GARRYSPILLANE 1-14 PATRICKSWELL 1-10
The stalemate between Limerick’s two outstanding minor hurling teams was finally broken in the Gaelic Grounds on Wednesday evening when Garryspillane went one better than the two draws in the qualifying rounds to overcome Patrickswell in the premier championship decider.
Despite conceding a goal off the game’s first action, the Knocklong side took over when a 20th minute penalty gave them the lead for the first time and they never lost control after that.
Not only was this a successful defence of their title but it capped an unprecedented ten days for centre-back Mark Quinlan starting his third victorious county final after picking up medals in the Premier intermediate hurling and with Galbally’s intermediate footballers.
Facing a dominant central diamond that included Quinlan, Dylan O’Shea who picked off 1-9 and Man-of-the-Match Ryan Tobin, The Well’s half-forwards never got enough space to reply once they fell behind and were forced to depend on Calvin Carroll’s frees to keep in contact.
Perhaps their hunt for a first title in the grade since 2008 might have turned out differently had they taken three goal chances that opened following pressure on The Bouncers’ defence. However, on each occasion, they failed to pierce the calm under adversity that the experience of success collects.
The Well didn’t wait around off the throw-in as Clive Kirby’s long delivery was fielded high by Jason Gillane who turned around the challenge on the edge of the square to shoot to the net. Dylan O’Shea replied with a free and with another to Josh Considine before he scored his third from play.
County minor goalie Bryan Heavey equalised before Patrickswell replied with Calvin Carroll’s free and Adam Carrig’s strike on the run. But the game changed after another O’Shea free when Callum Sheehan was fouled collecting off Eoin O’Mahony’s run and O’Shea made no mistake with the penalty.
After O’Mahony added to The Bouncers’ lead, The Well missed a few chances to reply before Carroll sent over a free. Garryspillane were lucky not to be punished for a misdirected puckout and a blocked-down clearance off the goal line and they made the most of it as Shane Hanrahan left them leading 1-7 to 1-4 at the break.
Cormac Kerins pulled one back on the restart before Paul Buston’s diving save stopped O’Mahony’s 25 metre drive but the Knocklong side made up for it with a pair of O’Shea frees. Carroll replied with two of his own but Ryan Tobin and O’Shea’s free restored Garryspillane’s advantage which O’Shea stretched further after their opponents failed to take advantage of another blocked goal line clearance.
Carroll sent over frees either side of one from O’Shea but the Well couldn’t make serious inroads into a margin which Callum Sheehan stretched further before Gillane’s free with the last puck of the hour screamed nches over the crossbar.
SCORERS, GARRYSPILLANE: Dylan O’Shea 1-9 (0-7 frees, 1-0 penalty), Bryan Heavey, Eoin O’Mahony, Ryan Tobin, Peter Morrissey, Callum Sheehan 0-5; PATRICKSWELL: Calvin Carroll 0-6 (6 frees), Jason Gillane 1-1 (0-1 free), Josh Considine, Adam Carrig, Cormac Kearns 0-1 each.
PATRICKSWELL: Paul Buston; Cian Fitzgerald, Adam Carrig, Eoin Harmon; Shane Hannon, Cian Enright, Gavin Carey; Calvin Carroll, John Kirby; Jason Gillane, Josh Considine, Clive Kirby; Cian O’Gorman, Cormac Kerins, Patrick Kirby. SUB: Morgan Higgins for Cian O’Gorman (47 minutes)
GARRYSPILLANE: Adam Sheehan; Robert Sampson, Ciarán Sheehan, Michael O’Dwyer; Bryan Heavey, Mark Quinlan, Micheál O’Donnell; Shane Hanrahan, Ryan Tobin; Eoin O’Mahony, Dylan O’Shea, Peter Morrissey; Jack O’Reilly, Callum Sheehan, Peter O’Dwyer. SUBS: Joseph Johnston for Peter O’Dwyer (50 minutes), Cian McCarthy for Jack O’Reilly (61 minutes)
REFEREE: John Paul Kiely (Fedamore).