Jerry Ryan (Ollies Bar), Seanie O'Halloran (GoldenKilfeacle Captain), John O'Shea (West Board Chairman).
Cappawhite Gaels 1-17(20)
Golden/Kilfeacle claimed their fifth Ollies Bar West U21B Hurling Championship title in a hard fought final against Cappawhite Gaels in Bansha, winning 4-11 to 1-17.
Continual rain and drizzle led to poor playing conditions but this did not deter both teams from producing an entertaining game of hurling. Golden/Kilfeacle’s path to the final had been built on their ability to get goals and that ability anytime Cappawhite Gaels came back at them would prove to be the deciding factor in this game.
The first half was a fairly even affair with the sides level on six occasions as both teams rarely threatened to raise a green flag. Andy Byrnes opened the scoring for Golden/Kilfeacle in the second minute with a pointed free but William Barry responded with the game’s first point from play at the other end.
Both sides had chances before William Barry pointed from a place ball to edge Cappawhite Gaels into the lead. Fionn Brady had to be alert to clear off the line at the other end for a Golden/Kilfeacle 65. Golden/Kilfeacle were struggling to find scores and ten minutes after scoring the opening point of the game their goalkeeper Killian Hayde came up the field to point a free and level the game.
The see-saw nature of the game continued with two quick fire points from Willie Barry in less than a minute gave the Gaels a two point cushion. Andy Byrnes returned to free taking duties and pointed to be quickly followed by Seanie O’Halloran’s first point of the game.
Willie Barry pointed again but this was cancelled out by Alex Ryan. The sides level 0-5 a piece with just under ten minutes of play remaining. Fionn Brady was picking up a lot of ball in the Gaels goal but was coming under pressure each time he tried to clear. David Buckley and Andy Byrnes (free) swapped points before Seanie O’Halloran and Riann Doody did the same. Andy Byrnes would have the last say of the half as he pointed from a place ball.
The Golden-Kilfeacle team that won the West title.
There may not have been a green flag raised in the opening half but by the long whistle it would be raised five times.
Willie Barry levelled after three minutes from a placed ball but in less than a minute Golden/Kilfeacle would open up a four point advantage. Alex Ryan made a long run through the heart of the Cappawhite Gaels defence dispatching to Seanie O’Halloran who rattled the net. O’ Halloran quickly followed this with his second point.
Willie Barry cut the deficit with a point before Andy Byrnes responded with a pointed free. Golden/Kilfeacle now getting more opportunities but Cappawhite were still hanging in there. Barry cut the deficit in half at the other end with two points in quick succession from play and a free.
The game though turned again and just as Cappawhite Gaels were getting close their defence was being dragged out the field by the Golden/Kilfeacle forwards creating space inside. Alex Ryan went on another run this time setting up Thomas Wade for goal number two. Cappawhite responded in kind and Tim Meagher collected a high ball at the edge of the square turning his man and crashing the sliotar to the net in a carbon copy of the goal he scored in last year’s A final.
Robbie Quirke and Fraser Allen pointed to tie up the game going into the final quarter. Again just as Cappawhite were getting a foothold Golden/Kilfeacle struck again as Johnny Wade set up Thomas Wade for his second goal of the game.
Cappawhite fought back and two Willie Barry frees saw it turn into a one point game with seven minutes to go. Golden/Kilfeacle again got a cushion, this time Andy Byrnes squaring the sliotar across the goal to be collected by Niall Heffernan who sent a bullet of a shot to the net.
Golden/Kilfeacle now four up. Robbie Quirke and Andy Byrnes (free) traded points as the clock headed towards the red. Deep in injury time Cappawhite Gaels were awarded a twenty one yard free. Needing two scores regardless to get a draw, Riann Doody pointed to cut the deficit to a goal. Cappawhite Gaels though failed to manufacture that chance which would have sent the game to extra-time as Golden/Kilfeacle held on to advance to a County semi-final against Lorrha/Dorrha.
Afterwards Seanie O’Halloran accepted the Bill Hayes Cup from West Board Chairman John O’Shea and Jerry Ryan from Ollies Bar.
This was a hard fought game but Golden/Kilfeacle’s ability to get goals at the right time shaded it for them. A good balanced team with strength and speed which will cause problems for any team.
Three of their starting forwards finished with a combined total of six points each. Cappawhite Gaels can be happy too with their performance with Willie Barry finishing with eleven points of their final tally. The Golden/Kilfeacle defence proving a difficult challenge for their forwards as they struggled to find space to create good goal chances.
Golden/Kilfeacle: Killian Hayde (0-1), Jack Fogarty, Robbie Wade, Derry Ormond, Cian O Connell, David Wade, Eoghan Ryan, Alex Ryan (0-1), Niall Heffernan (1-0), Niall Fogarty, Andy Byrnes (0-6, (0-5f)),Seanie O Halloran(1-3),Thomas Wade (2-0), Eoin Nagle, Johnny Wade
Subs: Brian Barlow for Eoin Nagle, Niall Hogan for Alex Ryan, Eoin Nagle for Andy Byrnes
Cappawhite Gaels: Fionn Brady, Jim O’Dwyer, Eoghan Ryan, Colm O’Dwyer, James Dee, Robbie Quirke (0-2), Brendan Murphy, Kieran Duggan, Riann Doody (0-2, (0-1f), Tim Meagher (1-0), Tommy Coughlan, Willie Barry (0-11), (0-7f)), Eanna Buckley, David Buckley (0-1), Fraser Allen (0-1)
Referee: Padraig Skeffington (Cashel King Cormacs)