Under 15 Academy B Final
Inagh-Kilnamona 3-11 Scariff-Ogonnelloe 2-10
A powerful final quarter was sufficient for Inagh-Kilnamona to finally shake off the stubborn challenge of Scariff-Ogonnelloe and capture the Under 15 Academy B Hurling honours in Hamilton Park, Kilkishen on Wednesday evening.
Despite leading from start to finish, it was never comfortable as only a puck of the ball separated the sides for three-quarters of this entertaining end-to-end decider that produced a whopping 14 goal chances over the hour.
With wind advantage favouring Inagh-Kilnamona, they frustratingly found goalkeeper Charlie Collins in superb form as he kept out early attempts from Conn Walshe, Diarmuid De Brun and the lively Tadhg Hassett.
Indeed, with Walshe and Hassett also clearing the crossbar with glorious opportunities, Inagh-Kilnamona had much more fortune picking off their points, with the full-forward unit of Hassett (2), Fionn Daffy (2) and Conn Walshe ensuring a 0-5 to 0-2 advantage by the end of the opening quarter.
Considering the strength of the conditions, Scariff-Ogonnelloe would have been relatively content with their position when Sean Reilly and Luke Madden lessened the damage to the minimum by the 20th minute while Cian Gavin was also unlucky to see his shot on goal find the side-netting.
However, Inagh-Kilnamona would receive a timely jolt just before the break when the impressive Fionn Daffy passed inside to Conor Burke to unleash an unstoppable bullet to the top left corner of the net and power his side to a 1-5 to 0-4 interval cushion.
Both teams made changes at the break but it was the wilting of the wind that would prove the biggest alteration to this contest. Things would get worse for Scariff-Ogonnelloe when only seconds into the new half, Tadhg Hassett picked out supersub James Barry to find the net at 2-5 to 0-4.
That seven point advantage would be shot-lived however as within seconds, Scariff-Ogonnelloe had cancelled it out at the other end when Cian Gavin was quickest to react to a Liam Tuohy point attempt that rebounded back off the upright as he squeezed his shot just inside the post at 2-5 to 1-4.
Sean Reilly was denied a second goal only two minutes later by Rio McCoy while the Inagh-Kilnamona goalkeeper also had to be alert to repel a shot from Scariff-Ogonnelloe chief threat Donnacha McKenna at 2-6 to 1-5.
A four point unanswered burst through McKenna, Tuohy, Conor Lynch and Luke Madden did threaten to reel in the leaders by the turn of the final quarter at 2-8 to 1-9.
Crucially however, Inagh-Kilnamona never allowed Scariff-Ogonnelloe to regain full parity and always seemed to be able to answer at the other end when required.
Inagh-Kilnamona did create enough goal chances to put the result beyond doubt but substitute James Barry’s shot just went over the bar while a Gavin Fitzgerald effort was excellently saved by new goalkeeper Luke Madden.
Additional points through Daffy, replacement Cian Lynch and Fitzgerald stretched the gap to four by the 57th minute before Conn Walshe’s last minute goal appeared to be the insurance score.
Typifying their never-say-die spirit, Scariff-Ogonnelloe still refused to yield and would grab a last gasp goal of their own when Liam Tuohy’s delivery was flicked to the net by Donnacha McKenna in the 63rd minute.
However, it was ultimately too little too late to impinge on the result as Inagh-Kilnamona deservedly shaded the honours in a worthy battle of the second strings.
Inagh-Kilnamona: Rio McCoy; Hugh Walshe, Robert Roughan, James McMahon; Tadhg O’Leary, Liam White, Jonathan Cullinan; Luke Fitzgerald, Diarmuid De Brun; Gavin Fitzgerald, Conor Burke, Conor Lynch; Fionn Daffy, Conn Walshe, Tadhg Hassett. Subs: James Barry for Lynch (HT), Cian Lynch for De Brun (37), Fergal Queally for H. Walshe (37), Devin Wynne for Burke (62), Oisin McCarthy for C. Walshe (62). Scorers: Conn Walshe (1-2); James Barry (1-1); Tadhg Hassett (1f), Fionn Daffy (2f) (0-3 each); Conor Burke (1-0); Cian Lynch, Gavin Fitzgerald (0-1 each)
Scariff-Ogonnelloe: Charlie Collins; Cathal Madden, Adam McNamara, Jack Punch; Dylan Lynch, Sean Maher, Senan Sheedy; Sean Reilly, James Foley; Donnacha McKenna, Liam Tuohy, Luke Madden; Caimin Dinan, Conor Lynch, Cian Gavin. Subs: Gearoid Madden for Dinan (HT), Andrew Durack for C. Madden (62). Scorers: Donnacha McKenna (1-1); Luke Madden (3f), Liam Tuohy (0-3 each); Cian Gavin (1-0); Sean Reilly (0-2); Conor Lynch (0-1)
Referee: Fergal O’Brien (Broadford)