The Shelmaliers Juvenile hurling team got their campaign off to a winning start with a thrilling victory over Oulart the Ballagh in the first round played on Sunday May 1st in Oulart.
Shels were the better outfit for the first half and Simon “Dooley” Donohoe who was in inspirational form for his team opened the scoring in the first few minutes.
Lively and tenacious centre forward Eoinie Nolan set up Kevin O’Connor for the opening goal early in the first half.
Further first half points from Graham Staples, Eoinie Nolan, Daniel Murphy and Kevin O’Connor helped Shels to a half time interval lead of 1-5 to 1-3. A key element of the fine first half display was a tight full back line of Gavin Potter, Glenn “Big G” Malone and Niall “Nilly” Cash
The Shels powered on in the second half and thanks to 2 superb goals from Aaron Ryan they led at one stage by 6 points.
During the period of dominance of the Shels Aaron Ryan, Kevin O’Connor, “Dooley”, Graham Staples and lively midfielder Conor Forde all added good points. .
In defence John Forde and Aaron Murphy were tenacious and up front Aodan Foley made a useful contribution and Michael Feeney was also a dangerous attacker. Stephen Maguire as is usual was very solid in the goal. Conor Howlin and Evan Devereux came on during the game and contributed to victory and Aaron Hearne, Brian Kehoe and Shane Neville were also members of the squad.
However a late rally by Oulart inspired by “Ogie” Storey in which they scored two goals brought Oulart within a goal. Storey looked certain to equalise late on but a brilliant block by “Nilly” Cash saved the day.
Oulart did have one last to save the game but much to the relief of the Shels players and supporters Billy Dunne’s late penalty came back off the post. The Shels won by 3-11 to 4-7
Stephen Maguire, Gavin Potter, Glenn Malone, Niall Cash, John Forde, Simon Donohoe (0-3), Aaron Murphy, Graham Staples (0-2), Conor Forde (0-1), Michael Feeney, Eoinie Nolan (0-1), Daniel Murphy (0-1), Aaron Ryan (2-1), Kevin O’Connor (1-2), Aodhan Foley.
Conor Howlin , Evan Devereux , Aaron Hearne, Brian Kehoe, Shane Neville