U16 Hurlers Unlucky in South Leinster Semi-Final

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Top Oil South Leinster Schools Junior H “C” Semi-Final

Patrician Newbridge 2-9 

Gaelcholaiste/Pres Carlow 2-10

On Monday October 10th, the Patrician U16 Hurlers travelled to Carlow where they met their combined opponents of Gaelcholáiste/Pres. Carlow in the semi-final of the South Leinster Schools Junior “C” Hurling Championship.patriciannewbridgeu16hurlers

This was a competition, Patricians had won previously and with Muiris Curtin playing a captain’s part from the off with two points from frees, it looked like their focus was right to give them a chance of qualifying for the final.  However, their opponents weren’t going to make it easy and they led 0-3 to 0-2 after the opening 10 minutes.

Throughout the first half the Newbridge backs endured heavy pressure from the opposition, however, with gallant play from the entire back line and especially from full back Conor Mulraney and cornerback Aaron Earley, they closed down the combined side on a number of occasions.

A great catch from Luke Redmond followed by a swift clearance by Terry Smith lead to a spectacular goal from Muiris Curtin in the twentieth minute. Fionn Murphy was instrumental in breaking down the opposition attacks and his fearless approach throughout the game put the opposition on the back foot. In mid-field James Rigney was crucial in winning the fantastic puck outs from our newest addition to the team, goalie Sean Maher.

But, pressure from Gaelcholaiste/Pres was to pay-off as they scored 1-3 in a ten minute period, after the Curtin major before Jake Moylan retaliated with a point in the twenty-eight minute. An accurate free from Curtin left the Patricians trailing by 1-7 to 1-4 at half-time.

Coaches Marion Stack, Pamela Whelan and Laura McCarthy made a number of changes at half-time which brought David Moloney to midfield and Jack Harvey, Cathal Cribbin and Sean Molloy into forwards. Curtin continued where he left off by tipping a point over the bar two minutes in.  However, this narrowing of the margin was short lived as the opposition scored 1-1 despite the efforts of Conor Mulraney and Terry Smith at the other end.

Some silly frees left the Patricians deflated, however luckily, few succeeded in going between the posts and this allowed James Rigney, Jimmy O’Neill and Jack Harvey to take the play to the Carlow combination.  Curtin added a further 0-3 to his tally with one from play & two frees.  This put Gaelcholáiste/Pres. on the back foot and it allowed David Moloney in to score a cracker of a goal with only nine minutes to go, to leave it a two point game.  Robbie Harrington was moved to full-forward and caused enough of a nuisance to allow Rigney narrow the gap to the minimum.  But, time was against the gallant Patricians and the final whistle came too soon, leaving them heartbroken at 2-10 to 2-9.

For a team who came together a mere three weeks ago, they have come on leaps and bounds in terms of skill, team spirit and camaraderie. The full panel for this semi-final included great performances by Eoin Browne, Eoin Shannon, Luke O’Brien and Sean Knight on our starting fifteen, joined by Kyle Busutill, Ryan Hannify, Jonathan Dunne, Conor Sheehan and Niall Clancy on the bench. Badly missed was the lightning speed of Killian O’Shaughnessy and the injured Josh Poole & John Leamy – who nonetheless made it to the game to support the team.