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North Minor 'B' Hurling Final 2012

posted 12 Oct 2012, 13:55 by Unknown user
Portroe finally capture Minor 'B' title

North Minor 'B' Hurling Final
Ballinahinch Gaels 1-12
Portroe 3-15

Portroe made it third time lucky as they overcame Ballinahinch Gaels to capture the North Minor 'B' hurling championship title following an absorbing bat tle on Sunday afternoon.
Having lost out in the past two finals, Portroe made up for the successive disappointments to finally capture Corn Uí Nialláin after suffering at the hands of Burgess last year and Lorrha the year previous.
Many hurling aficionados predicted a close battle considering the amalgamated Ballinahinch/Newport side have impressed throughout this year's competition. However, Portroe have been close to summit on two previous occasions and brought with them a dearth of experience with the likes of Kevin O'Halloran, Joey Knight, Conor Leo, Jack Keating, Nigel Flood and Niall Gleeson providing a strong core for which Portroe to build around.
In what proved a tight battle both sides gave their all but it wasn't until a 52nd minute stroke of luck that Portroe really pulled clear. Kevin O'Halloran's free from close to the sideline on the stand side was accidentally turned into the net by a Newport defender to reinvigorate a flagging Portroe side and from that juncture they never looked back.
The opening half proved an extremely close affair with Joey Knight and Ian O'Donnell firing over early points for Portroe while Kevin Mulcahy (65) and Davy Gleeson were on target for the Gaels with Gleeson's point coming following Ciaran Quilligan's fine save from Kevin Mulcahy's low strike at goal.
Portroe upped the pace quickly and two unanswered points from Kevin O'Halloran and Joey Knight sent Port' two clear by the 11th minute. Knight popped up again seconds later to set Ruadhan Mulrooney up for Portroe's fifth point but corner-forward, Kevin Bonney quickly countered for the Gaels with his kicked effort bisecting the uprights from close-range.
Kevin O'Halloran, who was causing untold prob lems for the Gaels, added another Port' point in the 19th minute but Liam Duffy responded with an impressive effort before the Gaels were rocked by a 21st minute Portroe goal.
Essentially, the goal came out of nothing after goalkeeper Darragh McGrath chose to depart his line in an effort to bat away Niall Gleeson's looping delivery. However, the inrushing Kevin O'Halloran arrived a fraction of a second earlier and flicked the sliotar to the net to fire Portroe five points clear.
Credit to the Gaels though, they responded immediately with a goal of their own after Aidan Moloney clipped the sliotar into the path of the advancing Liam Duffy who tore towards goal before unleashing a low drive which was excellently parried by Ciaran Quilligan. Unluckily for the Portroe keeper Davy Gleeson pounced on the parried sliotar to fire his side right back into contention.
The goal proved a timely fillip for Ballinahinch Gaels and within minutes they were back on terms following points from Kevin Bonney and Davy Gleeson. Portroe fought back though as the half drew to a close with a sublime Kevin O'Halloran sideline cut and a close-range free again from O'Halloran ensuring Portroe took a 1-8 to 1-6 interval lead to the dressing room.
Within 20 seconds of the re-start, Pa Ryan had cut the gap to just a point but Port' hit back with Kevin O'Halloran on target once more from a 65' and longrange free. Ciaran Quilligan was once more called into action when he was forced to dive to his right to deny Kevin Bonney but Port' failed to clear their lines and David Ryan tapped over his side's eighth point.
Portroe were getting the better of the exchanges early in the half and quickly opened a five-point gap with Niall Gleeson on target before a brace from the impressive midfielder, Jack Keating ensured Port' led by 1-13 to 1-8 with 45 minutes gone.
Portroe then made a decision to hold what they had with Michael Quilligan drafted back as an extra defender but Ballinahinch Gaels began to gain a foothold and by the 49th minute were back to within two with points from Kevin Mulcahy (65), Liam Duffy and Mulcahy again (free). However, just as the Gaels started to build a head of steam they were rocked back on their heels after Kevin O'Halloran's innocuous looking 52nd minute looping free appeared to take a deflection off Kevin Mulcahy's hurl and ended up in the back of the Ballinahinch Gaels net.
Portroe really kicked on from this juncture and Joey Knight all but sealed victory with a cracking 55th minute goal before points from Niall Gleeson and cornerback, Conor Byrne added a touch of gloss to a memorable nine-point victory for Portroe.
Impressive for Portroe were Jack Keating, Conor Leo, Joey Knight, Nigel Flood, Ian O'Donnell, Ciaran Quilligan and Kevin O'Halloran while Conor Floyd, Liam Duffy, Kevin Mulcahy, Pa Ryan and Davy Gleeson caught the eye for Ballinahinch Gaels.

Match Digest

Man of the Match: Kevin O'Halloran (Portroe) Scorers - Portroe: Kevin O'Halloran 2-7, 1-4 frees, 0-1 65, 0-1 s-cut; Joey Knight 1-2; Jack Keating 0-2; Conor Byrne, Ruadhan Mulrooney, Ian O'Donnell, Niall Gleeson 0-1 each. Ballinahinch Gaels: Davy Gleeson 1-2; Kevin Mulcahy 0-4, 2 frees, 2 65s; Liam Duffy, Kevin Bonney 0-2 each; David Ryan, Pa Ryan 0-1 each.
Portroe: Ciaran Quilligan (8); Cormac Keating (8), Nigel Flood (8), Conor Byrne (8); Michael Malone (8); Conor Leo (8), Andrew Duggan (8); Jack Keating (9); Michael Quilligan (8); Ruadhan Mulrooney (8); Kevin O'Halloran (9, Capt), Ian O'Donnell (8); Joey Knight (9), Niall Gleeson (8), Robert Byrne (8). SUBS: David Lumbroso (7) for Mulrooney (50); Sean Nightingale (NR) for Gleeson (60); Billy Donnellan (NR) for Byrne (60).

Ballinahinch Gaels: Darragh McGrath (7); Robert Houlihan (7), Paddy Kelly (8), Sean Finn (7); Jason Ryan (7), Conor Floyd (8), Mattie Connolly (7); Kevin Mulcahy (8), Liam Duffy (8); Aidan Moloney (7), Kevin Fitzpatrick (7), Pa Ryan (8); Davy Gleeson (9), David Ryan (8, Capt), Kevin Bonney (8). SUBS: Brian McAuliffe (7) for Bonney (45); Daniel Carew (7) for D Ryan (48).
Referee: Michael Murphy (Toomevara).