The minor footballers continued making history with a seventh successive win in the Jim Byrne Cup Final in Clongeen on Sun 17th Feb beating Fethard 3-13 to 4 06.
This was the first year for the competition to be played 13 a side, meaning every player had to work harder and cover more ground than usual.
Fethard started the game with great intent and the backs were made to work very hard but Glen Malone, John Forde, Aaron Murphy, Simon Donohoe and Niall Cash were well up for the challenge and Aodhan Foley manned the posts impressively.
Fethard opened the scoring with a point but Shels responded quickly with two goals, the first finished by Colin Cleary from a high ball by Steven McGuire and then a long range shot by captain Graham Staples found the net. Eoghan Nolan got the first point for Shels with accurate free taker Steven McGuire adding two from frees. Fethard were right back in contention by the end of the first quarter with two points and a goal. Daniel Murphy’s point was followed by another goal and point to leave the sides level with less than ten minutes left in the first half but Shels scored five unanswered points, the first from sub Steven Carr who replaced Conor Forde who was just coming back from an illness with two from Jody Donohoe and McGuire converting two frees to leave Shels ahead by five points at the interval 2 09 to 2 04.
Shane Carter replaced Daniel Murphy at the break. Steven McGuire increased the lead on resumption with a pointed free before Fethard got a goal and a point. Fethard then had a player sent off after an altercation involving both sides. Ryan Donnelly was introduced into the backs. The sides traded pointed frees before Fethard got their fourth goal to level the match, which was initially cleared off the line by John Forde. Two points from play from McGuire and Eoghan Nolan gave the Shels a little breathing space but Fethard kept up the pressure and goalie Aodhan Foley was not found wanting. With normal time almost up the inrushing Jody Donohoe goaled after great work by Cleary and McGuire, Fethard scored the final point of the game to leave four between the sides in the end.
Team: Aodhan Foley, Glen Malone, John Forde, Aaron Murphy, Simon Donohoe,Niall Cash, Eoghan Nolan, Graham Staples(Capt.),Jody Donohoe,Niall Murphy, Conor Forde, Colin Cleary, Steven McGuire SUBS; Steven Carr, Shane Carter, Ryan Donnelly, Tony Smith, Aaron Hearne, Evan Devereux, Brian Kehoe, Eoin Lambe, Michael Feeney, Jack Donohoe, Joe Redmond, Aaron Ryan, Cian Manley, James Cash, Kevin O’Connor.