Craanford and Oylegate to contest Under-21 final
Craanford 2-14 Adamstown 2-10: Two second-half goals from full-forward Matthew Nolan proved crucial as Craanford defeated Adamstown in the Under-21 hurling Roinn 1 championship semi-final in Bree on Saturday, writes Shane Bradley.
With the sides level at half-time and contesting an even game throughout, Craanford were just more clinical in taking their scores. Kevin Poole started the scoring for the Gorey District men on three minutes as he pointed on his right-hand side followed by a close-range free.
Shortly after Adamstown's Peter Finn scored a fine point near the sideline while half-back Paudie Barden levelled the game from distance. Tony French split the posts from 50 yards before John Fleming and French exchanged frees to level the game at 0-4 each after ten minutes.
Craanford wing-forward James Smyth then added two quick-fire points, the latter after a fine catch and turn, while Finn replied for Adamstown from 35 yards. The New Ross District side were then awarded a penalty on 18 minutes as Podge Kavanagh was bundled to the ground close to goal and Tony French buried it to the roof of the net for a 1-5 to 0-6 lead.
Paudie Barden showed great awareness to set up French who was in acres of space and slotted over. Craanford then finished the first-half on song as Matthew Nolan caught a fine ball close to goal and turned and shot over before Kevin Poole added a long-range free and another fine score from play to make it 0-9 to 1-6.
French and Fleming exchanged frees in the opening seconds of the new half, and Liam Stafford pointed after a fine solo run to edge Adamstown back into a narrow lead.
On 40 minutes Craanford struck their first crucial goal as Matthew Nolan was left isolated one-on-one close to goal, and he cleverly flicked the ball past full-back Johnny Connors and made no mistake blasting home.
French then replied from two frees, and the sides were level again with 17 minutes remaining. John Fleming showed great skill and pointed an excellent sideline ball before Craanford struck for goal again.
Nolan gathered a high ball and, although under severe pressure, he batted home from close range for his and Craanford's second goal, and they now had a five-point lead. With five minutes remaining, however, Adamstown fought back and Liam Stafford attacked with menace and handpassed across where Harry Cosgrave was left free and he buried low to the net.
It was a two-point game again, but Craanford finished stronger and added scores from a Fleming free and James Smyth in stoppage time which secured the win.
Craanford: Andrew Tighe; Tony Kavanagh, Jack Kenny, Pat Lancaster; Pat Kenny, Mick Lyons, Ger Lyons; William Conroy, Oliver Doran; Kevin Poole (0-4, 2 frees), John Fleming (0-6, 5 frees, 1 line ball), James Smyth (0-3); Martin Doyle, Matthew Nolan (2-1), Cian O'Toole.
Adamstown: Paul Delaney; James Furlong, Johnny Connors, Mosey Delaney; J.P. Furlong, Paudie Barden (0-1), Seán Barden; Jack Curtis, Tony French (1-6, 0-4 frees, 1-0 pen.); Liam Stafford (0-1), Podge Kavanagh, Peter Finn (0-2); Stephen English, Michael Foley, Harry Cosgrave (1-0). Subs. - Tomás French for Kavanagh (HT), Donal Cosgrave for Finn (53).
Referee: Frankie Morrissey (Glynn-Barntown).
Oylegate-Glenbrien 3-19, Forth and Bargy Gaels 2-14: A clinical first-half display from Oyelgate-Glenbrien saw them comfortably see off a combined Rosslare, St. Fintan's and Our Lady's Island side in the second Under-21 hurling Roinn 1 championship semi-final in Bree.
This game was out of reach at half-time as Oylegate-Glenbrien had built up a huge 14-point lead at the break.
After Conor Heffernan and Jack Pettit exchanged scores in the opening minute, there was no holding back from the Enniscorthy District side as they dominated the first-half. Seamus Casey, Conor Heffernan and Ciarán Hourihane all added fine individual scores as they raced into a 0-5 to 0-1 lead after ten minutes, with full-forward Casey, who gave a fine performance, adding two more scores.
Midfielder Damien Reck added from distance just before their first goal when a ball broke loose in the area and Casey was quick and alert as he shot low to the net on 20 minutes (1-8 to 0-1).
Matt Homan and centre-forward Donal Shanley stopped the onslaught as they both pointed from play, but shortly after they were dealt another huge blow as Ciarán Hourihane went on a direct solo for goal. He noticed Barry Dunne free inside and Dunne made no mistake to slot home and open up an eleven-point gap.
Jack Pettit, who was the stand-out performer for the Gaels, pointed from distance before Oylegate-Glenbrien struck their third goal. A high ball into the square was not dealt with and it broke kindly for Barry Dunne who bagged his second, and the game looked as good as over.
The second-half was a question of how much the gap would be rather than the result, but to give credit to the Gaels they did add some fine scores late on. Donal Shanley got their first goal on 53 minutes after a powerful strike, and half-back Quinn Saunders added a fine goal.
Oylegate-Glenbrien: John Reck; Stephen Ring, John Lambert, Kieran Lambert; Micheál Reck, Jim White, Ciarán O'Brien; Damien Reck (0-2), Brian Doran (0-1 free); Conor Heffernan (0-3), Ciarán Hourihane (0-1), Patrick Cullen; Barry Dunne (2-1), Seamus Casey (1-9, 0-5 frees), Shane Reck. Subs. - Kevin Reck for Cullen (50), Conor Doyle for Ring (50), Eddie Mernagh (0-1) for S. Reck (50), Lee Kehoe (0-1) for O'Brien (55).
Forth and Bargy Gaels: Andrew Morris; Peter Goldsmith, Craig Wright, Cathal Devereux; Quinn Saunders (1-0), Naomhan Rossiter, Shay Boggan; Jim Rossiter, Jack Pettit (0-9, 5 frees); Matt Homan (0-1), Donal Shanley (1-1), Philip Lambert; Robert Coakley (0-1), Eoin Wright (0-1), Jason Pettit. Subs. - Kevin Wright (0-1) for Coakley (53), Ciarán Sheil for Boggan (55).
Referee: Shane Quinn (Ballygarrett).