It was a weekend to remember for Skibb’s All-Ireland semi-final two-try hero
JAMIE Shanahan had an action-packed weekend.
On Saturday week last he scored two tries as Skibbereen RFC beat Ballinasloe 14-3 in an All-Ireland U18 Club semi-final at Old Crescent’s grounds in Limerick and on Sunday week last he played the full 60 minutes as O’Donovan Rossa captured the Carbery U21A football championship crown. Little wonder the 18-year-old was suffering from cramp in his legs in the second half of the football final.
But it was worth it all.
On Saturday, he scored a try in either half for Skibbereen against the Connacht champions Ballinasloe. This comes just one week after the West Cork team won the Munster U18 Cup final for the first time in the club’s history.
Now they have an All-Ireland final against Navan RFC on Saturday, April 13th at Mullingar RFC to look forward.
‘Winning the Pan Munster the weekend before against Cobh definitely boosted our confidence. They are a big physical team and we knew Ballinasloe would be the same so it was the ideal preparation,’ Shanahan says.
His first try came after he received the ball straight from a Skibb scrum inside the Ballinasloe 22. Jordi O’Brien converted. Then in the second half after the Skibb defence held firm to keep the Galway men out, Shanahan made the most of a Ballinasloe mistake when they tried to run the ball out of their own 22. The kick ended up with the Skibb man and he ran straight over from there. Again, O’Brien did the needful with the conversion.
Against Cobh in the Munster final they only conceded three points as well so that mean defence has stood this team in good stead in their biggest tests of the season.Shanahan is vice captain of this team along with Michael Veale and the captain is Jamie O’Driscoll.
‘We always had confidence in this team,’ Shanahan says.
‘We won the Munster U16 two years ago. We were beaten in the Munster U18 final by Bandon last year so we knew we had a strong chance this season. With the coaches we have, we were confident at the start of the year. We wanted to win Munster and we did. Everything from now on is a bonus and we will give it everything we have to try and win the All-Ireland from here.’
Before his thoughts could even turn to that big rugby final Shanahan had to switch back into Gaelic football mode. Saturday night was spent at home in Skibb relaxing, letting his body recover before turning his attention to the Carbery football final.
The Skibbereen Community School Leaving Cert student brought a physicality to the football field that helped the Rossas gain a foothold in the final. But they still needed an injury-time goal from super sub Jamie Hourihane to snatch a 1-9 to 0-10 win.
‘After they got a good point to go one ahead late on we knew we had to do something special. We threw everything at them We had nothing too lose. And Jamie was at the end to get the goal. That was a special moment,’ he recalls. Everything Shanahan touches at the moment turns to gold, including passing his driving test the Monday after the Munster U18 final. When your luck is in, it’s in.
Dave Long Travel will be running a supporters’ bus to the All-Ireland final on April 13th with an online booking link on Skibbereen RFC’s Facebook page. If anyone would like to contribute financially to the team’s campaign fund, send to Louise McCarthy, Skibbereen RFC treasurer, Mill Road, Skibbereen.