Shelmaliers retain u21 football championship. Report…..
The replay of the final of the county under 21 premier football championship between the Shelmaliers and Fethard lived up to excitement and outstanding football of the original final played the previous week, with the Shelmaliers prevailing by a margin of three points at the end of extra time. There was little to separate these two footballing sides in both matches and it was the greater strength in depth of the Shelmalier panel of players that pushed their side over the finish line. Simon Donohoe who was outstanding throughout got his side off the mark with a point after 3 minutes of play and James Cash got his side’s second point in the 8th minute. With Fethard dominating the early play they led by 0-4 to 0-2 after 12 minutes. The Shelmalier supporters jumped for joy when Simon Donohoe went on one of his famous runs down the field and fired to the net to give his side the lead for the first time. Two pointed frees from Kevin O Connor and Craig McCabe extended their sides lead and Simon Donohoe scored a further two points before half time to give their side a 1-6 to 0-7 lead at the break.
Both sides dominated large sections of the second half with the Shelmaliers in control of the third quarter of the match when Adam Whitmore (1) and Kevin O Connor (3) gave the Shelmaliers a 1-9 to 0-7 after 15 minutes of the second half and it looked as if they would easily collect the cup by the end of the match. However, as in the original match Fethard were not going to give up the challenge without a fight. As the game entered the final quarter the south county side began to take on the Shelmalier defence with Graham Staples, Aaron Murphy, Paraic O Leary, Eoghan Fitzgerald and Enda Cloake having to defend in numbers as wave after wave of Fethard attacks failed to break down the Shelmalier rear guard. Fethard were rewarded with a fine goal in the 22nd minute to put a single point between the sides and they got the equalising point in the final minute to send the match to extra time.
While Fethard fail to score on extra time the Shelmaliers gave a great display of football with Eoghan Nolan, James Cash and AJ Lehane in control in the middle of the park resulting on points from Kevin O Connor (2) and Colin Cleary (1) giving a final score of Shelmaliers 1-12 Fethard 1-9.
Team Shane Birney, Eoghan Fitzgerald, Graham Staples, Enda Cloake, Aaron Murphy, Paraic O Leary, AJ Lehane, Eoghan Nolan, James Cash, Glen Malone, Adam Whitmore, Neal Rossiter, Kevin O Connor, Craig McCabe and Simon Donohoe. Subs used Tony Smith, Colin Cleary, Eoin O Leary, Jack Murphy, Daniel Murphy, other subs Aodhan Foley, Cian Manley and Joe Redmond.