Sixmilebridge 3-7 Corofin/Ruan 2-17
Last Sunday afternoon in Gurteen the Under 16A County Final was contested between Sixmilebridge and Corofin/Ruan. The ‘Bridge got off to a flier and Sean MacNamara had the first score on the board with a point from play within the first minute. David Kennedy was unlucky not to goal a minute later when his strike was well hooked by Mark O’Loughlin in front of goal. Luke O Halloran put the ‘Bridge 3 points clear on 6 minutes with two well taken frees but Corofin/Ruan were now settling into the game and Diarmaid Cahill hit two cracking points out on the wing within the next five minutes to leave the minimum between the sides. For the next 12 minutes it was fairly intense as both sides went at it with determination with every ball and tackle being hard won, helped by a referee who was happy to let the teams play hurling. The ‘Bridge were unlucky on 17 minutes when Evan Murphy hit a 60 metre free into the Corofin/Ruan goal and it pinged off the crossbar and was cleared by the Corofin/Ruan defence. Corofin/Ruan were awarded a penalty on 24 minutes when Shane Punch who was baring down on goal was brought down inside the ‘Bridge square, and opting to take the penalty himself he struck it low into the right corner of the net giving Cian Fawl in the ‘Bridge goal no chance. Evan Murphy got a point back for the ‘Bridge two minutes later with a monster strike 65 metres out on the wing before Dairmaid Cahill finished the scoring with a point for Corofin/Ruan to leave the half time score 1-3 to 0-5 in favour of Corofin/Ruan.
The ‘Bridge made one change at halftime with Dylan Downes replacing David Kennedy at corner forward and just like the first half they hit the ground running. Within 2 minutes Storm Devanney made a lighting quick run from half forward position letting off an excellent hand pass to the unmarked Dylan Downes who hit a bullet of a shot at Kealon Mounsey in the Corofin/Ruan goal. Mounsey saved it with the rebound coming back to Downes who struck it again with Mounsey this time deflecting it into the path of Luke O Halloran who guided it into the back of the net. It was Storm Devanney again two minutes later and another run at goal only this time he buried it himself to put the ‘Bridge 5 points ahead. Corofin/Ruan didn’t panic however and they moved their full back Jack Lyons out to half back to curb the threat Devanney was posing. They scored the next three points to bring the deficit back to two before Luke Keogh pulled one back for the ‘Bridge. The Corofin/Ruan half back line and midfield were now getting on top and their inside forwards especially the two corner forwards, Diarmaid Cahill and Jack McDonagh were proving very difficult to contain. They scored 1-3 without reply with Jack McDonough getting a lovely goal as he ran in along the end line and somehow slotted the ball into the net at the nearside post. The ‘Bridge came again and Luke O Halloran got a point from a free before Dylan Downes who was now playing further out won possession and headed towards goal, and with his first strike being saved by Kealon Mounsey he pulled first time into the back of the Corofin/Ruan goal to put the ‘Bridge back in front by a point with ten minutes left in the game. Corofin/Ruan finished the stronger of the two teams however and from there to the finish they scored eight points without reply to run out winners on a scoreline of 2-17 to 3-7.
So within six days the Sixmilebridge Under16’s found out how great and cruel sport can be. Winning the A shield final and losing the A county final. It should be highlighted however the fact that they contested both finals is a great achievement and shows the strength of this group of boys. The older under 16’s now get a well deserved break after helping out the Minor team during the summer while the younger lads will spearhead the campaign to retain the Under 15 title in a few weeks time.
For Corofin/Ruan, Jack Lyons was excellent in full back and was just as effective when he moved out the field in the second half. Shane Punch in the full forward position was very good and was ably assisted by two very dangerous corner forwards in Dairmaid Cahill and Jack McDonagh.
For Sixmilebridge Storm Devanney lived up to his captain’s role giving an outstanding display throughout. Sean MacNamara was very impressive especially in the first half before he received a serious hand injury. Leon Kelly and Darragh Toomey were also rock solid in the half backline.
Sixmilebridge: Cian Fawl, Conor Morey, Colin Kelly, Colm Flynn, Darragh Toomey, Leon Kelly, Evan Murphy 0-1, Scott Kirkland, Matthew Hurley, Ferdia Ó Lionáin, Storm Devanney (Capt.) 1-0 Sean McNamara 0-1, Luke O Halloran 1-4, 0-4F, David Kennedy, Luke Keogh 0-1, Cian Gleeson, Dylan Downes, 1-0 Conor Maxwell, Michael Carey, Morgan O Connell, Eoin Morby, James Egan, Dara Casey, Eoin Carroll, Noel Flynn, Evan O Callaghan, Jack Hughes, Adam Murray, Adam O Sullivan, Conor Murphy.
Sixmilebridge Mentors: Tommy Liddy, Brian O Connell, Jason Loughnane, Mike Toomey, John O Meara. First Aid, Noel Casey.
Corofin/Ruan: Kealon Mounsey, Mark O loughlin, Jack Lyons 0-1, Jason Power, Cillian McGroary, Conor Leen (J Capt), Darragh McInerney, Cian Doolin, Michael Barrow 0-2, Ryan Power 0-1, Killian O Connor 0-3, 0-2F, Shane O Brien Jack McDonough 1-1, Shane Punch (J Capt) 1-4,1-3F, Diarmuid Cahill 0-5, Liam moran, James Collins
Referee: Jarlath Donnellan