Bob on fire for Cloughbawn
Greenstar U-21 hurling championship semi-final: Cloughbawn 2-15 Ger/O'Hanrahan's 1-14
Bob Whitty put on a demonstration of point taking to inspire Cloughbawn to a late victory over a battling Geraldine O'Hanrahans side in this highly exciting Greenstar Under-21 hurling championship semi-final at St. Patrick's Park on Monday evening last.
Whitty finished the game with a personal tally of 0-13, striking nine of his sides first half points in a splendid display of accuracy both from frees and play, and it was his clinical finishing which steered his side through to a now final meeting with Craanford.
While it may have been the Whitty show, one had to have much sympathy for the New Ross town side, who led for stretches of this game and were still level as the game entered the final minute, but it was in additional time that Whitty hit over the lead from midfield with a superb strike, while seconds later in what was the final attack of the game, it was sub Stephen Casserley who finished a cross to the net to secure his side's final passage.
Geraldine O'Hanrahans will feel somewhat hard done by at having lost out at such a late stage, as for period of this game, particularly in the second half it looked as if they were capable of pushing on to victory, but some missed chances when on top eventually came back to haunt them, as there was no time left once Cloughbawn hit them with that late scoring flurish. Still it was a fine display from this young Ross town side who at least deserved to bring the game to extra time.
After Barry Kelly had pointed the Barrowsiders in front with a pointed free, three Whitty points had Cloughbawn leading 0-3 to 0-1 after just five minutes.
After a Dylan Wickham point had reduced the deficit to the minimum it was Dermot Roche who finished to the net after a Barry Kelly free had broken on the edge of the small square, leaving his side leading 1-2 to 0-3 after nine minutes.
The sides went on to continue trade point leaving Conal Flood and David Casserley to point for the eventual winners approach the beak, but it was the Geraldines who led 1-8 to 0-9 at the interval.
On the resumption, Bob Whitty shot over three quick points, two frees, to edge his side in front but with Barry Kelly showing fine accuracy it was Geraldine O'Hanrahans who led 1-12 to 0-13 as the game entered the closing eight minutes.
Six minutes from the end a long Conal Flood free dropped in front of the goal and it was Colm Murphy who managed to get an overhead flick to the net, putting his side 1-13 to 1-12 in front. Kelly and Whitty exchanged pointed frees, but with one minute remaining Kelly scored from a 65 to bring the sides level, 1-14 each.
With the game moving into additional time, Whitty picked off a superb point from play, out in midfield, to give his side the lead, while two minutes into additional time it was sub Stephen Casserley who was left with the simple chance of knocking a Colm Murphy centre to the net, giving his side a dramatic late victory.
Cloughbawn: Sean Keating; Garret Murphy, Jack Wickham, James Flood; Corey Bolger, James Dempsey, Shane Flood; Conal Flood (0-1), Shane Greene; Robert Kinsella, Bob Whitty (0-13, 0-5 frees, 0-1, 65), Kyle Murphy; David Casserley (0-1), Colm Murphy (1-0), Dan Dempsey. Subs: Stephen Casserley (1-0) for David Casserley; Jack Fleming for Kyle Murphy.
Geraldine O'Hanrahans: Brandon Gardiner; Tommy Doran, Gerry Cash, Jack Power; Paraic Bailey, Enda Kelly, Jake Byrne; Barry Kelly (0-12, 0-7 frees, 0-2, 65s), Jack Foran; Dermot Roche (1-0), Kyle Grangell, Michael Cleere; Dylan Wickham (0-2), Danilius Niekius, Barry Roche. Subs: Michael Cullen for Niekius (inj.); Niekius for Cullen; Cullen for Niekius.
Referee: Stephen Burke (Volunteers).