Bandon school battles to the end but concession of early goal haunts them
St Francis College 1-13
Hamilton HS 0-14
UNFORTUNATELY for Hamilton High School of Bandon, an early goal concession was the difference in the final of the Corn Thomáis Mhic Choilm on Saturday last.
The Munster PPS U19B hurling championship decider pitted the Hammies against St Francis College, Rochestown in Páirc Uí Rinn, and Paul O’Riordan’s goal within 16 seconds of the start put the city school into a lead that would never be fully eradicated.
While the Hammies fought valiantly to get back into contention after a slow start, a margin of at least one point always pertained, with late goal opportunities failing to materialise.
Nevertheless, they can be proud of a strong showing in the game and the year as a whole. With 11 of the team underage for the next academic year, there is every chance that this will prove to be an educational experience.
Rochestown struck as early as possible for what proved to be the game’s only goal. From the throw-in, Alan Connolly picked up possession and weaved through the defence. While he was bottled up as he attempted to shoot, the loose ball fell to Paul O’Riordan, who had an easy task to send the ball to the net.
An Alan Connolly free extended the lead as the Hammies took time to settle to the pitch of the game, wasting early scoring chances. While Bill Murphy, set up by Eddie Kenneally, did have them off the mark, Rochestown moved five clear as Séan Andrews’ fine score was followed by another Connolly free.
However, once the Hammies settled, they were more than a match for their opponents. They nearly had a goal as Adam Kenneally’s ball broke inside, with Mark O’Leary unlucky to convert, and frees from Mark Hickey and another fine Murphy point bringing them to within two points.
A super Darren O’Donovan point from the left sideline and another from Fionn Herlihy had the gap down to one after 21 minutes, but Rochestown’s response was strong, as Connolly nailed a good free and Seán Brady and O’Riordan, well worked with Stephen Fenton, had it 1-7 to 0-6.
Nevertheless, with captain Ben Donegan impressing as the spare man, the Hammies competed well and Adam Kenneally had the final score of the first half, 1-7 to 0-7 for Rochestown as the sides retired.
Cian McCarthy and Fionn Herlihy reduced the margin on the resumption, though Hamilton had to be thankful to goalkeeper Olan Walsh as he denied Connolly a goal on 39. Conor Russell pointed the resultant 65 and Connolly’s fourth made it a goal game again, but back the Hammies came once more, with Donegan’s delivery won well by Herlihy for a nice point while Adam Kenneally got his second, blocking down a clearance after short puckout.
Unfortunately, the pattern continued of closing the gap only to allow it to open up again and Connolly’s free from distance gave Roco some breathing space.
Mark Hickey replied with his third Hammies point on 53 to leave it 1-10 to 0-12 but twice in the moments after that there were Rochestown goal chances. First, their centre-back Cian McCarthy (each team had a player by that name) launched a delivery which allowed O’Riordan an overhead pull that was just wide; then, sub Alan O’Hare had a half-chance as a dropping ball wasn’t dealt with.
Connolly’s 65, his sixth point, made it 1-11 to 0-12 in the wake of that as six minutes of injury time dawned, and with it the Hammes’ best chance.
Once again, Adam Kenneally was the man sending the ball towards goal and it fell to Darren O’Donovan, who got his technique right as he batted it but sadly it hit the side-netting.
After Connolly and Hickey once again exchanged frees, the Hammies forced another chance, again for O’Donovan, with Jack McCarthy saving well.
O’Hare pointed to leave it 1-13 to 0-13 and Bill Murphy reduced the gap again, but when he launched a free towards goal at the death, nobody could get the vital touch and the wide ball brought the final whistle, signalling joy for Rochestown.
St Francis College: Alan Connolly 0-7 (5f, 1 65), Paul O’Riordan 1-2, Seán Andrews, Seán Brady, Conor Russell (65), A O’Hare 0-1 each.
Hamilton High School: Mark Hickey 0-4f, Bill Murphy, Fionn Herlihy 0-3 each, Adam Kenneally 0-2, Cian McCarthy, Darren O’Donovan 0-1 each.
St Francis College: Jack McCarthy (St Finbarr’s); Kevin McSweeney (Douglas), Joe O’Connell (Douglas), Brian O’Neill (Douglas); Seán Brady (Ballygarvan), Cian McCarthy (Blackrock), Dylan Murphy (Douglas); Stephen Fenton (Ballygarvan), Nathan O’Connell (Cobh); Conor Russell (Douglas), Piaras O’Halloran (Ballygarvan), Adam Hennessy (Blackrock); Paul O’Riordan (Tracton), Alan Connolly (Blackrock), Seán Andrews (Shamrocks).
Subs: Seán Harrington (Passage) for McSweeney (43), Alan O’Hare (Douglas) for Andrews, Ray O’Halloran (Ballygarvan) for Hennessy (both 49), McSweeney for Murphy (56), Aaron Sheehy (Douglas) for O’Connell (60).
Hamilton High School: Olan Walsh (Newcestown); Jonathan Kenneally (Valley Rovers), Tim Twohig (Bandon), Ben Donegan (Bandon); Darragh O’Shea (Valley Rovers), Seán Sexton (Kilbrittain), Eoghan Collins (Newcestown); Adam Kenneally (Valley Rovers), Mark Hickey (Kilbrittain); Eddie Kenneally (Newcestown), Bill Murphy (Dohenys), Darren O’Donovan (St Mary’s); Cian McCarthy (St Oliver Plunkett’s), Mark O’Leary (Valley Rovers), Fionn Herlihy (Dohenys).
Subs: Eolann McSweeney (Bandon) for O’Leary (36), Aaron O’Leary (Valley Rovers) for Eddie Kenneally (57).
Referee: Thomas Walsh (Waterford).
From cutting edge treatments to confidence-boosting course for teens and tweens, skincare expert Sherna Malone wants us all glowing.