Craanford Juniors lose
Munster champions Whitechurch proved too strong for a gallant Craanford in the All-Ireland Junior 'B' hurling championship semi-final at Killeedy, Co. Limerick, on Sunday.
Whitechurch 1-19 Craanford 0-5
The 'Ford came into the game as Leinster runners-up and looked to have plenty of confidence in the opening stages.
They battled away throughout but eventually the Leesiders' class shone through.
Craanford actually opened the scoring with a James O'Loughlin free in the first minute. The Wexford side continued to press but didn't have the scores on the board that their opening five minutes deserved.
Whitechurch went 1-1 to 0-1 ahead with an eighth-minute goal but again O'Loughlin nailed a dead-ball to pull his side within two. Slowly the Cork men started to exert their authority over proceedings.
Andrew Tighe made several superb saves in the Craanford goal but Whitechurch still moved into a 1-5 to 0-2 lead.
Peter Kavanagh registered from play in the 29th minute but the eventual victors raised two further white flags to go in seven points up (1-7 to 0-3).
Craanford played down the hill in the second-half but struggled to get back into the game. They were dealt a further blow when full-back Jack Kenny was forced off with a hand injury.
Whitechurch moved on to 1-13 before O'Loughlin got his side on the board, and he did add another score but it was too little, too late. Overall it was a disappointing end to a magical season for the Gorey District side.
They got superb performances from Peter Kavanagh, James O'Loughlin, Michael Shortall and Cian O'Toole, as well as the excellent Andrew Tighe in goal, but the Cork side simply had too much attacking quality.
It was a sad day too with Peter Shortall, at the age of 45, losing his final appearance for the club. The experienced campaigner retires from club hurling after being a great servant for Craanford through the years.
Craanford: Andrew Tighe; Pat Lancaster, Jack Kenny, Michael Lancaster; Ger Lyons, Peter Shortall, Mick Shortall; Cian O'Toole, James O'Loughlin (0-4, 3 frees, 1 '65); Michael Sinnott, Peter Kavanagh (0-1), Gary Keating; Bob Flynn, Calvin O'Toole, Martin Doyle. Subs. - James Redmond for Kenny, inj., William Doyle for Keating, Martin Kenny for Flynn, Seán Lyons for Calvin O'Toole, also Jamesie Nolan, Martin Doyle, Joseph Sinnott, Seán Byrne, Thomas Furlong, Hugh Kenny, Mike Morrissey.