Sixmilebridge 2-15 Clarecastle 2-15.
A sunny O’Garney Park last Sunday Morning was the venue for this Sixmilebridge V Clarecastle Under 16 A clash and anyone in attendance was treated to a cracking game between two sides who went flat out for over an hour of end to end hurling. The Magpies were first to register on the score board in the first minute when Noel Copley struck over a nice point and from the puck out the ‘Bridge worked the ball down the field and Dylan Downes had the sides level within a minute. The ‘Bridge were fortunate a minute later when Cian Fawl deflected Conor Halpin’s shot at goal over the bar. 10 minutes in Dylan Downes made a great run down the right wing and hit a ball across the goal where Luke Keogh was on hand to finish it into the back of the Clarecastle net. It put the ‘Bridge 3 points up playing against a strong enough breeze and it was to prove a very valuable score. Five minutes later the ‘Bridge received a huge blow as their most influential player to that point, Dylan Downes, went off with a recurring leg injury being replaced by Scott Kirkland.
For the rest of the half Clarecastle outscored the ‘Bridge 7points to 2 with Brandon Healy scoring 6 of the Magpie points both from play and frees. Evan Murphy and Mattew Hurley got one each from play for the ‘Bridge to leave the halftime score 1-6 to 0-11 in favour of Clarecastle.
The ‘Bridge switched Luke Keogh to wing forward with Luke O’Halloran moving into the corner forward position at half time and within 4 minutes of the resumption both of them had scored a point each from play and a monster 70 metre free out on the wing from Evan Murphy had the sides level after 8 minutes of play. However in the space of 3 minutes Clarecastle had the ball in the back of the ‘Bridge net twice when first James Doherty won possession and turned his marker and ran at goal giving Cian Fawl no chance of saving. Luke Keogh got another point back for the ‘Bridge before the ever threatening Brandon Healy struck for the second Magpie goal a minute later. To the ‘Bridge boys’ credit they fought back and Sean MacNamara scored a lovely point a minute later before Luke Keogh who was now playing brilliantly out on the wing made another run at the Clarecastle goal setting up David Kennedy for the first of his 3 points in the next ten minutes. The ‘Bridge were really beginning to take control down the right wing with Matthew Hurley, Luke Keogh , David Kennedy and Storm Devanney working very well together. Behind them Evan Murphy was sending long high balls into the left Corner where Luke O’Halloran and Sean MacNamara were causing problems for the Clarecastle full back line. 25 minutes in the ‘Bridge finally got the break they needed when David Kennedy hit a lovely pass to Storm Devanney who had only one thing on his mind. He ran at speed at Clarecastle goal and buried it into the back of the net to tie the game. The ‘Bridge went one point up 4 minutes later when again Devanney hit a point from out the field. In the third minute of injury time with the ‘Bridge defending and Clarecastle doing everything to get at the ‘Bridge goal the visitors were awarded a free 30 metres out. With Brandon Healy standing over the ball from that range there was only going to be one result. He hit the ball over the black spot to draw the game at 2-15 each. It was a very entertaining game of hurling and credit has to go to both sets of players for giving such a fine display. In the end a draw was probably a fair result although that does depend on who you talk to.
For Clarecastle, Brandon Healy was absolutely brilliant in general play but also deadly accurate on frees both long range and short range. Cian Galvin and Evan Dolan were also very impressive.
For Sixmilebridge, Dylan Downes wasn’t on long but was excellent for that period. Luke Keogh, especially when he moved out to the wing played very well. Matthew Hurley, Evan Murphy, and Storm Devanney also impressed.
Sixmilebridge: Cian Fawl, Conor Morey, Colin Kelly, Colm Flynn, Leon Kelly, Darragh Toomey, Evan Murphy 0-2, 0-1F, Storm Devanney 1-1, Matthew Hurley 0-1, Seamus O’Connell, Luke O’Halloran 0-2, 0-1F, Dylan Downes 0-1, David Kennedy 0-3 , Sean MacNamara 0-3, 0-2F, Luke Keogh 1-2, Scott Kirkland, Ferdia O’Lionain
Clarecastle: Cian Broderick, Darragh Keogh, Evan Dolan, John Cullinan, Filip Wiechcinski, Cian Galvin, Barry Morrissey, Samuel Browne 0-1, Patrick Maxwell, Brandon Healy 1-11, 0-6F, Conor Halpin 0-1, Noel Copley 0-1, Rory O’Connell, Bence Benko, James Doherty 1-1.
Referee: Fergal Grey.