County Minor A Hurling Final - 2018-09-27

A huge crowd gathered in the Eire Og pitch at Ovens on last Friday week 14th September in anticipation of the eagerly awaited County Minor A Hurling Final between Bandon and Kilta Og which is a combination of the East Cork Clubs Castlemartyr and Dungourney.

Kilta Og dominated the opening 10 minutes of the first half and the closing 10 minutes of the second half.  In-between times Bandon were very much a match for the Kilta Og selection, leading by 08-05 at half time and 11 points to 8 points on the 49th minute but unfortunately we conceded 11 points in the remaining 11 minutes and that was the winning and losing of the game.

In the first half, Charlie Long scored two early frees in the first 5 minutes to settle us down and into the game.  Kilta Og were very fast and prominent early on causing our defenders all sorts of bother with their runs from deep  but they were very wasteful and their wides tally accumulated to 6  after 13 minutes of play.  However at least two of these wides were as a result of great defending by our full-back and centre back pairing of Ben Donegan and Tim Twohig.  Paul Hartnett was prominent in the middle of the field also at this stage and our forwards were chasing everything that moved in the Kilta Og back division.
Robert O’Driscoll’s hard work was rewarded with a fine point on 11 minutes (our fourth point) after receiving a lovely pass from Olann McSweeney.


Kilta finally opened their scoring account on 12 minutes with a free from their industrious centre forward Joe Stack who would go on to have a big bearing on the final outcome of the game.  Charlie Long edged us 4 points ahead after scoring a fine point from play on the 15th minute 05-01 and by the 19th minute it was 05-03 in our favour.  Tim Twohig won possession on the far side of the field near the dressings rooms on 20 minutes and fed a beautiful pass to that man Charlie Long who was fouled and then scored the resultant 20m free 06-03.   Kilta scored from a 65m free on 20 minutes after Ben Donegan turned a goal bound shot out for a 65.  Robert O’Driscoll was un-lucky not a score a point on 25 minutes but in the follow-up play we were awarded a free that Charlie Long again put-over the lat.  On the stroke of half-time Conor Calnan was also un-lucky to see a fine shot at goal go out for 65 but Charlie Long had the distance and scored a fine point and we led -8-05 at the break.  However, I was still worried in that some of our half-backs and half-forwards were finding it very difficult to get into the game in that first half.


It was very noticeable from early in the second half that our full-forward line was under huge pressure and Charlie Long was brought out the field as a result of this.  Our other starting full-forward line players would be replaced before the end of the game arising from this complete dominance by their Kilta Og markers.  Kilta also had the man-of-the match in number 5 Ciaran Joyce who at 16 is a big county prospect and we struggled to mark him throughout the game. Dylan O’Donovan replaced Jack Calnan for the second half.  We were finding it very difficult to make anything stick for us in the opening parts of this half and were coming under increasing pressure at the back but Tim Twohig and especially our captain Harry Lillis were doing some great defending.  Ben Donegan and Niall Daly were also not found wanting in the desperately tight exchanges.  Tony Quinn edged us 09-05 in front with a mammoth long range point on the 37th minute only for Joe Stack to reduce the deficit to three points and two points after converting frees on the 38th and 44th minutes. 


Cian Farrell saved well on that same  44th minute after Stack had sent in a deceptive low shot destined for the top-corner before Cian’s fine save.  The ever industrious Paul Hartnett scored a great point from a tight angle out on the left wing on the 48th minute and Charlie Long repeated this with as good a score on the 49th minute from the right wing leaving us 11-08 ahead and looking good for a tight finish eventhough we were under huge pressure. 


However, on the 50th minute we conceded a somewhat needless penalty that Stack buried and after that the heavens opened somewhat against us.  We badly needed the next score but it went to our nemeses Joe Stack and he goaled from another deceptively low shot from 30 m out that deceived all our defenders.  They added on the points from close-in and way-out the pitch and there was no come-back for our very brave and young players.  Charlie Long scored a late consolation free from 20 metres but it may have resulted in a goal had our luck been in.


We had given a great performance and just came up against a very strong and good hurling side.  We were under pressure for long periods of the game and but for the concession of two quick-fire goals late in the second half, we may have gone on to win the game.

We are a young team and if the lads keep listening to their mentors of Paddy Murray, Joe Burke, Neilus McCarthy, Anthony Nyhan, Niall O’Rourke, Seamus Daly and Stuart Reia then there is every-reason to think that we may be back in contending for another final in 2019


Team: Cian Farrell, Harry Lillis, Ben Donegan, Niall Daly, Gavin O’Brien, Tim Twohig, Cathal Lynch, Paul Hartnett 0-1, Tony Quinn 0-1, Conor Calnan, Robert O’Driscoll 0-1, Jack Calnan, Brian O’Mahony, Eolann McSweeney, Charlie Long 0-9, (5f’s, 1 x 65m).