Thursday 18 January 2018

Joy for Craanford!

Junior side secure district ‘B’ crown

Dean Goodison

Jack O'Brien presents the winning cup to Gary Keating, Craanford
Jack O'Brien presents the winning cup to Gary Keating, Craanford
The Craanford hurlers who claimed victory over St Patrick's in the Gorey District Junior 'B' hurling final

Craanford seconds made it a memorable weekend for the club with another victory, this time beating near neighbours St Patrick's to the Gorey district Junior 'B' hurling title in Ferns in the process.

Craanford 1-13 St Patrick's 1-12

Maybe inspired by their first team's heroics when coming from 11 points behind to win just over 24 hours earlier, the 'ford performed heroically. They took the lead in the second minute and were never headed.

However, the Camolin boys put it up to them. When Michael Hamilton flicked Stephen Ryan's long ball to the Craanford rigging with just five minutes remaining, St Patrick's were level (1-11 each) for the first time since the sides were scoreless.

With a partially helping diagonal breeze, they might have expected to build on their fillip, they didn't. Ger Lyons sent over a stunning score, his fourth of the game, a minute later to move his team one ahead again.

Jamesie Nolan held his nerve to point a dead-ball in the 59th minute to further pad the Craanford advantage. However, nails were being shortened when Stephen Ryan flighted over another free from his own '65.

An almighty scramble ensued from Andrew Tighe's next puck-out.

For what seemed like an eternity the ball bobbled around in a grouping of about 15 players. Almost like a rugby scrum it moved back and forwards until Craanford came away with the ball and the full-time whistle sounded.

Earlier, Craanford were already leading 0-3 to 0-1 when Nolan hauled in a long punt forward and fired his shot past Damien Grannell.

Using the breeze, the eventual victors quickly moved 1-6 to 0-2 clear early in the second quarter.

However, St Patrick's went on to pick-off a couple of lovely scores, none better than Paul McDonald's, from a superb Mark Furlong pass, which dragged his side back within three at the interval (1-7 to 0-7).

Three Stephen Ryan frees kept St Pat's ticking along but they were never closer than three in the second half until Hamilton found the net. Still, it wouldn't prove to be enough to prevent Craanford claiming the district title and advancing to the county semi-final.

Craanford: Andrew Tighe; Pat Lancaster, Jack Kenny, Michael Lancaster; Ger Lyons (0-4, 2 frees), Peter Shortle, Mick Shortle; Cian O'Toole, Gary Keating (capt, 0-1); Michael Sinnott (0-1), Peter Kavanagh, James Redmond (0-1); Jamesie Nolan (1-6, 0-4 frees), Calvin O'Toole, Martin Doyle. Subs. - James O'Loughlin for Doyle (30+1), Bob Flynn for Calvin O'Toole (45), Joe Sinnott for Keating (60+2).

St. Patrick's: Damien Grannell; Parish Flynn (capt), John Cousins, Dillon Kavanagh; Enda Murphy, Gary Curley, Ian Maguire (0-1); Michael Carroll, Stephen Ryan (0-6, 3 frees, 1 '65); David Kenny (0-1), Mark Furlong, Mikey Byrne; Caymol Flynn, Michael Hamilton (1-0), Paul McDonald (0-3, 2 frees). Subs. - Shaun Kavanagh (0-1) for Kenny (35), Joe Cousins for D. Kavanagh (38).

Referee: Eddie O'Sullivan (Kilanerin)

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