O’Dwyer Steel West U21A Hurling Championship Semi-Final
Cappawhite Gaels 2-17(23)
Michael McCarthy at Cappawhite
Cappawhite Gaels are through to a third West U21A Hurling final on a row following a hard fought four-point win over a dogged Golden side played in decent conditions in Cappawhite.
home side were quick out of the blocks and two points on the board after 30 seconds, Sam Carmody opened the scoring inside ten seconds and this was quickly followed up by a Stephen Dee point when he intercepted the puckout and soloed through before tapping over off his right. Golden opened their account soon after when Jack Leamy landed his first of thirteen frees from range. Conor Martin showed his prowess early when he won a cross field ball on the 21 and went through on goal only for an excellent block by full back Brian Marnane. James Quinlan dispatched the resulting ’65. Another Leamy free and a point from play by Ben Currivan had the sides level at three each following an exciting opening five minutes. Conor Martin opened his account from a free on eight minutes and Jack Leamy tied it again form play 30 seconds later following a flowing Golden move that started with the ‘Keepers puckout. Conor Martin again from a free before two Jack Leamy frees gave Golden their first lead of the day ok fifteen minutes. The game was turning into a free-taking contest as Martin(4) & Leamy(2) exchanged frees as we approached half time. Cappawhite Gaels got a very important score just on half time when Daire Dugan caught a high ball in before turning his man and bearing down on goal, he passed left to substitute Tristan Stokes who was denied by an excellent block but Duggan was on hand to tap the net and a five point lead going in at half time 1-10 to 0-08.
Cappawhite Gaels started the second half like the first and had a point on the board after 15 seconds through Mikey Carmody to stretch the lead to six. Jack Leamy replied with a pointed free before Conor Martin has his first from play and Stephen Dee had an excellent effort from the roadside sideline sail over and a seven point lead after nine minutes. Jack Leamy reduced the lead with two more pointed frees before the decisive score of the game, A long ball to the full forward line found Conor Martin and he rounded his man and gave the Golden ‘keeper no chance from close range. With the lead now at eight Golden needed a quick response and got it when a Leamy free from the sideline was followed up with a Ben Currivan goal. Golden were well on top now and two more Leamy frees reduced the deficit to two. Conor Martin stopped the rot for the combo with a well taken free but another two Leamy points, one a delightful effort from play, had the game in the melting pot with five minutes to play. Brian Buckley caught a Anthony Barry puck out and took a great point before Conor Martin stretched the lead back to three from another placed ball. Golden were desperate for a tying goal and had Jack Leamy on the edge of the square. Two long deliveries proved futile though and Mikey Carmody made the game safe with his second score of the half in injury time. This was the last action of the game and there was a collective sigh of relief from the home side on the final whistle.
Golden/Kilfeacle will be disappointed to come out on the wrong end but can be satisfied they tried to the bitter end. Golden were beaten semi-finalists at the B grade in U19 in 2021 so this is huge improvement for them. On the day Jack Leamy was their go-to player up front and he contributed 0-15 of their total of 1-16. Eoin & Brian Marnane had their moments in defence while Gavin Dalton was busy all through. Lee Hayes couldn’t be faulted for either goal and his puckouts were excellent throughout.
For the Victors Conor Martin finished the day with 1-09 but was ably assisted upfront by Daire Duggan. Stephen Dee & Tommy Costello won their midfield battle while Gearoid Ryan came alive at centre back in the second half while Cian O’Carroll had his moment especially in the second half. Mikey O’Brien & Ben White will be happy with their day out and were able to hold Jack Leamy to two points from play.
Cappawhite Gaels will now hope to go one better than last year when they take on Clonoulty/Rossmore in the final but first they have ‘A’ Football final to deal with on Tuesday evening first.
Cappawhite Gaels: Anthony Barry, Mikey O’Brien, Ben White, Cian O’Carroll, Pakie Barry, Gearoid Ryan, James Quinlan(0-2F), Stephen Dee(0-02), Tommy Costello, Mikey Carmody(0-02), Conor Martin(1-09, 0-08F), Sam Carmody(0-01), Neil Clancy, Daire Duggan(1-00), Sean Cleary
Sub used – Tristan Stokes, Brian Buckley, Michael English.
Golden/Kilfeacle: Lee Hayes, Aidan Touhy, Brian Marnane, Jason Morey, Eoin Marnane, Padraig Dalton, Gavin Dalton, Aaron Colohan, Jack Dalton, Michael Bergin, Ben Currivan(1-01), Jack Lonergan, Jack Bergin, Jack Leamy(0-15, 0-13F), Eanna Ormond
Referee – Richie O’Connor (Arravale Rovers)