Rebel Óg East Division 2 MHC 2020-08-23 14:33:00

Castlelyons 3-13 Passage West 3-9.

So far so good for our minor hurling team as we grinded out a great victory away to a tough Passage side in Maulbaun last Wednesday evening.  What a difference a few days makes as the weather was so good when we were in Mayfield and on Wednesday evening one felt a bit uneasy due to the eminent threat of Storm Ellen.  However, it was the calm before the storm as despite being dull there was little wind.  Seeing the réiteoir David Daly on the whistle brough a further sense of calmness as he is a man of common sense and a top-class referee.  Castlelyons were sharp from the start and were rewarded as Oscar Hallihan and Leon Doocey had points from play and Darragh Spillane had a great goal after good work by Oscar Hallihan.  Passage had 0-2 from frees and gradually came back into the game. Declan Geary had one mighty catch and cleared his lines as Declan Morrison did well in the full line and Anthony Moran done well too.  Darragh Spillane got possession and headed for goal but was hauled down and Colm McCarthy pointed and Cess Kouwenberg 0-1 from play.  Then Evan Lenihan drove in a long ball and Darragh Spillane got on the end of it again his shot was parried by the goalie but he followed up to put it in the net and we were 2-4 to 0-2 at the water break.

Play resumed and now Passage were with a fortuitous goal and points from play and frees and an unstoppable goal from their corner forward it was 2-4 apiece.   Credit our lads as they began to settle again especially in the backs with Stephen Casey, Declan Geary and Matthew Rosner cutting out a lot of supply. Colm McCarthy free, Cess Kouwenberg and Darragh Spillane again scored 0-3 for us.  But Passage were still there, and the hurling was outstanding.  Their full forward and main marksman Conor Coughlan came back to almost his own twenty-one and sent over a free to the delight of the home crowd to leave it 3-7 to 3-6 at half time.

There was some serious chat by both sides at half time as you had Justin McCarthy, former Cork hurler in their corner and Alan Fenton in our corner. Passage again resumed with power hurling as they peppered our goals. Their No 14 Conor Coughlan now on the 40 pointed, and they had four wides.  Then came what could be termed the turning point of the game as Gavin O Neill made a point blank save and the siege was lifted.   Leon Doocey, Evan Lenihan and Colm McCarthy really came into the game as Oscar Hallihan 0-1 play and Colm McCarthy 0-2 frees.   We were 3-10 to 3-8 ahead at the water break and we resumed with good hurling as Darragh Spillane and Leon Doocey had points.  Passage had a point to leave a goal in it.  This can be a dangerous lead and it was exciting stuff as Passage pressed hard but fair play to Leon Shanahan a man never afraid to show for ball he came downfield won possession, turned well and sent over a great score from the wing to put four in it at the long whistle for a hard earned but thrilling win 3-13 to 3-9.

This win puts us in the semi-final against Watergrasshill.  Great to make it this far and well done to the team and management of Alan Fenton, Willie Casey and Pat O Neill and while we know the ‘Hill are favourites you can be sure that our lads will make every effort and will be in with a shout.

Tough times as only 50 allowed in and since cut down to games behind closed doors due to the pandemic.  Passage have a great set up and they told me they have a bar but its closed presently. Well back in 1896 there was a game between Redmonds, and Blackrock held in Passage and over 15,000 attended.  The pubs were shut from 10am to 10pm and 100 police drafted in to keep the peace.  Redmonds won the game. I cannot say if the pubs have been shut in the last 120 years but the camán wielders must have been tough them times. Fan slán.

Panel: Gavin O’Neill, Anthony Moran , Declan Morrison Ian Ryan, Stephen Casey Declan Geary, Matthew Rosner, Leon Doocey (0-2), Evan Lenihan, Cees Kouwenberg (0-2), Colm McCarthy (0-4 frees), Leon Shanahan (0-1), Oscar Hallihan (0-2), Darragh Spillane (3-2), Brian Spillane, Michael Griffin, Ian O Sullivan, Peter Greaney, A Fenton, Oisin Morrison and Alex Newman and, Colie O’Flynn (injured).

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