Our junior hurlers were unlucky to go down to Rapparees 2-14 to 2-10. Goals by Emmet O’Leary and Jody Donohoe.
The Shelmalier Junior hurlers had a bright start in their first round championship match against the Rapparees in Oylegate on Sunday last when they had five points on the scoreboard after 15 minutes of play, with Ciaran Walsh, Shane Birney, Conor Tobin, James Cash and Paraic O Leary on the mark for the Black and Amber side. If the first quarter belonged to the Shelmaliers who led by 0-5 to 0-2 after 17 minutes, the remainder of the first half saw the Rapps powering to 1-6 to 0-6 half time lead with Shane Birney firing over his sides an additional free in the 28th minute.
On the resumption of play the Shelmaliers got back on equal terms when substitute Emmet O Leary fired to the Rapps net in the second minute, having come on as sub at half time. The sides were again level at 1-7 each after 8 minutes with Shane Birney adding his third point of the match. The Rapps again pulled away with three unanswered points, but sharpshooter Shane Birney kept his side in contention with a further two points to leave only a point between the sides as the game its final quarter. With the Rapps slowly gaining the upper hand in the midfield and half forward areas of the field they succeeded to extend their lead to 2-13 to 1-9 with only 10 minute of play remaining. The Shelmaliers did get the last score of the game when Jody Donohoe beat the Rapps goalkeeper from close range after some fine work from Alan Griffith to leave a final score of Shelmaliers 2-10 to Rapparees 2-14.
Team Sean Byrne, Eoghan Fitzgerald, Kevin O Leary, Stephen Whelan, Barry O Connor, Denis Kelly, Cathal Gaule, Paraic O Leary, Ciaran Walsh, Conor Tobin, Alan Griffith, James Cash, Shane Birney, William O Shaughnesssy and John Campbell. Subs Glen Malone, James Gordan, Mick Kelly, Jody Donohoe, Eoin O Leary, Seamie Harding, Emmet O Leary, Aaron Murphy, Padraic Coone.
Amongst those to shine were Kevin and Paraic O’Leary, Cathal Gaule and Shane Birney. Next game Sun at noon against Bannow/Ballymitty in Piercestown.