Comeback secures crown as Gorey pipped by a point
Gorey District Junior B Hurling Final: St Patrick's 3-11 Naomh Eanna 2-13
An Ashley Tully major treble, including two second-half goals in less than 30 seconds that changed the complexion of the game, propelled St. Patrick's to Permanent TSB Gorey District Junior 'B' hurling championship glory in Monamolin on Sunday.
Things were ticking along in the second-half with Naomh Eanna holding a 1-11 to 1-8 lead when Damien Grannell launched long, Mark Furlong handpassed over the last defender, and Tully hammered a blistering shot high past John Kehoe in the Gorey goal.
From the very next puck-out, Furlong claimed possession again and launched towards goal. Gliding on the breeze, it dropped on the edge of the square where Tully was waiting to deflect it to the net again.
Now three points up, St. Pat's were rampant. Tully and Paul McDonald were denied further goals by vital saves, but points from Niall O'Leary and Tully ensured they went into the last five minutes leading by 3-10 to 1-12.
Eoghan Kennedy whipped home a breaking ball to pull Gorey within one, and Pat's were dealt a further blow when the influential Tommy Morris picked up his second yellow.
McDonald made the lead two, meaning when James Byrne pointed in the fifth minute of added-time, it was too little, too late.
For as great a game as it became in the second-half, the first period was putrid. The sides spent too much time clattering each other and lost sight of the prize for a while.
Gorey, in particular, were lucky to still have 15 on the field heading into the interval.
When hurling was being played, Naomh Eanna had only moderately made use of the breeze. They led by 1-5 to nil after 20 minutes as their opponents struggled to find the target.
Eddie O'Brien-Murphy flashed home the goal while he, Kennedy and Michael Murphy all had points on the board.
It was 1-6 to 0-2 with three minutes left in the half, but St. Patrick's got back into things with Tully's first goal and two more McDonald points.
The hurling improved hugely after the break, as Morris and Barry Levingston counter-punched points until the Tully goals set the Camolin-based side on the way to victory.
St. Patrick's will now face Enniscorthy District runners-up Rathnure in the quarter-final in Ballymurn on Sunday, while one week later their footballers have a semi-final date with St. James' in Bree.
St. Patrick's: Damien Grannell; Parish Flynn, Liam Fitzpatrick, Niall O'Leary (0-1); Lorcan Hamilton (capt.), Kyle Byrne, Brian Cadigan; Tommy Morris (0-2), Conor Morris; Paul McDonald (0-6, 5 frees), Mark Furlong (0-1), Ollie Gahan; Ashley Tully (3-1), Mick Fitzpatrick, Jack Quinn. Subs. - John Martin for M. Fitzpatrick (26), Fergal Maguire for Quinn (38), also Michael Doyle, Kieran Kennedy, Michael Hamilton, David Graham, Ian Maguire, Enda Murphy.
Naomh Eanna: John Kehoe; Martin O'Donnell, Cian Kenny, Oran Fitzpatrick; Seán Dowling, Brian Sunderland, Cathal Stokes; Michael Kennedy, Paddy Dwyer (capt.); Barry Levingston (0-3), Michael Murphy (0-6, 4 frees, 2 '65s), Eoghan Kennedy (1-1); Eddie O'Brien-Murphy (1-2), James Byrne (0-1), Jack Molloy. Subs. - Larry Cullen for Molloy (39), Mikey Cushe for Fitzpatrick (60+1), also John Byrne, Alan McPartlan, Michael Dwyer, Cillian O'Donoghue, Mick Kehoe, Joe Comerford, Ian Parle, Cian Savage, Niall Kennedy, Michael Deady, Thomas O'Brien, Kevin Harrington.
Referee: Pádraig Byrne (Kilanerin).