MINOR HURLING ROINN A LEAGUE ROUND 5
Young Irelands Gowran 2-11
An enthralling Minor Hurling League clash in Gowran on Bank Holiday Monday, saw Jake Byrne strike over a superb long range levelling point from near the sideline to gain a deserved share of the spoils.
However, Dicksboro were dominant during the opening quarter & they led 2-5 to 1-1 after 15 minutes with Michael Keating getting the Young Irelands goal in the 7th minute.
With their struggles against the Boro the past few years, a heavy defeat would have been most feared, but to Young Irelands credit they grew into the game & prevented their opponents from exerting dominance.
Switching Diarmuid Langton out as a third Midfielder was a masterstroke as it helped gained control around the middle third, & they started to enjoy a greater amount of possession.
Between the 16th & 25th minutes, Young Irelands scored 1-4 without reply with Cian Phelan leading the way.
Cian scored two points in quick succession followed by a goal, before Dicksboro replied with three points late in the first half to lead 2-8 to 2-5 following a highly entertaining first-half.
The second-half was more intense with scores more hard fought, but Young Irelands started to play with greater confidence with the exceptional Jake Byrne & Jim Conlon driving the team forward.
Points early in the second-half from Michael Keating & a Cian Phelan free narrowed the gap to the minimum(2-8 to 2-7), before Dicksboro pointed a free. 2-9 to 2-7.
The exceptional Jake Byrne fired over a long distance free, before the hard-working Shane Simpson struck over the levelling point entering the final quarter. 2-9 each.
In a low scoring final quarter, pointed frees were exchanged to ensure the scores remained level(2-10 each), but before Cian Phelan’s levelling free, Young Irelands shot 4 wides as they began dominating possession.
Dicksboro added another pointed free with just a few minutes left, but Jake Byrne had the final say as he struck over a magnificent long distance effort for the equalizer.
It was a magnificent effort from Ciaran Phelan’s men against the Minor Champions of the last three years, especially after the difficult start that they endured.
Defensively, they were superb & kept Dicksboro scoreless from play in the second-half.
Apart from the wonderful efforts of Jake Byrne as mentioned, Andrew Corbett & the rock solid David Langton were highly accomplished, while Jim Conlon was exceptional throughout the second-half.
Further afield, Diarmuid & Thomas Langton, Michael Keating & top acorer Cian Phelan – 1-6(0-3 frees 0-1’65) – all had their moments, while Matthew Murray when introduced added strength & power to the forward division.
KILKENNY U-20S SNATCH VICTORY FOLLOWING AMAZING EPIC CONTEST
Huge congratulations to Paddy Langton & the Kilkenny U-20 Hurlers following victory against Galway after an amazing epic contest in the Leinster Semi-Final in Tullamore on Bank Holiday Monday
Kilkenny won by 1-28 to 1-27 in which top scorer Billy Drennan 0-17(0-14 frees) struck over an equalizing point in stoppage-time that forced extra-time.
Kilkenny trailed by four points at half-time of extra-time, before four unanswered points in the second period of extra-time brought them back level before the winning goal.
Billy Drennan who was ace accurate with his frees all afternoon saw his attempt this time drop in front of the goalmouth.
However, Gearoid Dunne pounced quickly & his struck his shot powerfully to the net.
It was a goal very similar to Eamonn Taaffe’s effort for Clare that won that historic All-Ireland dinal in 1995 against Offaly.
The drama was not finished yet.
Galway added three consecutive points to fight back & draw level & a penalty shoot-out appeared to be the most likely outcome.
However, Joe Fitzpatrick fired over a superb long range winner from midfield, as Kilkenny prevailed by the slenderest of margins following one of the great under-age games in recent times.
Kilkenny now play Wexford in the Leinster U-20 Final in Netwatch Cullen Park, Carlow next Monday evening at 7.30pm.