Dean Ryan Cup Under 16.5 A Hurling Quarter-Final
Nenagh CBS 2-15 Hamilton High School Bandon 1-8
Report by Ed Donnelly
Nenagh CBS recorded a flattering ten-point victory over Hamilton High School Bandon at Ballyhea on Wednesday.
Ignore the final scoreline – this was a hard-fought knockout game which was in the balance up to the final quarter when Nenagh pulled away.
After a tentative opening where the teams shared the opening four scores, the first goal arrived on seven minutes. Bandon had a couple of chances to clear their lines but the hard working Nenagh forwards created a turnover and Conor McKelvey raised a green flag to put his side in front by 1-2 to 0-2. Shane Gleeson pointed a free for Nenagh to put them four points in front before unanswered Bandon points courtesy of Colm O’Donovan, Ciaran McCarthy (free) and Richard O’Sullivan (’65) left just a point between the sides after the first quarter, 1-3 to 0-5.
The intensity of the exchanges didn’t drop in the second quarter but the rate of scoring certainly did with both defences now well on top. Paul Seymour pointed a free for Nenagh in the 18th minute and after 12 scoreless minutes, Nenagh’s Tom Kennedy and Shane Gleeson each scored a point from play on the stroke of half-time to leave Nenagh in front by 1-6 to 0-5 at the interval.
Hamilton High School Bandon needed a good start to the second half and this duly arrived when Ciaran McCarthy scored a goal in the 31st minute to reduce the deficit to just a single point. Tom Kennedy (Nenagh) and Colm O’Donovan (Bandon) then traded points before Bandon missed a couple of opportunities to bring the sides level.
Ultimately, the key score of the game arrived in the 38th minute when Nenagh recorded their second goal. Wednesday night will see the beginning of the Baseball American League playoffs in Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York. Such occasions can often produce some excellent catches which are lauded globally. Ballyhea is some distance from the Big Apple but the lead-up to the goal produced an excellent catch. A long ball in to the Bandon danger zone found Conor McKelvey in behind the defence but with defenders closing in. With the ball seemingly going over the backs and forwards in to the goalmouth, McKelvey somehow managed to catch the ball when off balance. Were it a baseball game that would be job done but getting possession was only half the battle and the Nenagh forward had the wherewithal to turn and hit a delicate shot under pressure past the advancing Bandon goalie for an excellent goal putting Nenagh in front by 2-7 to 1-6.
The schools shared the next four points though the last of those scores from Bandon substitute Jonathan Murphy could easily have been a goal as his overhead shot went just over the crossbar with the goal at his mercy.
Shane Gleeson would respond with two pointed frees to put Nenagh six points up before Bandon were reduced to 14 men in the 54th minute. Any chance of a comeback for the Cork school seemed remote at this stage but Ciaran McCarthy had a good chance of a Bandon goal in the 56th minute but he failed to connect properly when a chance presented itself and the ball was cleared.
With a man advantage, Nenagh duly closed out the game in the closing stages as a Conor McKelvey point from play was followed by three injury time points by Shane Gleeson (2 frees) and at the final whistle, Nenagh CBS had qualified for a semi-final meeting with Thurles CBS next week.
Nenagh CBS: Micheal Ryan (Burgess); James Duff (Toomevara), Michael Hayes (Silvermines), Aaron Morgan (Kilruane MacDonaghs); Niosa Minogue (Kilruane MacDonaghs), Paul Seymour (Kiladangan, 0-2 frees), DJ McGrath (Kiladangan); Josh Keller (Nenagh Éire Óg), Michael Corcoran (Silvermines); Conor McKelvey (Silvermines, 2-3), Sean Kenneally (Moneygall), Joseph Coffey (Toomevara); Eoin Grace (Burgess), Shane Gleeson (Kiladangan, 0-8, 0-6 frees), Tom Kennedy (Nenagh Éire Óg, 0-2)
Subs: Davy O’Brien (Kiladangan), Oisin O’Connor (Portroe)
Hamilton High School Bandon: Seamus O’Sullivan (Kilbrittain); Sean Henchion (Ibane Gaels), Richard Murphy (Bandon), Colm Sheehan (Kilbrittain); Richard O’Sullivan (Newcestown, 0-2 frees), Jonathan Kenneally (Valley Rovers), Sean Daly (Sam Maguires); Conor Twomey (Bandon), Brian McCarthy (Valley Rovers); Jacob O’Driscoll (Valley Rovers), Colm O’Donovan (Newcestown, 0-2), Sean Egan (Valley Rovers, 0-1); Ciaran McCarthy (Valley Rovers, 1-2, 0-1), James Crowley (Ahan Gaels), Eoghan Crowley (Bandon)
Subs: Jonathan Murphy (Valley Rovers, 0-1), Conor Ustianowski (Kilbrittain)
Referee: Dave O’Farrell