Minor Match Report, Watergrasshill v St Catherines   18/09/2020

Match Report for Rebel Og East Minor D2 Championship Final: Watergrasshill 0-16, St. Catherine’s 1-7 On Wednesday night last our minors met St Catherine’s in the East D2 Championship Final. Confidence was high going into this one but we knew it was going to be a tough game having met them earlier in the group stage. Played in Carrigtwohill in lovely conditions for hurling, there was great anticipation in advance as to how this was going to play out. When the sliotar was eventually thrown in both teams very quickly got stuck in and tried to exert their dominance and lay down a marker. The opening score of the game came after two minutes from the hurl of Daire O Leary from a 65, this was quickly cancelled out by another 65, this time by St. Catherine’s. It was the seventh minute again before the next score as both teams played the opening few minutes at a hectic pace. Brendan Lehane then despatched a lovely point from play and a minute later one from a free. The Hill where showing a great hunger and work rate, epitomised by Ian O Callaghan who was covering a lot of ground from centre forward. By the tenth minute we lead four points to one. We then traded scores, a long range free for St. Catherine’s and a nice score from Colm O Regan, which left the score at the first half water break, Watergrasshill five points, St Catherine’s three points. It was an even contest to this point, although we did lose corner back Cormac Linehan to a hand injury just before the break in play, nevertheless the Watergrasshill line must have been happy with the shift the lads put into the opening quarter. On the resumption of play, St. Catherine’s struck first to bring the game back to a single point, but then the score of the game to this point. A lovely worked ball out of defence by Daire, a perfect pass in front of Colm O Regan, an off load to Liam Foley and over the bar. Liam added a second point before Daire converted a free in the 29th minute to push the Hill in front by four points, eight to four. It was becoming noticeable, Daire O Leary’s dominance at centre back but also the rest of the backline were making St. Catherine’s work very hard for any ball that presented an opportunity. St. Catherine’s did get the next score but once again our lads didn’t rest and the final score of the half came from Cian Cronin O Neill, again after great work by Colm O Regan. At halftime we led nine points to five. Despite the lead we knew this St. Catherine’s team had a lot of hurling in them and the question was could the Hill maintain the strong work ethic for another 30 to 35 minutes and see this one through. The second half started and almost immediately St. Catherine’s laid down a marker with the opening score, the game was back to three points. Once again however the Hill boys didn’t flinch. For the next 10 minutes they hurled ferociously and added four more points to the scoreboard. Brendan Lehane, one from play, one from a free, Colm O Regan and Daire O Leary getting the other scores. Daire’s was special. He was having a stormer to this point, playing the role of Captain to a tee. His point was of the highest standard, picking up a ball back inside the Hill 65, bursting forward on the solo, riding tackles, passing St. Catherine’s best efforts to stop him and coolly despatching a lovely strike off his left, a better point will be hard seen this week. Great score. St. Catherine’s too their credit didn’t lie down, and added another point but once again our lads responded excellently and rattled over another three points on the bounce, one again from Daire after a goal chance that Cian was unlucky not to get, an absolute peach from Joe O Riordan from a near impossible angle done on the left touchline he managed to squeeze it over from the tightest of spots, and a nice score from Mark O Donoghue. We were now entering 30 minutes of the second half played and had a nine point lead. St. Catherine’s did make us sweat a little for the closing few minutes after getting a goal to bring it back to six, but our backline, directed by James Barry in goals, defended gallantly in the closing stretch to help keep St. Catherine’s from inflicting any more closing minute jitters. When the final whistle did come we had six points to spare and won out on a scoreline of 16 points to 1-7. This was a terrific win. Every one of the panel contributed to this win. The lads were immense on the night, the intensity, hunger and sheer honesty of effort was the difference. There was many great performance’s. Daire O Leary played the captains role and backed it up with a man of the match performance but he was surrounded in the backline by heroes. Brendan and Michael O Driscoll in midfield were everywhere, there wasn’t a blade of grass that wasn’t touched by either of them. And upfront the boys movement and sheer doggedness made sure St. Catherine’s didn’t get a minutes peace. A great team performance on the night but throughout this championship campaign the lads were great. A special mention to manager Tommy Bowe and his management team, Pat O Leary, Paddy O Regan and Willie O Leary. The lads put in a great effort this year. From small numbers at the start of the year, the real success by the lads was getting this minor team back playing great hurling, and even more so, back enjoying their hurling. Thanks a million lads for the work done with this group, and thank you to the panel of players for the commitment and effort made. Congratulations to all involved. Panel: James Barry, Cormac Lenihan, Cathal Fitzgerald, Dylan Roche, Andrew Chandler, Daire O Leary, Donal Sheehan, Brendan Lehane, Michael O Driscoll, Liam Foley, Ian O Callaghan, Mark O Donoghue, Colm O Regan, Joseph O Riordan, Cian Cronin O Neill, Darragh Casey, Cael Guichard, Dylan Field, Ryan Murray, Ben Whelan, Eoin Fitzgerald. Scorers: Daire O Leary 0-5 (2f), Brendan Lehane 0-4 (2f), Colm O Regan 0-2, Liam Foley 0-2, Cian Cronin O Neill, Joseph O Riordan & Mark O Donoghue, 0-1 each.


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