JJ KAVANAGH AND SONS COUNTY DIVISION 4 MINOR HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL
DUNGARVAN COMEBACK EDGES OUT ST. OLIVERS
DUNGARVAN 3-14 ST. OLIVERS 2-16
There have been many greatest comebacks since Lazurus over in the Fraher Field down the years and this latest one by Dungarvan’s minor hurlers in the Division 4 County final must surely rank up there with the best of them.
Down by 2-10 to 2-3 at half time and by a further point on the restart, St. Olivers had the ball in the back of the Dungarvan goal once again but referee Michael O Brien judged the St. Olivers player, Corey Scanlon to have caught the ball three times and so what would probably have been the winning score was disallowed.
Playing with more hope than confidence at this stage, Dungarvan’s 35th minute comeback was initiated by Billy Hickey, who was moved to midfield at half time. His point was Dungarvan’s first in ten minutes and it set the ball rolling for the local side.
The Blues scored a further seven uninterrupted points to level by the 45th minute before a thrilling conclusion was served up by both teams to the large attendance present.
It was all so different in a first half that St. Olivers dominated throughout with Dungarvan failing to turn up for the battle. Olivers were three points to the good with the breeze at their backs by the 6th minute courtesy of their three half forwards, Corey Scanlon, Michael McGrath and the very influential Harry O Donovan.
Dungarvan required a score badly and it came in the form of a major one by Luke Power, cleverly finished into the country end goal. Man of the Match, Leon Lannon and Eddie Burke followed up with minor scores and within a minute, Dungarvan had turned a 0-3 deficit into a 0-2 advantage.
There was no further scoring for the next four minutes until Olivers’ number 17 Joe Cotter regained his side’s lead with a smashing goal in the town end. Eddie Burke and Harry O Donovan traded scores from frees before Jack Lonergan brought a great save out of Tony O Donnell in the Blues’ goal, 1-4 to 1-3.
Olivers supremacy in outfield play saw them score three points in a row per Eoin Hally and a free and a ‘65’ by Harry O Donovan to establish a 1-7 to 1-3 lead by the 24th minute.
Dungarvan were living on crumbs but they received a timely boost one minute later when Leon Lannon worked his way though for a goal in the corner of the Olivers’ net. However, Olivers responded in side three minutes with a second goal of their own when Michael McGrath opened up the Dungarvan defence to re establish their 0-4 advantage.
It was all St. Olivers for the rest of the half, Harry O Donovan repeated his two earlier scores from placed balls either side of a point by Joe Cotter to leave the scoreboard reading 2-10 to 2-3 ahead of the break. St. Olivers struck five first half wides to Dungarvan’s two.
Olivers started the second half as they finished the first. Harry O Donovan’s seventh score extended their advantage further and Corey Scanlon’s ‘goal’ would have probably finished off the game as a contest.
Perhaps realising that the game was going out of their reach, Dungarvan upped their performance and the next eight points were scored by Billy Hickey, Leon Lannon, Eddie Burke(f), James Maye, Brian Curran, Lannon and Curran again and Eddie Burke (‘65’).
So with three quarters of the match played , the teams were level pegging at 2-11 each which could not have been anticipated ten minutes earlier.
Credit Olivers, once again, they settled themselves with scores from Jack Mulhall and Michael McGrath to stop Dungarvan in their tracks. Credit also to Dungarvan who replied with a second Leon Lannon goa, a defining score,l with 52 minutes played and the game was back in the melting pot at 3-11(20) D. To 2-13(19) S.O.
With eight minutes remaining, the next few scores were always going to be vital and in a thrilling battle, it was Dungarvan who claimed them via Luke Power, Brian Curran and Pierce Quann, 3-14 to 2-14 and 59 minutes on the clock.
Dungarvan should also have sealed the win during this period but a combination of wides and terrific goal mouth defending and saves denied them some breathing space. Back down the field in added time, Harry O Donnell pointed a brace of frees with Dungarvan in possession in attack in the final play when the long whistle sounded.
Neutrals say it was a great game as are many of the minor games the past week with huge attendances flocking to venues around the County to support their favourites.
Chairman of the County Board Sean Micheal O Regan presented the County cup to outstanding Dungarvan captain and midfielder Darryl Harty amid scenes of wild excitement.
Dungarvan’s Top Three : Darryl Harty, Leon Lannon, Darragh Healy.
St. Oliver’s Top Three : Harry O Donovan, Joe Cotter, Michael McGrath.
Man of the Match : Darryl Harty.
Number of Scorers : Dungarvan : 7. St. Olivers : 6.
Scores From Play : Dungarvan : 3-11. St. Olivers : 2-7.
Frees For : Dungarvan : 6. St. Olivers : 10.
Wides : Dungarvan : 7. St. Olivers : 7.
Score of the Match : Leon Lannon’s 52nd minute goal for Dungarvan.
Dungarvan : Leon Lannon 2-3, Luke Power 1-1, Eddie Burke 0-4(2f, ‘65’), Brian Curran 0-3, Billy Hickey, James May and Pierce Quann 0-1 each.
St. Olivers : Harry O Donovan 0-10(7f, 2’65’), Michael McGrath 1-2, Joe Cotter 1-1, Corey Scanlon, Eoin Hally and Jack Mulhall 0-1 each.
Dungarvan : Tony O Donnell, Billy Hickey, Darragh Murphy, Robbie Wall, Darragh Healy, Calum Bulfin, James Maye, Darryl Harty, Zach Power, Eddie Burke, Brian Curran, Leon Lannon, Luke Power, John Meehan, Luke Irwin, Pierce Quann, Jacob Dalton, Brandon Dillon.
St. Olivers : Jack Daly, Cian Moore, Brian Scanlon, Leo Mulhall, Jack Lonergan, Richie Whelan, Shane O Donnell, Dylan Troy, Jack Prendergast, Corey Scanlon, Michael McGrath, Eoin Hally, Joe Cotter Harry O Donovan, Eanna Tobin, Jack Mulhall, Paddy Osborne, Rian Mernin, Noah Quilty, Daniel Buckley.
Referee : Michael O Brien (Portlaw).