‘Rest of Leinster’ Post primary Schools’ Senior Hurling Final
Heywood CS 2-5
Gorey CS 0-7
IT would be unfair to say that HeywoodCommunitySchool stole the Rest of Leinster Colleges final in Dr Cullen Park on the Friday before Christmas but for long spells they looked to be playing second best to their opponents.
It was cold and wet. Not the ideal morning for hurling. Gorey adapted best. The Heywood full-back line struggled to contain Wexford minor star, Conor McDonald. He replied to an early Eoghan Fennelly point to equalize with a 13th minute free. He then drew two frees and knocked them over himself.
Heywood were hanging on and were lucky not to concede a goal when McDonald’s close range shot was saved at the expense of a 65.
By half-time only two players had scored as Gorey led 0-4 to 0-2.
One minute into the second half another player apart from the two school’s sharpshooters got on the score-board when Heywood’s Kevin Bergin collected the ball and from 45 metres out he found the posts for a great point. His heroics didn’t look as if it was going to be enough when McDonald delivered once more with a free and a point from play. In the context of what went before, a three point lead certainly was pointing them in the direction of the winning line.
Then it all went wrong for the Wexford side. Full-back, Michael O’Brien clashed with Owen Joyce. It was one of those pull and drag situations which happens so often in a game. It was the misfortune of the player that he over-reacted and was red-carded.
He was a massive loss. Whether he would have been able to stop Eoghan Fennelly it is hard to say but the full forward enjoyed that extra split second to poke home the sliotar from close range in the 57th minute.
Gorey still had a chance of saving the game but that disappeared when the keeper and a number of defenders were caught out of position and despite the best efforts of a lone defender manning the line, Ronan Delahunty’s speculative effort from 30 metres out on the left found the net.
Gorey, from a position in the ascendancy, were defeated while Heywood’s patience and self-belief were rewarded when other sides could well have capitulated.
HEYWOOD CS: Enda Rowland (Abbeyleix); Liam Lawlor (Ballinakill), MJ Dunphy (Ballinakill), Alan Lynch (Abbeyleix); Ronan de Brudaire (Clough/Ballcolla), Leigh Bergin (Shanahoe), Jack Delaney (Shanahoe); Niall Brennan (Colt), Ronan Delahunty (Harps) 1-0; Kevin Bergin (Colt) 0-1, Henry Keyes (Colt), Joe Campion (Borris/Kilcotton); Conor Deegan (Harps), Eoghan Fennelly (Abbeyleix) 1-4f, Jack O’Shea (St Patrick’s). Subs: Owen Joyce (Colt), Aaron Dunne (Harps).
GOREY CS: Darragh Hughes; Sean O’Brien, Michael O’Brien, Ben Egan; Jason Redmond, Eoin Conroy, David Kennedy 0-1; Fionn Doyle, Conor Devitt (Killanerin), Kevin Molloy; Gavin Stamp, Conor McDonald 0-6 4f; Cathal Dunbar. Subs: Peadar Roche, Tomas Morris.
Referee: David Hickey (Carlow)