Berry on the mark as GOH complete double
A hat-trick from ace attacker Ger Berry propelled Geraldine O'Hanrahans past Shamrocks to the Gorey Guardian Coiste na nOg Juvenile football Roinn 2 championship title in St. Patrick's Park on Wednesday.
Geraldine O'Hanrahans 4-8 Shamrocks 1-7
It was the second big victory in four days for the pride of New Ross town after their impressive Enniscorthy Guardian Roinn 1 hurling shield success in Ferns on the previous weekend. Without Berry in tip-top form this win might not have happened.
The full-forward put in such a silky performance. Precision was the name of the game for Berry as he made the most of every chance that came his way in a performance of class.
The balance within the front six was a real asset for the champions. Pace and guile on the wings allowed Berry to prosper while the basis for most attacks came from the strong midfield presence of Michael Cleere and Kyle Murphy.
Not that the defence did too much wrong. They were given the tough task of curtailing the dangerous Anthony Murphy and did a fantastic job of bending but rarely breaking under several periods of intense pressure.
As well as protecting the lead with heart and skill, the Geraldines flew out of the blocks as Cleere opened the scoring with a point and Berry followed with a blistering goal. However, Shamrocks dominated territorially for the next 20 minutes and eventually went 1-4 to 1-3 ahead.
Berry and Barry Roche scored points for the New Ross side but Anthony Murphy poked home after John Murphy's shot was saved by Conor Walsh. The Enniscorthy town side had several other chances to find an elusive second goal but the Geraldines defence stood strong.
Try as they might, Shamrocks never beat Walsh again although a brace of points from each of the Murphys, Anthony and John, left them ahead as the half wore on. The Geraldines responded when Corrin Culleton's pass was turned to the net by Berry as the Ross lads went in 2-4 to 1-4 ahead at half-time.
Anthony Murphy and Barry Roche exchanged points early in the second period before the Geraldines went on a run, with Berry completing his treble and Corrin Culleton and Diarmuid Kehoe getting on the scoresheet (3-8 to 1-5).
Philly O'Brien and Kian Cowman pulled late points back for Shamrocks but, despite their pressing for goals, the fifth major came at the other end with Kyle Murphy's perfect punched effort ending a superb day for the champions.
Geraldine O'Hanrahans: Conor Walsh; Ben Walsh, Gavin O'Leary, Evan Lee; Corrin Culleton (0-1), Pádraig Bailey, Jack Byrne; Michael Cleere (capt., 0-1), Kyle Murphy (1-0); Rian Grangel, Adam Fitzgerald, Diarmuid Kehoe (0-1); Barry Roche (0-2), Ger Berry (3-3, 0-2 frees), Szymon Czyz. Subs. - Martin Stafford for Czyz (50), Czyz for Murphy, black card (55), also Tom Connors, Larry Connors, Andy Cash, Christian Burnett, Paddy Somers.
Shamrocks: Adam Grey; Adam Maher, Matt Canavan (capt.), Mick McGrath; Dean Levingston, Darragh Kirwan, Jordan O'Brien; Kian Cowman (0-1), Eoghan Herlihy; Floyd Murphy, Conor Murphy, John Murphy (0-2 frees); Philly O'Brien (0-1), Anthony Murphy (1-3), Darragh Breen. Subs. - Sam O'Brien for McGrath (36), Ben Doyle for O'Brien (41), James Clince for Maher (58), also Mick Connors, Lochlainn Gahan.
Referee: Damien Donovan (Volunteers).