Tuesday 23 January 2018

Pat's power to glory

Saints produce strong second-half

Dean Goodison

PJ Howlin (Cois te na nOg PRO) and Dean Goodison (People Newspapers) present the Shield to St. Patrick’s captain Joe Cousins
PJ Howlin (Cois te na nOg PRO) and Dean Goodison (People Newspapers) present the Shield to St. Patrick’s captain Joe Cousins
The victorious St. Patrick's squad
Harry McCafferty of Davidstown-Courtnacuddy and Ciaran Murphy of St. Patrick's battle for possession

A powerful second-half display took St. Patrick's past Davidstown-Courtnacuddy to Wexford People Minor hurling Roinn 2 shield glory in St. Patrick's Park on Wednesday.

St. Patrick's 1-13 Davidstown-Courtnacuddy 2-6

The Camolin-based club were trailing by 2-4 to 1-5 after a fairly even first-half but completely turned the screw after the changearound, dominating much of the second period to edge their way to the first Minor title of the finals season.

It was always destined to be a close game.

The sides only met on the field once in the group stages, with Davidstown-Courtnacuddy coming out on top by seven points, but St. Pat's form improved significantly as the campaign progressed.

In fact, such was their upturn in form, that the victors only fell to championship finalists Cloughbawn by two points in the quarter-finals. Davidstown-Courtnacuddy would certainly have expected a tough test and that was evident in a tight first quarter.

The impressive Barry Nolan was on the scoresheet twice in the first six minutes but that was only enough to be tied after a Paul McDonald free was followed by a close-range Steven Kinsella point at the other end.

The speedy James Kelly would prove to be a thorn in the St. Patrick's side all evening, and his point made it 0-3 to 0-2. However, when Jim Doyle was adjudged to have been fouled close to goal in the 13th minute, the Ballyoughter boys had a penalty.

McDonald saw his powerful shot brilliantly saved by Seán Cooper but Oliver Gahan followed up to pull to the net. The St. Patrick's 1-2 to 0-4 first quarter lead lasted until the 16th minute, when Barry Nolan collected Darragh Cooper's pass and fired to the roof of the net.

Three minutes later Davidstown-Courtnacuddy went ahead by double scores, this time when James Kelly's shot took a wicked bounced off the turf and evaded 'keeper Jack Quinn. Yet late points from Joe Cousins and McDonald (two) ensured just two separated the sides at the interval (2-4 to 1-5).

The second-half wasn't the even contest the first had been. St. Patrick's scored the first five points of the period, with McDonald (four) and a superb Conor Morris point contributing, to move into a 1-10 to 2-4 advantage.

Kelly scored his side's first point of the half in the 51st minute, and would later add an injury-time free, but two nice scores from play from McDonald and a well-taken minor from substitute Fergal Maguire ensured the shield went back to Camolin.

St. Patrick's: Jack Quinn; Brendan Byrne, Griffin Byrne, Matthew Crawte; Glen Carton, Dillon Kavanagh, Conor Morris (0-1); Michael Carroll, Joe Cousins (capt., 0-1); Paul McDonald (0-8, 5 frees), Andrew Doyle, Vincent Gahan; Steven Kinsella (0-1), Oliver Gahan (1-0), Ciarán Murphy. Subs. - Fergal Maguire (0-1) for Kinsella (57), Cormac Kavanagh for B. Byrne (60+1), also Andrew Bolger, Michael Doyle, Cian Hogan, Cormac Walsh.

Davidstown-Courtnacuddy: Seán Cooper; Peadar Roche, Darragh Cooper, Harry McCafferty; Rory Loughlin, Pádhraig Loughlin, Donal Harrington; Luke Harrington, Mark Murphy; Brian Ormonde, Mark Kavanagh, James Kelly (capt., 1-4, 0-3 frees); Barry Nolan (1-2), Michael Kehoe, Jim Doyle. Subs. - Michael Andrews for Kavanagh (29), T.J. Owens for Kehoe (31), also Stephen Hickey, Oran French.

Referee: Jack Stafford (Clongeen).

Wexford People

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