Larkins 2-14 Padraig Pearses 0-15: Pearses U21 hurlers exited the championship earlier this afternoon at the hands of Tommy Larkins, in this U21B quarter-final played in Ballymacward. There was not much between the teams overall, but two first half Larkins goals gave them the upper hand going into the second half. The nearest Pearses could get was three points in the second half, as Larkins held out for the win and qualify for the semi-finals.
Larkins led 0-4 to 0-3 when the first goal arrived after twelve minutes. A short puck-out by Keith Connell was intercepted and finished to the net by the Larkins full-forward. After the goal, the game continued in a similar close contested fashion. Oisin Flannery was Pearses main scorer, while Ronan Murphy was moving well at midfield for Larkins. The gap was back to two points when disaster struck again for Pearses, a second Larkins goal after 25 minutes. There were goal opportunities for Pearses, when first Flannery and then Ronan O’Neill went low from 21-yard frees, but Eanna Murphy and his defence held them out. Oisin Flannery pointed a Pearses free to leave the half-time score, 2-6 to 0-8.
Paul Lally was designated man-marking duties on Ronan Murphy for the second half and did well to restrict his influence on the game. Tomas Gardiner however became more prominent in the Larkins attack, hitting some fine points from play. After 25 minutes of the second half Pearses had outscored Larkins 0-5 to 0-4, all Pearses scores from Oisin Flannery. At his point there were just three points in the game, 2-10 to 0-13 – with five minutes to play. There was a goal chances at both ends with Dean Reilly going closest for Pearses. Larkins however had the stronger finish, and outscored Pearses 0-4 to 0-2 in the closing stages to advance.
Pearses: K Connell; C Kitt, R Flannery, S Murray; S Hynes, R O’Neill, R Carr; C Fahey, C O”Neill (0-1); O Flannery (0-12), C Lawless, J Barrett (0-1); P Lally, B Sweeney, D Reilly (0-1). Subs: G Kenny, D Byrnes.