Pats to the fore in Thriller
St. Patricks 3-13 Ballydurn(Waterford) 2-13 AET
This was new territory for the Drangan and Cloneen club, it was Munster club championship fare. After a thrilling encounter between two good sides St. Pats advance to the Munster Junior A Club Final.
The venue was Walsh Park in Waterford and conditions were quite good for this time of year and thankfully the hurling really came up to scratch also.
St. Pats started well, something which they maybe have struggled to do on other days, so this was really encouraging. There were two or three points up after five or six minutes and one of their scores was really out of the top drawer with some very good interlink play. It took Ballydurn a bit of time to get into their rhythm. They eventually got some scores on the board and started to dominate, with their past Waterford inter county star Peter Queally leading the line. Queally drifted from center forward out into the middle of the field and picked up a lot of lose ball. He was also very accurate from frees. Pats had really gone out of it at this stage but then they struck for a really good goal. Sean Horan delivered a great ball to Tony O’Brien in the corner and Tony crossed a great pass to Wille McCormack and he finished it in style. This brought the teams back to all square. Some extra scores were added by both sides and they went into half time level.
Pats started the second half poorly and conceded two or three early scores to Ballydurn. We seemed to be struggling again but Conor Barry stepped up to rifle a ball to the top of the Ballydurn net after a good pass by Brian McCormack. Conor went on to add two more good points, he was really on top of his game at this stage. We were on top for the remaining period and Ballydurn didn’t really threaten much. Three points up and all it needed was to close the game out, but at the bitter end Ballydurn attacked and a slip by a St. Pats defender and they were in for a goal. Bitter disappointment for our lads!!! The ball was pucked out and it made its way to Tony O’Brien, he soloed up the stand sideline and hit a massive score of his left from about 35 yards out from under the stand. It looked like that was the winning of it only for the linesman to put up his flag indicating Tony was over the sideline, another cruel blow!! The ref blew it up and extra time beckoned.
Both teams had put massive effort into the hours hurling gone by and it was a very high standard of fast flowing hurling for Junior A, a credit to both sides. The question was how much gas had they left and had St. Pats the nerve to come back after victory being in touching distance on a number of occasions.
Our lads got the first score in extra time from a Tony O’Brien free. Then our backs defended really well when it looked as if Ballydurn were in for a goal. The ball was cleared down the field and Shane Gorey ran straight at the middle of their defense and shot low at the goalie. The shot was blocked and Tony O’Brien was first to react to the rebound at he finished to the net. This was the cushion we needed.
The second half of extra time was fiercely contested and the pace of the game never diminished. Both teams traded scores and eventually Willie McCormack finished with a fine score to put Pats three up leaving them to run out deserving winners.
It was a tremendous game and a great team performance from the victors. Johnny Moroney was very steady in goal with Eoin McCormack clearing well from full back. Paul Horan a had a fine game and he really limited the influence of Peter Queally when he went in center back early in the first half of normal time. Liam Brett came more into it as the game wore on and he finished very strongly at wing back in extra time. Shane Gorey continued his good form with a really good consistent performance and he was the initiator of the Pats goal in extra time. Danny Gleeson cam on as a second half sub and hurled really well at midfield. Conor Barry an excellent game at wing forward, he got through an amount of work and converted some fine scores from play. Sean Horan moved a good deal of ball from center forward and his distribution was the a key ingredient in many of the teams scores. Brian McCormack was also central to many of the Pats scores having a hand in a number of the goals. Tony O Brien had a fine game also, with some really good scores.
All in all it was a an overall team performance, you don’t win games like this without everybody putting their shoulder to the wheel. Well done to the lads on a great days entertainment.
Team; J.Moroney, K.Clancy, E.McCormack, R.Needham, J.Hayes, L.Brett(Capt), P.Horan, S.Gorey, C.Barry, W.McCormack, S.Horan, N.Gleeson, R.McCormack, B.McCormack, T.O’Brien, D.Gleeson, R. Maher, T.O’Connor, C.Dunne, M.O’Connell, A.Cronin, K.O’Neill, S. Broderick, D.Ryan, E. Needham, P. Moroney