After a fourteen year wait, Abbey CBS were again crowned Munster U15 ½ ‘B’ hurling champions last Wednesday in Ballygiblin when they overcame an excellent Glanmire CC side in the final. This was an enthralling game and it took twenty minutes of extra time to decide the winners.
There was never much between the sides but in injury time the Abbey conceded a goal to take the final to extra time. They were deadlocked at half time in extra time but in the second period the Abbey showed their true grit, courage and class, pulling out all the stops to win this game by the narrowest of margins.
Glanmire CC, managed by Barry Shortall of Rockwell Rovers, came into this game following a string of free scoring wins. The sides were level on several occasions during the game. It was hard for either side to lose this match. But the workrate of this side and the belief instilled in the players by mentors Dan Reale (Doon/Oola) and Kieran Hickey (Galbally) shone through in this victory in the end.
Glanmire started smartly with early points, a free from midfielder Liam Healy and one from play by their inspirational captain Ciarán Cashman. During this early dominance they were also guilty of some wayward shooting. The Abbey settled down and spurred on by a solid Galtee Rovers trio in their half back line, Darragh Egan landed a whopping point from almost seventy metres to open the Abbey’s account and another from scorer in chief Shane Neville had the sides level after fifteen minutes.
Then the Abbey struck a purple patch. Following a long delivery into the Glanmire rearguard, Andrew Vance won the ball, and lashed the sliotar to the net, after soloing through the defence. This was a vital break for the Abbey. Shane Neville followed with a pointed to leave the Abbey ahead 1-3 to 0-2 after eighteen minutes. Glanmire struck back immediately with with two pointed frees from ciotóg Jack O’Connor. So after twenty minutes of the half the Abbey led 1-3 to 0-4. During the final ten minutes of the half scores were at a premium, however Shane Ryan sent over a marvellous point from the narrowest of angles on the right sideline to lift the Abbey spirits before the break. Following a free by Glanmire’s excellent Liam Healy just before the break,the Abbey led by just two points 1-4 to 0-5.
Abbey started smartly in the second half with Rian Dooley whipping over an early point but after thirty three minutes, the Abbey were reeled back after Jack O’Connor struck for a Glanmire goal giving Luke Ashmore no chance, to level the sides 1-5 apiece. James Riordan pointed Glanmire ahead but Andrew Vance had the sides level after forty minutes. Glanmire went ahead with pointed frees from Liam Healy and led after forty eight minutes 1-8 to 1-6. Things looked grim for the Abbey at this stage. However with seven minutes remaining, when cool heads and leadership was required, Shane Neville stepped up to the plate pointing two frees from difficult placed balls to level the sides again. There was a sense of urgency in the Abbey play as the team began to fight for the victory. Kevin Franks pointed a free to give the Abbey the lead,Rian Dooley added another and Shane Neville from from a free had the Abbey ahead 1-11 to 1-8 in injury time.
But the never say die spirit of the Glanmire boys was rewarded. As a result of a lack of concentration around midfield, a high ball into the Abbey full back line was not controlled and Ciaran Cashman took full advantage of this hesitancy to flick the ball to the Abbey net. The sides were deadlocked and the final whistle followed the puck out.
So tired and cramped bodies took the field again for two ten minute periods of extra time. Again it was Glanmire which started the better as Patrick O’Driscoll and Liam Healy sent their team into a two point lead. Abbey were level after the first period 1-13 to 2-10 with points from Josh Ryan and Rian Dooley. In the second period again it was Glanmire that took the lead with a point from Cashman. Then the Abbey responded. Shane Neville lofted over two pointed frees and Josh Ryan pointed a beauty from play. This left the Abbey ahead by two points, a dangerous lead, 1-16 to 2-11 with time running out.
But the Abbey had to endure a tension filled final three minutes. They defended bravely. Jack O’Connor pointed to reduce the lead to one, but time ran out for a gallant Glanmire side and the Abbey celebrated their famous hard earned victory.
Conor O’Brien and David Morrissey, who both wore the blue and gold, were members of the 1998 Abbey CBS winning side.
This victory was fashioned from an all round team performance. The half back line of Darragh Egan, David Byron, who played a captain’s part, and Shane Ryan were outstanding. The full back line of Kieran Breen, Michael McCormack and Stephen O’Brien soaked up a lot of pressure. Up front top scorer Shane Neville, Rian Doody and Andrew Vance also stood out.
Abbey C.B.S : Luke Ashmore (Lattin/Cullen); Kieran Breen (Kickhams), Michael McCormack (Kickhams), Steven O’Brien (Eire Óg Annacarty); Shane Ryan (Galtee Rovers) (0-1), David Byron (Galtee Rovers), Daire Egan (Galtee Rovers)(0-1); Josh Ryan (Doon/Oola)(0-2), Patrick O’ Donoughue (Garryspillane); Daniel Kelly (Arravale Rovers), Shane Neville (Lattin/Cullen)(0-8) (0- 6f) Shane Mulcahy (Arravale Rovers); Kevin Franks (Lattin/Cullen), Rian Doody (Cappawhite)(0-3), Andrew Vance (Emly)(1-1).
Subs: Nial Heffernan (Golden/Kilfeacle) for Shane Mulcahy, Fergus Halligan (Arravale Rovers) for Kevin Franks,Conal Donovan (Arravale Rovers ) for Niall Heffernan, Kevin Franks for Conal Donovan.
Glanmire CC: Dylan Mullane; Ciaran Walshe, Aidan Hackett, Shane Higgins; Cillian Roche, Chris Dunne, Aaron Lehane; Liam Healy(0-4F), Adam Horgan; James O’ Riordan(0-1), Tristan O’ Leary, Cormac O’ Leary; Patrick O’ Driscoll(0-2)(0-1f), Ciaran Cashman (1-2), Jack O’ Connor (1-3).