U21 footballers ease into final

Shels under 21 footballers had an easy passage to the final beating St. Martins 3-11 to 1-4 in Hollymount this evening.

The under 21 footballers put in a polished first half performance to convincingly beat reigning champions St. Martins in the county semi-final on Wednesday night in Hollymount.  The shels, wind assisted in the first half, were quick out of the blocks and after a few early misses opened the scoring in the sixth minute through a James Gordon point. A scorching left foot drive by Ciaran O’Shaughnessy a minute later was brilliantly saved by the St. Martins goal keeper but Ciaran followed up to fall over the line with the ball similar to Meath’s Joe Sheridan.  The shels attacked in waves after this and built up a commanding lead of 3-03 to 0-01 after 15 minutes with further goals coming from Brian Tobin and James Gordon while  St. Martins only reply came from a pointed free. The shels really had their tails up at this stage and despite St. Martin’s best efforts to get back into the game they could make no headway against tenacious and resolute shels defending.  Further points from Toby, Casher and Gordon left us leading by 3-06 to 0-01 approaching the break before St. Martins scored a second pointed free just before the half time whistle.
The shels facing into the wind in the second half continued to dominate proceedings and extended their lead with early points from Toby and Stephen Corrigan.  With one eye on our all important senior hurling game on Sunday a number of players were withdrawn for a well deserved rest and all five subs introduced played their part in fashioning this great win.  St. Martins refused to lie down and threw everything at the shels rearguard in an attempt to get back into the game but with no inch given the shels lads snuffed out almost every attack and came away with the ball.  St Martins were eventually rewarded for their efforts with another converted free and a penalty but the shels replied with a pointed free from the Bommer before everyone closed their eyes as Joe Kelly lofted a great left foot effort towards goal.  To everyone’s relief and a great cheer it cleared the cross bar to leave us leading 3-10 to 1-03 with only a couple of minute remaining.  The youthful Craig McCabe then scored our final point before St. Martins finished the scoring with their first point from play in the final minute of the match.
We can now look forward to a great county final next Tuesday night against our great rivals Glynn Barntown.  This promises to be a mouth-watering contest and one not to be missed.
Team: Shane Birney, Páraic O’Leary, Andre O’Brien (0-1), Niall Kelly, Benny Barron, Conor Walsh, Liam Donnelly, Ciaran O’Shaughnessy (1-0), Aiden Cash (0-1), Stephen Corrigan (0-1) James Gordon (1-2), Brian Tobin (1-2), Joe Kelly (0-1), Conor Byrne (0-2), Kevin O’Leary
Subs used: Noel Mythen, Craig McCabe (0-1), Fergal Hynes, Jimmer Doyle, & Daragh Cloake