Seniors bow out in Co. Semi

Our senior hurlers met reigning champions Oulart/The Ballagh in the Pettits All County hurling semi final in Wexford Park, Saturday evening last.

Oulart quickly got on the board with a brace of points before Joe Kelly pulled one back with a well taken free. Shels were unlucky not to be ahead after the first ten minutes as we missed a couple of opportunities to register scores. Oulart were leading 03 to 02 at this stage but piled on the pressure and amassed a further 1-2 in the next five minutes. Brian Doyle did well to stem the flow with a great shot from distance and Joe Kelly converted free moments later. Suddenly momentum was with Shels and Ciaran O’Shaughnessy added another point after great work. However Oulart had other ideas and set about taking the next 3 scores to leave it at -05 to 1-10 with 25 mins gone. Joe Kelly converted another free and this seemed to buoy up the lads and suddenly Shels were in full flight in attack. Stephen Banville did very well to intercept the sliothar and he sent it on to the waiting Ciaran O’Shaughnessy who set off for the Oulart goal with only one thing on his mind. A fantastic goal for Shels and the immense crowd roared its approval. Tommy Barron added a point into injury time and suddenly there was a great game in prospect going into the break. 1-10 to 1-07.  On the resumption there were no changes to the Shels personnel. Oulart got the better start adding 2 point inside the first 8 minutes. Indeed Shels had a couple of missed opportunities but were trying very hard. Joe Kelly on target with another free got Shels first score of the new half in the 10th min but again it was Oulart who were in charge for the next period adding 3 unanswered points. They seemed to be able to score at will from any part of the Park. Shels upped their game and had a good period of play and seemed to be forming a good attack, when Alan Griffith was took down as he was running through. Conor Byrne with no thoughts of his earlier saved 21 yard free took his position and on this occasion found his target right to the back of the Oulart goal much to the delight of the huge Shels contingent in the park. Andre O’Brien was introduced at this stage and the score was 2-08 to 1-15. Both teams traded points with Joe Kelly yet again on target from a placed ball. Goalie Brian Murphy has a terrific save which seen resulting ’65 converted for Oulart. Chris McGrath was introduced and immediately set about finding some room for himself. He was very unlucky to have a great charge quickly snuffed out by the very strong Oulart defence. Into the final 4 mins the sides were 2-09 to 1-18 in favour of Oulart. Clive Lawler-Ryan who had a stormer of a game in defence made a good run up the field which yielded a point. Oulart again pointed before Stephen Banville added a late point in injury time to leave final score 1-19 to 2-11 in favour of Oulart.
Goalie Brian Murphy yet again had a strong game and denied Oulart  an almost certain goal. Our full back line of Brian Malone , Aidan Murphy (Capt) and Clive Lawler-Ryan were under sever pressure all day and remained resolute and stood firm for the entire game. Indeed this line was probably the best manned line of the day. Aidan Murphy, playing his captain role impeccably.  Our half back line could have done little more with Conor Walsh in particular constantly cleaning up and moving the ball ably supported by Aidan Cash and Benny Barron. As usual our midfield pairing of brothers Eoin and Brian Doyle was unflinching and determined which is a trait we have come to expect of both brothers, no quarter given, ever. Our half forward line worked tirelessly with Joe Kelly on accurate form for free’s and showing a lot for the ball.  Ciaran O’Shaughnessy a hugely exciting player when he gets on the ball, responsible for the goal that brought Shels back into the game and a player always poised to go on the attack. Alan Griffith worked tirelessly and covered a lot of ground. Our full forward line were not given as much ball as they were able to cope with due to the dominance of the Oulart defence however what they got they made great use of. Conor Byrne converted a great 21yard free at a time Shels really needed a score, Stephen Banville will rarely be stopped once he gets that sliothar in his hand and did excellent to intercept the ball that resulted in the first goal for Shels. Tommy Barron after a year away shows great promise and added a lovely point despite being tightly marked for the entire game. Subs Andre O’Brien immediately made his presence felt in shoring up the defence and Chris McGrath was always dangerous and was capable of scoring given any chance at all.
On the day Shels put in a tremendous effort and it was a pity they could not overcome Oulart on this occasion. However on the back of a fine league victory over Buffers Alley and having accounted for strong teams like Rathnure, Ferns & Glynn/Barntown in our group, having beaten a strong St. Martin’s in the quarter finals we have plenty to build on for next year and we have laid down a great marker for 2013.

Team: Brian Murphy, Brian Malone, Aidan Murphy (C), Clive Lawler-Ryan (0-1), Aidan Cash, Conor Walsh, Benny Barron, Brian Doyle (0-1), Eoin Doyle, Joe Kelly (0-6F), Ciaran O’Shaughnessy (1-1), Alan Griffith, Conor Byrne (1-0F), Stephen Banville (0-1) Tommy Barron (0-1). Subs introduced Andre O’Brien and Chris McGrath.
Panellists: Willie Redmond, John Redmond, Shane Griffith, Feargal Hynes, Stephen Corrigan, David Cloney, Noel Mythen, Denis Kelly, William O’Shaughnessy, James Gordon, Ronan Kavanagh, Bryan Tobin, Conor Tobin.

Managers/Selectors Vinny Parker, Mick Kelly, Ibar Murphy. Trainer Paul Kinsella, Physio Donal O’Connor. Back room team including James Horan, Angela Griffith, Colm Parker, Seamie Harding, Anne Walsh, and anyone else who contributed in anyway. Thanks to you all.

Thanks to our main sponsors Hotel Curracloe.