Brave Hammies hurlers come up short in All-Ireland final

March 30th, 2023 9:00 AM

By Southern Star Team

The Hamilton High School team that lost the Masita All-Ireland PPS senior B hurling final.

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Coláiste Naomh Cormac 2-17 

Hamilton High School 0-14


WHILE they trailed by eight points at the interval, Hamilton High School were entitled to feel they were in with a realistic chance of prevailing in the recent Masita All-Ireland PPS senior B hurling final in Kilmallock.

Despite being backed by a strong wind, however, they were unable to build up any sort of momentum in the third quarter, and their fate was effectively sealed when ace corner-forward Adam Screeney bagged his second goal for Leinster kingpins Coláiste Naomh Cormac approaching the last ten minutes.

That pushed the Offaly students 2-15 to 0-9 ahead, leaving Hamilton High to battle for nothing more than respectability on the run-in.

To their credit, the Cork standard-bearers never gave up the fight, but it has to be acknowledged they were beaten by a much more accomplished side on the day. 

It was a pillar-to-post win for Coláiste Naomh Cormac, who were gifted an early tonic when a short puck-out went astray, allowing Screeney to pounce for a goal that left them 1-1 to the good inside five minutes.

Wing-forward Darragh McCarthy got the Bandon school off the mark four minutes later, but they were 1-6 to 0-1 in arrears before Eoin Guinane, fed by Evan O’Shea, added to their tally midway through the first half.

They were 1-9 to 0-2 behind and playing second-fiddle in most sectors before they finally began to threaten Coláiste Naomh Cormac’s superiority as the first half drew to a close.

An inspirational point from full-forward Conor O’Sullivan was followed by a brace from placed balls by Evan O’Shea, and, even if the irrepressible Screeney had the last word for the winners to make it 1-10 to 0-5, Hamilton High’s improvement toward the end of the opening period suggested their cause wasn’t beyond redemption at the interval.

The Bandon students had entrusted corner-forward Sean Ahern with the onerous task of keeping tabs on Screeney, allowing Jack Cullinane to fill a sweeper’s role behind the half-back line in the first-half. 

Rather surprisingly, Hamilton High School continued to operate with an extra defender when aided by the elements on the turnover, which obviously made it easier for the well-knit Colaiste Naomh Cormac rearguard to cope against a depleted attack.

It’s indicative of the Hammies’ difficulty in making significant inroads on the interval deficit that they didn’t string a couple of scores together until Darragh McCarthy won a free converted by Evan O’Shea in the 40th minute and McCarthy placed midfielder Niall Kelly for another point two minutes later.

That made it 1-12 to 0-8, but it was as close as the Bandon school was to the winners in the second half. 

After Coláiste Naomh Cormac bagged the next three points, Evan O’Shea replied with an excellent score from play for Hamilton High before Adam Screeney struck for the goal that removed any lingering doubts about the outcome.

O’Shea finished strongly at midfield, chipping in with two more points, while Michael Maguire, substitutes Ronan Crowley and Sean McEntee were others to get on the scoresheet for Hamilton High School in the closing stages.

Their most consistent performers overall were defenders Cian Johnson, Jonathan O’Leary, Kevin Dart-O’Flynn and Charlie O’Sullivan, while Darragh McCarthy, a bit unlucky to be called ashore in my book, and Conor O’Sullivan caught the eye most often in attack.


Scorers - Coláiste Naomh Cormac: A Screeney 2-13 (11f); A Kavanagh 0-3; D Hand 0-1. Hamilton High School: E O’Shea 0-7 (4f, 1 65); D McCarthy, E Guinane, C O’Sullivan, N Kelly, M Maguire, R Crowley, S McEntee 0-1 each.

Coláiste Naomh Cormac: Cillian Spain; L Bracken, J Mahon, M Mulrooney; B Bracken, B Kavanagh, O Guinan; Colin Spain, A McSweeney; D Hand, L Kavanagh, C Scully; S Hennessy, A Kavanagh, A Screeney. Subs: D Hollywood for Hennessy (52), S Gleeson for Scully (63).

Hamilton High School: A White (Valley Rovers); F Ustianowski (Kilbrittain), C O’Sullivan (Valley Rovers), J Cullinane (Bandon); J O’Leary (Valley Rovers), K Dart-O’Flynn (do.), C Johnson (do.); E O’Shea (do.), N Kelly (Newcestown); O Corcoran (St Mary’s), E Guinane (Valley Rovers), D McCarthy (St Oliver Plunkett’s); M Maguire (Courcey Rovers), C O’Sullivan (Diarmuid O’Mathuna’s) S Ahern (Bandon). Subs: J Woods (Valley Rovers) for Ustianowski (57), R Crowley (Kilbrittain) for McCarthy (45), S McEntee (Valley Rovers) for Cullinane (51), H O’Sullivan (do) for Corcoran (55), H O’Mahony (Bandon) for Kelly (61).

Referee: J O’Halloran (Limerick).

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