Eoin Barry stars as Killenaule beat Lattin Cullen Gaels and win through to final against Borrisoleigh

County u-21 HC 'B' semi-final

First half goals from Eoin Barry and Dean O'Connor proved crucial as Killenaule overcame Lattin Cullen Gaels at Clonmel on Saturday to qualify for the County u-21 HC 'B' final.

Less than forty eight hours after beating Anner Gaels in the South final, Killenaule maintained that level of sharpness to overcome the West men.

The goals helped Killenaule to a 2-5 to 0-4 half time lead and although they only added another three points in the second half, they put in a strong defensive effort to deny a Gaels' revival.

Lattin Cullen Gaels keeper Luke Ashmore will be disappointed with both goals.

In the 22nd minute, with Killenaule leading 0-5 to 0-3, the outstanding Eoin Barry sent in a long range free that Ashmore looked to have covered but he took his eye off it and it dropped over the line.

Then in the final minute of the half Ashmore tried to bat out a Dean O'Connor shot but he misjudged the attempt and again it ended in the net.

Barry had been Killenaule's most influential player in that first half.

Mark Russell put the Gaels in the lead after three minutes but Barry equalised two minutes later in Killenaule's first attack and then hit another four, three from frees, as the South men dominated the quarter.

The game had been ill-tempered in its early stages but settled into a fine contest, with points from Mark Russell and Patrick O'Donoghue keeping the West side in touch.

However the Killenaule goals were the key scores in the second quarter which ultimately decided the outcome.

However Lattin Cullen were not giving up without a fight and within forty seconds of the restart Russell was alert when a long range shot came back off the upright and he was on hand to shoot past Jamie O'Connor to make it 2-5 to 1-4.

It made for a competitive second half although the Gaels could never claw back the lead.

Barry from a free had the South side's first point of the half and then following a Shane Neville point for Gaels, Barry was denied his second goal when a great shot came back off the woodwork.

Then a long range point from Tom Stakelum suggested it was going to be Killenaule's day.

It was nip and tuck from there to the end.

Following three wides in a row from Killenaule, Neville found the range for Gaels with Dean O'Connor hitting an immediate response to make it 2-8 to 1-6.

Gaels put in a strong finish with

Anthony Leahy coming upfield from his wing back berth to hit a fine point and then Mark Russell adding another but time ran out before they could cut the deficit further.

They had further chances from frees with Russell trying to find the net but they were too far out to trouble the Killenaule goal.

Killenaule might need to step up a gear in the final against Borrisoleigh but in Eoin Barry they have a potential match winner with Dean O'Connor and Bill Barrett also showing up well in attack, while Jimmy Feehan was sold a the heart of the defence with Tom Stakelum also impressing.

Mark Russell impressed for Gaels but overall they lacked cutting edge up front.

Killenaule - Jamie O'Connor, Mark Doyle, Jack Gleeson, Luke Ryan, Cillian O'Dwyer, Jimmy Feehan, Liam Meagher, Tom Keaveney, Tom Stakelum 0-1; Martin Fennelly, Dominic Blake, Gus Browne, Eoin Barry 1-6, 1-4 frees; Billy Barrett, Dean O'Connor 1-1. Subs - James Doyle for Blake; Pat Doyle for Browne; Dominick Blake for Fennelly.

Lattin Cullen Gaels - Luke Ashmore, Patrick Crehan, John Moloney, Stephen Moloney, Anthony Leahy 0-1; Ed O'Meara, Thomas O'Donoghue, Eoin O'Connell, Shane Neville 0-2, 0-1 free;, Kevin Franks, Mark Russell 1-4, 0-2 frees; Patrick O'Donoghue (Aherlow) 0-1; Patrick O'Donoghue (Lattin Cullen), Kevin Kinane, Jamie Franks, Sub - David O'Heney for Patrick O'Donoghue (Aherlow).

Referee - PJ Nolan.