Having retired from junior A, ace forward John Paul O'Callaghan has re-appeared in Diarmuid Ó Mathúns' junior B team and looks set to terrorise defences in that grade just as he did in junior A for so many years.
Diarmuid Ó Mathúna 3-17
Gabriel Rangers 1-11
TOM LYONS REPORTS
HAVING retired from junior A, ace forward John Paul O’Callaghan has re-appeared in Diarmuid Ó Mathúns’ junior B team and looks set to terrorise defences in that grade just as he did in junior A for so many years.
Gabriel Rangers gave a gallant account of themselves in this interesting RCM Tarmacadam junior B hurling championship game in perfect conditions in Ardfield on Sunday evening but there was no disguising the sheer class of O’Callaghan as he rifled no less that 1-13 between the posts during the hour.
While Gabriels had a fine free-taker in Tadhg McCarthy and their own star veteran in Pat Nolan, they had nobody of the class of O’Callaghan who showed all the touches that made him the top scorer in Carbery junior A hurling for the past 15 years.
Full forward John Dineen was another Mathúna star and it was his two goals in the first half, along with a third from O’Callaghan, that set Mathúna’s on the high road to victory.
The first arrived as early as the seventh minute, after Tadhg McCarthy and John Paul O’Callaghan had swapped 65s, when Dineen raced through to billow the net.
The second came in the 15th minute when Gabriels were more than holding their own, trailing by only two points.
John Paul O’Callaghan and the strong John Crowley had points for the Castletown men, with McCarthy (free) Pat Nolan and Paudie Hegarty answering for the Ballydehob/Schull men. It was 2-3 to 0-4 at the end of the first quarter.
Pat Nolan, operating around the forty, showed he has lost none of his fine hurling skills and his long-range points were a feature of the game. He split the posts twice to begin the second quarter but O’Callaghan was now into his stride and he replied with a pair of his own.
McCarthy and the lively Paidí Hegarty sandwiched another O’Callaghan point to leave four points between the sides approaching the break.
On the stroke of half time, Gabriels received a killer blow when an 80-metre free from O’Callaghan hopped unhindered to the net and it was Mathúnas in front by 3-6 to 0-8 at half time.
While they failed to raise any green flags in the second half, with the aid of the breeze Mathúnas were satisfied to pick off their points as they dominated the third quarter. Seamus Nyhan, Joseph Forbes, Brendan Nyhan and Barry Lordan gave fine protection to reliable goalkeeper Mick O’Callaghan, while Joseph O’Driscoll and Stephen Moore were very industrious around midfield. While O’Callaghan was the scoring hero up front, he was ably assisted by John Crowley, John Dinnen, Mark Barrett and Matthew Draper.
Points from O’Callaghan (two from play and five frees), Mickie McCarthy and Stephen Moore brought Mathúnas’ tally to 3-15 by the end of the third quarter while Liam Hegarty and Tadhg McCarthy (two frees) answered for Gabriels.
The only goal of the half came in the 37thminute when Paudie O’Shea rattled the Mathúna net, a fair reward for their never-say-die spirit.
Alan and Darren O’Mahony, David Roycroft, Jason Byrne, Liam Hegarty, Paidí Hegarty, Peter Sheehan, Tadhg McCarthy and, especially, Pat Nolan, all showed commendable spirit and no little skill for Gabriels, who would definitely improve with more hurling matches.
Diarmuid Ó Mathúna: John Paul O’Callaghan 1-13 (6f, 1 65), John Dineen 2-0, John Crowley 0-2, Mickie McCarthy, Stephen Moore 0-1 each.
Gabriel Rangers: Tadhg McCarthy 0-5 (4f, 1 65), Paudie O’Shea 1-0, Patrick Nolan 0-3, Paidí Hegarty 0-2, Liam Hegarty 0-1.
Diarmuid Ó Mathúna: Mick O’Callaghan; Shane Hurley, Seamus Nyhan, Eoghan O’Callaghan; Joseph Forbes, Brendan Nyhan, Barry Lordan; Joseph O’Driscoll, Stephen Moore; Mark Barrett, Matthew Draper, John Crowley; Mickie McCarthy, John Dineen, John Paul O’Callaghan.
Subs: Tom Crowley for J Dineen (46), Tadhg Nyhan for M McCarthy (50), Sean Fleming for M Barrett (55).
Gabriel Rangers: Paudie Downey; Darren O’Mahony, Alan O’Mahony, Shane O’Mahony; Timmy McCarthy, Dermie Coughlan, Stephen O’Reilly; David Roycroft, Liam Hegarty; Jason Byrne, Paudie O’Shea, Paidí Hegarty; Peter Sheehan, Pat Nolan, Tadhg McCarthy.
Referee: Mick Walsh (Barryroe).