By Seamus Hayes
Cross and Passion, Ballycastle 1-10 St.Josephs Tula 0-12
A physically stronger Cross and Passion side from Ballycastle ended St.Josephs Tulla dream of All-Ireland Colleges B hurling honours at Navan on Saturday afternoon.
The Clare side will bemoan a number of missed chances, particularly in the final quarter when they just could not manage to level the game on a day when all but two of their scores came from placed balls.
The big talking point, however, amongst Tulla supporters will be the decision to dis-allow a Tulla goal in the eleventh minute of the match
Two points ahead after ten minutes, Munster champions Tulla split the Cross and Passion defence with a good move which ended with a Matthew Culloo goal. However, referee John Keenan called play back and awarded the Clare side a 20m free in front of goal. On what was a bumpy pitch, Brian Fahy slipped as he took the free and the ball went wide of the upright. From the puckout the Ulster champions attacked and Shan McGrath finished superbly to the net. It was a score which rocked the Tulla outfit and from here until half time the Northerenrs grew in confidence and led by that goal at the break, 1-6 to 0-6.
Shortly before half time Tulla created another goal chance but substitute Tadhg Shanahan saw his weak effort comfortably saved by the Ballycastle goalie,Ciaran Butler.
The experience of having contested last year’s final stood to the Northern representatives whose defence was strong throughout.
Tulla full back and captain Evan McMahon was outstanding on the day but their forwards failed to break down a strong Ballycastle defence
Scorers—Cross and Passion—Shan McGrath (1-2); Conor McClafferty (0-4); Johnnie McErlain (0-2); D.McShane T. Butler (0-1) each
St. Josephs—Brian Fahy (0-10), all frees; Darren Chaplin (0-2)
Cross and Passion, Ballycastle;–Ciaran Butler; Caolan Blair, Sean McBride, Paddy Joe Graham (captain); Caolan McCaughan, Odran Laverty, Conor Boyd; Shay Hunter, Tiarnan Butler; Conor Patterson, Cormac McClafferty, Johnny McErlain; Shane McGrath, Alex O’Boyle, Diarmuid McShane;
Subs;–C. Dallas for Patterson (45 minutes)
St. Josephs, Tulla;–Killian Nugent (O’C. Mills); Gavin O’Brien (Crusheen) Evan McMahon (Feakle) Captain, Eoin Donnellan (Broadford); Matthew Troy (Broadford), Con Smyth (Feakle) Pa Duggan (Newmarket); Brian Fahy (Tulla), Enda Noonan (Feakle); Diarmuid O’Brien (Broadford) Darren Chaplin (Broadford) Conor Henry (O’C. Mills); Gary Cooney(O’C.Mills), Martin Daly (Feakle), Matthew Culloo(Tulla);
Subs—Tadhg Shanahan (Clooney-Quin) for Donnellan (26 minutes); Shane Hunt (Tulla) for Culloo(41 minutes); Stephen Conway (Feakle) for O’Brien (44 minutes)
Referee—John Keenan, Wicklow;