Eire Og 2-17 Ballyea 1-12
Eire Og booked their place in the final of the under 21 A hurling championship on Saturday when they accounted for Ballyea at Clarecastle. While the town side were deserving winners, a margin of eight points is a little harsh on Ballyea who were only two points adrift entering the final ten minutes.
At the end of a well contested first half, Eire Og led by two points, 0-9 to 0-7. They scored the last two points of the half after Ballyea had hit three in a row to draw level twenty four minutes into the tie.
The margin was still the same with ten minutes remaining. They swapped points twice in the opening ten minutes of the half before Eire Og hit a brace to open a four point gap only for Ballyea to reply with a brace.
A Conor O’Halloran goal put the townies five clear but the cheering had hardly died down when Ballyea hit back with a Damian Burke goal.
That was as good as it got for Ballyea, however and from here to the finish Eire Og had the better of matters and hit 1-4 while Ballyea could only manage a point.
Tadhg Connellan, Liam Corry, Dara Walsh, Nathan Murray and Shane O’Donnell were prominent for the Ennis side while Martin O’Leary, Michael Nagle, Ryan Griffin, Damian Burke and, Niall Deasy did best for Ballyea who depended to a big degree on Deasy for scores
Eire Og;–Sean Smith; Jack Keating, David Neylon, Tadhg Connellan; Liam Corry, David McNamara, Kieran Malone; Dara Walsh, Cian Darcy (0-1); Nathan Murray (0-11), 10 frees, Conor O’Halloran (1-0) Eimhin Courtney (0-2); Eanna O’Connor (0-1), Shane O’Donnell (0-1), Michael Moloney (1-1)
Subs—-Martin Darcy for Keating; James Woods for McNamara; Liam Lynch for O’Connor
Ballyea—Barry Coote; David Coughlan, Niall Lynch, David Egan; Joe Neylon, Martin O’Leary (0-1), Brandon O’Connell; Michael Nagle, Pierce Lillis; Niall Deasy (0-9), 7 frees, Damian Burke (1-2) Tadhg Lynch; Ryan Griffin, Aonghus Keane, Conor Lynch;
Subs—Mark Crowe for Egan;
Referee—Ambrose Heagney, Corofin
By Seamus Hayes