Last Sunday we played Araglin in round 2 of this year’s north Cork junior b hurling championship and after another emphatic win we now have the chance of capturing north Cork honours to go along with the county success we won in July.
In what was a perfect day for hurling and with the pitch in Mitchelstown looking in excellent condition we set about our job in a very positive manner right from the start of this match. Ten minutes into the game we held a lead of 0-4 to 0-2 with our points coming from Brian O’Reilly(0-2), Eoin O’Regan(0-1free) and Jamie Sheedy(0-1 free).
Araglin to their credit were making life hard for us in the first quarter but our back line were in no mood to leave anything through and when it did our replacement goal keeper for the day Jonathan Linehan was in outstanding form making vital clearances. We were trying hard to get a foot hold on the game and in the 17th minute we got a vital score when a long ball into the square by Kenneth Barry was guided to the net by Vincent Burke. This score seemed to spur us on and from here to the half time whistle we totally dominated all over the field.
We lost the services of corner back Jonathan Dennehy with a leg injurie shortly after and he was replaced by the younger of the McHugh brother’s Robert. Haulie Burke and Eoin O’Regan had two more points on board for us and then we hit a real purple patch with Jamie Sheedy goaling after some great defending at the other end by Padraig Fitzgerald and center back Sean Lynch. We then had goal number three after 25 minutes when a long ball by Eoin McHugh was caught by Brian Sheedy and he in turn burst past the Araglin defenders and neatly finished the ball to the back of the net. Brian also helped himself to the next point a minute later and on the stroke of half time Colman O’Reilly sent over a beauty from a tight angle to see us lead at half time by 13 pts 3-8 to 0-4.
The second half was all about trying to maintain the momentum and to build on the lead we had. The first 15 minutes the game seemed to turn into a scrappy affair with scores hard to come by for both teams, Jamie Sheedy and Eoin O’Regan put over two good frees to get us going and Araglin answered with two of their own. Brian O’Reilly scored a beauty from the wing after been set up by some outstanding skill from Haulie Burke who first made a very important block and then realising he had lost his hurley decided that that he would flick the ball up soccer style and play a lovely hand pass to Brian who obliged with the finish.
Colman then added two quick fire points after being set up by the hard working Alan Sheedy. Then came goal number four which started in the back line when Richie found Eoin O’Regan and he in turn fed Vincent Burke who picked out the unmarked and dangerous Paul Burke who finished the ball to the net after one of his trade make shimmies to put the keeper the wrong way.
With two minutes remaining we struck for goal number five and this was finished over the line after a goalmouth scramble by the hard working Haulie Burke, shortly afterwards referee Dave O’Farrell who done a fine job bought an end to proceedings and we had secured another championship win for 2015.
Now all roads will lead to the final and hopefully captain Brian O’Reilly will lead us to glory again and bring the cup home. We hope to have a fully fit panel for the final with five of our county winning team Darren Roche, Jerome Fitzgerald, Dylan O’Callaghan, Declan Fitzgibbon and now Jonathan Dennehy all carrying injuries.
After the game Araglin lined up and applauded us off the field which was in recognition of our recent county final win, this was a very kind gesture by the Araglin club mentors and players and we would like to thank them for this and wish them well for 2016 which after their division 3 league success this year gives them a great platform to build on and go all out to win the junior b county next year which they are well capable of.
Team: Jonathan Linehan, Richard Burke, Eoin McHugh, Jonathan Dennehy, Eoin O’Regan(0-3f), Sean Lynch, Padraig Fitzgerald, Haulie Burke(1-1), Kenneth Barry, Jamie Sheedy(1-2 0-2f), Brian Sheedy(1-1), Brian O’Reilly(0-3), Vincent Burke(1-0), Alan Sheedy, Colman O’Reilly(0-3)
Subs: Robert McHugh for Jonathan Dennehy 20min, Paul Burke(1-0), for Kenneth Barry 45min, Eamon Fitzgerald for Alan Sheedy 55min.
This year the junior b is run on a round robin format with three teams involved, in the first game we defeated Kilavullen 4-18 to 1-08, and last Sunday we had a big win over rivals Araglin on a score line of 5-13 to 0-7. Kilavullen and Araglin played two weeks ago and after a close encounter Kilavullen enmerged as winners (4-18 to 3-10) which means we will lock horns once more with Kilavullen.
This will be another great occasion for the club following on from the county final win over Bantry and our last Avondhu hurling championship win came 18 years ago back in 1997.