HOWARD CROWDY REPORTS
BELGOOLY claimed their first South East junior B hurling title since 2004 and only their sixth title in 46 years with a comfortable 3-18 to 2-9 win over Tracton in the final at Riverstick.
Belgooly, beaten finalists last year, made no mistake this year thanks to an impressive second-half performance as they outscored Tracton by nine points.
Tracton started the match well, scoring two points without reply in the first minute from Damien Clifford and Philip Mullane before Belgooly registered their first point of the game from Matthew Collins.
Tracton increased their lead to two courtesy of Philip O’Donoghue, but Belgooly were finding it difficult to find the target, hitting five wides before sending the sliotar over the bar twice from Kevin Fitzgerald and Tom O’Donovan to draw level by the 12th minute.
A free from Tracton’s Damien Clifford put the Minane Bridge team back in front, before a brace from Belgooly’s Sean Kiely was cancelled out by Clifford as the teams were tied at 0-5 apiece.
However, Belgooly’s Matthew Collins found the back of the net in the 20th minute which was duly cancelled out five minutes later when Philip Mullane scored for Tracton from close range to leave two points between the sides.
Belgooly responded well with points from Tom O’Donovan, Luke O’Callaghan and Ryan Long before Tracton pulled the deficit back to just three at the break.
It was all Belgooly in the second half, and they were able to pick off points at random as Tracton had no response.
An unfortunate own goal in the 37th minute put Belgooly further ahead, and such was their dominance in the second half it took Tracton 14 minutes to register a score, but by that time Belgooly were ten points ahead.
By the 47th minute Belgooly had added a third goal from Gearoid O’Riordan to increase their lead even further before Tracton managed to put some gloss on the scoreline with a goal from Kieran Lyons in the 55th minute, but it was too little too late as Belgooly ran out comfortable winners.
Belgooly: Matthew Collins 1-2, Gearoid O’Riordan 1-0, Tom O’Donovan, Luke O’Callaghan 0-4 each, Ryan Long, Kevin Fitzgerald 0-3 each, Sean Kiely 0-2.
Tracton: Damien Clifford 0-8, Philip Mullane 1-1, Kieran Lyons 1-0.
Belgooly: Ger Quinlan, Neil O’Sullivan, Liam Walsh, Shane McCarthy, Tom O’Donovan, Diarmuid Walsh, Sean Kiely, Gearoid O’Riordan, Kieran Kiely, Ryan Long, Kevin Fitzgerald, Luke O’Callaghan, Matthew Collins, Fionn Dwyer, Eoghan Dwyer, Patrick Kelleher, Tomas O’Sullivan.
Tracton: Shane Lyons, Dan Kelleher, Thomas Rice, Kevin Cronin, Rob Cronin, Cathal McGuinness, Damien Clifford, Davie Walsh, Philip Mullane, Tim Lynch, Stephen Slyne, Philip O’Donoghue, Kieran Lyons, Martin O’Callaghan, James Flynn, Mark Lisson, Conor Fahy.
Referee: Brian Sweeney (Shamrocks).