All-Ireland joy for Oylegate-Glenbrien
All-Ireland JBHC final: Oylegate-Glenbrien 1-15 Cappamore 0-11
Oylegate-Glenbrien were crowned All-Ireland Junior 'B' hurling champions, after the saw off a tenacious Cappamore side in the unofficial, Killeedy G.A.A. club organised All-Ireland hurling final in Raheenagh on Saturday.
Last year's county champions are the first from Wexford to claim the honour, with Tara Rocks the only other side to make the final, falling to Menlo Emmets of Galway in the 2006/07 final.
There was no denying this Oylegate-Glenbrien side however, as they tore into proceedings right from the start and, after going at the break with five-point lead, they put in a workman like second-half performance to keep their wind-assisted opponents at bay, finishing with flourish of points to pull away in the closing stages.
The soft underfoot conditions made hurling difficult, but the eventual winners didn't seem to mind as they opened the scoring with points from Barry Dunne and Conor Nolan.
Cappamore replied with accurate free-taker, Liam Creamer hitting two before Jamie McCarthy levelled matters midway through the half.
The Wexford champions then began to dominate proceedings inspired by a huge Marty Kelly point before a Joe Dunne point and a goal from Eoin O'Mahoney after he pounced to dispossess goalkeeper, Shane Slattery, and flick the ball to the net.
The eventual winners went in at the break up by five points, after Kelly traded scores with Creamer, but facing into a stiff breeze in the second half, it was going to be a battle to hold onto that lead.
But it was a battle the boys in blue relished, as they put in trojan work over the next 30 minutes to keep Cappamore at bay.
Probably the most telling moment of the game came eight minutes after the restart when Jamie McCarthy's effort on goal was somehow kept out by the Oylegate-Glenbrien defence, a chance that would have drew Cappamore within a point, and most likely swung the momentum in their favour.
But, having survived that anxious moment, Oylegate-Glenbrien finished out the game in tremendous fashion with stellar performances from all over the field, with Peter Rowley and Evan Kelly to the fore in defence, Marty Kelly playing a captain's role in midfield and Conor Nolan, Eoin O'Mahoney and Barry Dunne splitting the posts up front.
They eventually pulled away in the closing stages for a well-deserved win, to see joint-captains, Brian Doran and Marty Kelly lift the Kileedy G.A.A Perpetual cup, with the latter also being named as player of the tournament.
Oylegate-Glenbrien: Eddie Mernagh; Aidan Muprhy, Padraig O'Connor, Evan Kelly; Gary Conroy, Peter Rowley, Niall Parker; Anthony Doyle, Marty Kelly (0-2, 1 free); Conor Nolan (0-4), Pa Cullen, Barry Dunne (0-5, 4 frees); Tomás Cosgrave, Eoin O'Mahoney (1-2), Joe Dunne (0-1). Subs: Pierce Murphy (0-1) for Cullen (35), Brian Doran for J. Dunne (53).
Cappamore: Shane Slattery; Conor Fitzgibbon, Seamus Lane, Kevin Doyle; Mark Tracey, Jack Sheehan, Paddy Ryan; Anthony Foley, Conor O'Brien; Kevin Ryan, Jack Walsh (0-1), Liam Creamer (0-8, 7 frees, 1 '65); Jamie McCarthy (0-1), Eamonn Moloney, Donal O'Mahaoney. Subs: Matthew Ryan for O'Mahoney (40), Darragh O'Dwyer (0-1) for Tracey (51).
Referee: Damien Fox (Clare).