Our junior team, level at half time, romped home to a 3-8 to 1-9 victory against Rapps to make the Co. final.
A stunning goal from full forward Ronan Kavanagh for Shelmaliers in the 52nd minute of a close encounter was the crucial score as the “over the water” side secured victory in the replayed Junior Hurling semi -final in Monamolin last Saturday afternoon.
Kavanagh plucked Fergie Parker’s long range free with his long right arm and despatched a scorching drive past John Tyrell in the Rapparees goal. This goal gave Shels a lead of 3-5 to 0-7 and further points from John Redmond, Dessie Kehoe and Mick Kelly secured victory.
Rapparees did pepper the Shels defence near the end; Rapp’s substitute Oisin Carley had a shot well saved by Shels goalie Deccy Murphy and Adrian Fenlon also mounted a couple of late Rapp’s attacks but the Shels defence held firm and closed out the victory..
Rapp’s were much the better side in the opening exchanges and corner forward Timmy Dwyer plundered an early goal and a point, the goal coming courtesy of a fantastic long ball in from veteran Adrian Fenlon in the 3rd minute.
Dessie Kehoe responded with a Shels goal in the 8th minute forcing home from close range but another “Anto” Russell pointed effort from play kept the Rapp’s noses in front 1-3 to 1-1 after 12 minutes of exciting fare.
Shels went in front shortly afterwards when Colin Kehoe converted a penalty after Ronan Kavanagh had been fouled in the square. With defences generally on top, with Kevin Walsh and Deccy Barron shining for the Rapp’s and Fergal Hynes playing well and Colin Kehoe in imperious form for the Shels scores were at a premium but just before the interval Anto Russell sent over the equaliser to send the sides in level at the half time break, Shelmaliers 2-3 Rapparees 1-6.
The second half was particularly sparse in terms of scoring opportunities and again the impressive play of Colin Kehoe at the heart of the Shels defence had a lot to do with the scarcity of opportunities for the Rapp’s attack. The late flurry of scores secured Shels county final place.
Declan Murphy, Stephen Whelan, Fergie Parker, Kevin O’Leary, Seamie Harding, Colin Kehoe (1-0, penalty), Darren Malone, John Redmond (0-1), Willie O’Shaughnessy (0-1), Cathal Gaul, Chris Gordon, Ibar Murphy (0-3, 0-2 frees), Ronan Kavanagh (1-0), Dessie Kehoe (1-2).
Fergal Hynes for Stephen Whelan, Mick Kelly (0-1) for Willie O’Shaughnessy, Glen Murphy for Cathal Gaul.
John Tyrell, Willie Dunne, Pa Doyle, Brian Ronan, Kevin Walsh, John Ryan, Declan Barron, Diarmuid Cullen, Adrian Fenlon (0-2,0-1 free), Anthony Russell (0-3), Jason Russell, Seanie O’Gorman, Kevin Ryan (0-3, 0-1 free), Lee Murphy, Timmy Dwyer (1-1).
Richard Farrell for Lee Murphy, Lee Treacy for Jason Russell, Oisin Carley for Diarmuid Cullen, Anthony Roche for Seanie O’Gorman, Damien Barron for Kevin Ryan
Referee Frankie Morrissey.