Friday 23 February 2018

Brendan's bolstered by strong 10-minute spell

Dean Goodison in Kilkenny

A 10-minute spell from St. Brendan's in the middle of the second-half was too much for St. Peter's to withstand in the Leinster Post Primary Schools Juvenile hurling Shield final at the MW Hire Dunmore, Kilkenny Training Centre on Wednesday.

St Brendan's 3-14 St Peter's 1-16

The Wexford town school were on top, leading by four points (1-14 to 2-7) and bossing the game until the Birr boys went on a run of 2-4 without reply in ten minutes from the 39th minute to leave their shell-shocked opponents reeling.

St. Peter's fought back gallantly and got within a goal on three occasions but could edge no closer in the time that was remaining as St. Brendan's hung on to claim the Power Cup.

It was disappointing for the Summerhill boys who were the better team for large stretches. Driven on by a stunning individual performance from Ross Banville, who notched seven of his ten points from play, St. Peter's eased into an interval advantage only to be pegged back after half-time.

Banville, Conor J. Ryan and the impressive Conall Clancy were on target early as St. Peter's eased into a 0-3 to 0-2 lead after 13 minutes.

However, just as they were getting on top territorially they were hit with a sucker punch at the other end when James Harding pulled to the net after Patrick O'Connor had initially saved Jack Corboy's shot.

St. Peter's continued to press forward and Banville hit four of the next five points for his side to edge them 0-8 to 1-4 ahead.

Despite Birr hitting back with a pair from Fletcher and Harding, points by Jack Fortune and Banville left the Slaneysiders in the ascendancy at the change-around (0-10 to 1-6).

The unstoppable Banville (two), Ryan and Clancy helped their side to further increase their lead in the first nine minutes of the second-half but a long run by Fletcher ended with him drilling low to the net - despite a suspicion of three catches on the slalom to goal.

It was a strike that reinvigorated Birr at a time when they looked to be wilting.

A Corboy point followed before a third goal for the Offaly outfit, this time a pull from close range by full-forward Damien Loughnane.

St. Peter's kept chipping away and looked set to bring it right to the wire when substitute Cormac Cooney hit the rigging less than 60 seconds after getting introduced. Yet every time the Wexford school got within three, St. Brendan's extended again and they held on to claim the silverware.

St. Peter's: Patrick O'Connor; Killian Gahan, Ethan Freeman, Feidhlim Roche; Peter Rowley, Sam Audsley, Ryan Furlong; Josh O'Connor, Conall O Crualaoich; Conall Clancy (0-3), Ross Banville (0-10, 3 frees), Diarmuid Barry; Jack Fortune (0-1), David Pettit, Conor J. Ryan (0-2). Subs. - Aaron Culleton for Fortune (31), Barry Ryan for Fortune (36), Cormac Cooney (1-0) for Ryan (44), Garbhan McCormack for Freeman (58), also Adrian Doyle, Liam O'Connor, Kevin Power, Oisín Fortune, Aaron Doyle.

St. Brendan's: Stephen Loughnan; Colin Dooley, Michael Fitzgerald, Jack Kennedy; Kieran Connors (capt.), Rory Carty, Daniel O'Donoghue; Thomas Leahy, Daniel McGee; Brian Fletcher (1-9, 0-5 frees, 0-1 '65), James Tooher, James Harding (1-1); Morgan Watkins (0-2), Damien Loughnane (1-0), Jack Corboy (0-1). Sub. - Tom Dooley (0-1) for Harding (43).

Referee: Eamon Mansfield (Kilkenny).

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