A swashbuckling second half performance from the Shelmaliers Juvenile Hurling team saw them claim the scalp of St Martin’s in Piercestown on Monday night July 25th. The final scoreline in the entertaining encounter was Shelmaliers 4-10 St Martin’s 2-9
In a fine game of hurling it was a crucial passage of play early in the second half that clinched victory for the Shels with Kevin O’Connor scoring a superb hat trick of goals against a St Martin’s outfit bereft of a few of their top players due to injury.
The early passages of the game were dominated by the home side and with Jake Firman and Donal Kelly in sparkling form they shot into a 1-3 to 0-0 lead in the first few minutes, Firman scoring the goal.
Eoinie Nolan settled the Shels down with a fine point and with Aaron Ryan working hard at full forward and Graham Staples and James Cash starting to exercise control at midfield the Shels got back into the game and were only four points down by the interval 1-6 to 0-5.
It has to be said however that only for the solid play of the Shels fullback line of Gavin Potter, Glenn “Big G” Malone, and Niall “Nilly” Cash the Martin’s lead could have been more and with “Mr Dependable” Stephen Maguire in goal also repelling the incessant St Martin’s attack.
The second half however saw the Shels move into top gear. Simon “Dooley” Donohoe started to lord his sector of the field and with able colleagues in the half back line of Aaron Murphy and Conor Forde plenty of ball was sent into the Shelmaliers attack. Out the field the hard working Evan Devereux and slinky Daniel Murphy were having an impact and Kevin O’Connor applied the coup de grace with his 3 excellent goals. During the second half Daniel Murphy, Conor Forde and “Dooley” also scored some fine points.
Despite taking a number of hard knocks the tough Eoinie Nolan at centre forward continued to drive on his colleagues and Mikey Feeney and John Forde contributed well to the fine second half team performance with Feeney scoring the late clinching goal
A fine win for the young Shels but the success must be tempered with the knowledge that St Martin’s were without a few players including the talented Sean Stafford
Stephen Maguire, Gavin Potter, Glenn Malone, Niall Cash, Conor Forde (0-1), Simon Dooley (0-2, free “65”), Aaron Murphy, Graham Staples (0-2), Kevin O’Connor (3-2, 0-2 frees), Daniel Murphy (0-1), Eoghan Nolan (0-2) Evan Devereux, John Forde, Aaron Ryan, James Cash.
Mikey Feeney (1-0) for Aaron Ryan, Brian Kehoe for Aaron Murphy injured, Conor Howlin, Aodan Foley, Aaron Hearne, Jody Donohoe, Joseph Redmond, Shane Neville