Shanballymore 0-14 – Killavullan 1-4
Sunday the 13th of September we set of to Ballyhooly knowing that we had a great chance to write another piece of history into the famous Shanballymore hurling club. After claiming county honours with the win over Bantry Blue’s back in July we had a chance to get our hands on a first north Cork hurling title since 1997.
The constant downpour of rain on the Saturday and Sunday morning had this match in a little bit of doubt but credit to Ballyhooly members they had the pitch ready for action, underfoot conditions were very soft and we knew that this would make for a very tough hour of hurling . This is how it panned out with scores hard to come by and both defences on top throughout the game.
We had beaten Killavullan well in the first round but we knew that this would be a totally different game and this proved to be the case with the first half a very tight affair with both teams going all out to get on top. Both teams were level at 0-1 a piece with Jamie Sheedy getting us on the score board with a well taken free but Killavullan hit the front after 5 mins with a pointed free. Thankfully Jamie had the radar spot on when he obliged with another from a dead ball.
Brian Sheedy put us in front with one from play after 15 mins after some good work out the field by Eoin O’Regan and Sean Lynch. Over the next ten minutes we were guilty of some missed opportunities and this gave Killavullan a lift with half time approaching. They had a slight chance of a goal when there corner forward was put through but Declan Fitzgibbon and Eoin McHugh thwarted his effort and cleared the lines.
This seemed to kick us into gear as we finshed the half the better team and two very well taken points from Colman O’Reilly in the last few minutes gave us a 3pt lead before Killavullan pointed another free to leave 2pts between us at the short whistle 0-5 to 0-3. At half time we knew that we had to up the ante if we were to come out with victory and this is exactly what we did in the second half with some outstanding hurling played by our boys.
Haulie and Winston got on top in midfield and our forwards started to find their scoring range, our backline who have been very impressive all year were once again on top with Richard Burke, Padraig Fitzgerald and Eoin McHugh very solid. Outside them Sean Lynch, Eoin O’Regan and Darren Roche were playing some outstanding hurling stopping many attacks and setting up attacks of their own. Our inside forward line of Alan Sheedy, Colman O’Reilly and Paul Burke were putting in a hard shift battling for every ball.
Haulie and Brian O’Reilly started off the second half scoring with two well taken points from play and then Colman had his third point of the day when he popped one over from the 21 yard line after good play by Paul Burke. This put us 0-8 to 0-3 ahead, we were now playing some good open hurling which had been a feature of our game all year. Killavullan had a forth point on the 45th min mark from a free which was to be their last point of the game. We answered this with three more quick point from Jamie (free), Brian and Colman O’Reilly to move closer to lead 0-11 to 0-4.
With a good lead built up we were able to bring in some excellent replacements for the last ten minutes with Vincent Burke, James Hayes and Jerome Fitzgerald all coming on and fitting right in. We added two more points with Jamie and Vincent Burke scoring from a free and play to move into a big lead with time almost up. Killavullan to their credit never gave up and kept going to the end and were rewarded with goal with two minutes remaining. We answered this immediately when captian Brian O’Reilly put over a beauty from the wing to see us to victory.
Soon after referee Noel O’Regan blew for full time and we had been crowned north Cork champions for 2015, after the game among great celebrations and in front of a very large following of Shanballymore supporters Brian O’Reilly was presented with the cup from Mick Fitzgerald (sponsor) and in the presence of board chairman John O’Donnell.
Brian thanked all the supporter’s for turning up in large numbers on such a bad day and also thanked our trainer’s and selectors Jim O’Sullivan, Conor Hannon, Pat Walsh and Tom Palmer for the hard work put in all year and for leading us to victory in the county and north Cork. We now go on to concentrate on the county league which sees us with two games to play against Crosshaven and Lochra og, one victory in these games will see us contest the final against Ballinhassig which is fixed for early November.
We also have the honour of representing Cork in the Munster Junior B hurling championship and this will be a great honour for the club, this competition is fixed to start in mid to late November so plenty of hurling action for the rest of the year.
Team: Declan Fitzgibbon, Richard Burke, Eoin McHugh, Padraig Fitzgerald, Darren Roche, Sean Lynch, Eoin O’Regan, Haulie Burke(0-1), Kenneth Barry, Jamie Sheedy(0-4f), Brian Sheedy(0-1), Brian O’Reilly(0-2), Alan Sheedy, Paul Burke, Colman O’Reilly(0-5), Subs: Vincent Burke(0-1) for Alan Sheedy, James Hayes for Darren Roche, Jerome Fitzgerald for Paul Burke.