Super Kilross Gaels beat Gusserane
Kilross Gaels started brightly and finished with a flourish to snatch the Enniscorthy Guardian Coiste na nÓg Under-16 Roinn 2 hurling championship title away from Gusserane in Rathangan on Saturday morning last.
Kilross Gaels 2-11 Gusserane 1-12
The Kilmore/St Mary's (Rosslare) combination flew out of the blocks, with captain Rees Broaders on fire, but had no goal and barely even an advantage to show for their scintillating start.
Then, when the chips were down late on, they played some fantastic hurling. Kevin Power's 47th minute goal would prove to be a vital score but the whole team knuckled down and dragged the Wexford district duo over the line.
In the middle of the clash Gusserane were magnificent. Not only did they pick off several stunning points, they played an exceptional brand of hurling, were tenacious and were well mentored from the sideline.
It's easy to see why these two teams made the final, Often at this level clubs might have one exceptional player that drags them over the finish line in games but both sides in this contest had a handful of really talented hurlers.
Broaders had the ball in the net in the opening minute but the whistle had already been blown for a penalty. He struck that dead-ball over, rattled the crossbar a minute later and then saw a shot whistle past the post. In the sixth minute the full-forward added a second point.
Despite Dylan Jones also getting his name on the scoresheet, Gusserane responded with two overs each from Jamie Sheehan and Martin Stafford, as well as a point from Kevin O'Donohoe to lead 0-5 to 0-4 after 14 minutes.
Dylan Ryan's feed sent the exceptional O'Donohoe away early in the second quarter and he rode two challenges before flashing home the game's opening goal. Back came Kilross when Jack Doyle's booming puck-out was collected by Michael Honey, he raced fifty metres before netting.
The game settled back down and points from Chris O'Connor for Kilross and O'Donohoe for Gusserane ensured the teams went in at the break deadlocked (1-6 each).
Broaders picked off his fifth point of the morning after the restart but Gusserane still looked impressive, running off three minors in a row from Stafford (2) and Sheehan. Dylan Jones cut the gap to one before the vital second goal arrived at the start of the final quarter.
Broaders long free was powerfully batted away by Conor Twomey but Kevin Power latched on to the breaking ball and swept it, weist height, back past the Gusserane goalkeeper to the rigging. Again the New Ross district club battled back to level (2-8 to 1-11) with scores from O'Donohoe and Sheehan but three raised white flags in three minutes, with Sean Carley and Broaders (2) on target, left the Gaels in a strong position entering added-time.
Gusserane had one last chance to sent the game to extra-time when Aaron Whelan was fouled on the wing, O'Donohoe took the free, 20 metres out on the right but he hit it almost too well and it flew up and over the crossbar to end the game and send Kilross into delirious celebrations.
KILROSS GAELS: Jack Doyle; David McDonnell, Ruairi Nunn, Andy Ling; Thomas Power, Eoghan Barry, Ben Hayes; Sean Carley (0-1), Liam O'Connor; Michael Honey (1-0), Kevin Power (1-0), Chris O'Connor (0-1); Luke Hunt, Rees Broaders (capt, 0-7, 3 frees, 1 pen), Dylan Jones (0-2). Subs. - Reece da la Cour for Ling (32), also, George Gould, Diarmuid Cooney, Michael Harvey, Charlie Heffernan.
GUSSERANE: Conor Twomey; Jacob Ferguson, Eoin Dunne Codd, Michael Hennessy; Eoin Pilkington, Thomas Ryan, Emmet Cullen; Martin Stafford (0-4, 2 frees), Mark Kehoe; Padraig Pilkington, Kevin O'Donohoe (capt, 1-4, 0-1 free), Dylan Ryan; Jamie Sheehan (0-4), Colin Walsh, Eoin Stafford. Subs. - Aaron Whelan for Stafford (54), Shane Maher, Matthew McCillen, Patrick Sinnott, Mark Flynn.
REFEREE: Fintan Whyte (St James')