Team:- Gavin Grant, David Irish, Jack Frisby, Dylan O'Keeffe, Donnacha Griffin, Luke O'Donovan, John Mulcair, Joe O'Brien (0-3, 2f), Peter Murphy, Gary Walsh, Ollie Mullally, Colm Flemming, Cillian Power (2-1), Eoin Kenny (1-4), Eamonn Phelan (1-0)
Subs:- Willie Mullally for Colm Flemming,
Panel:-James Freyne, Gavin Morrissey, Michael Irish, Ethan Walsh, Ben Alcock, Paul Rellis, Michael Egan, David Hawe, Matthew Gaynor, Danny Moore.
MHC Roinn B County Final
Slieverue 4-8, Graigue Ballycallan 1-12
What a day our little Parish had on Saturday afternoon last in Piltown when history was made. In the clubs 130 year history we have never won a Minor County title, however that has now been put to bed. A team that started playing in the U8 tournament in Inistioge many years ago and progressed up through the age groups are now County Champions. With thanks to social media a huge crowd descended on Piltown to watch our magnificent young team take on the might of Graigue Ballycallan in the Minor B decider, probably one of the biggest occasions these young players have ever had the chance to play in.
Throw in time was at 2pm in Piltown but by 2.10pm the opposition had raced into a 4 points to no score lead. Our lads looked very nervous, was the occasion going to get to them? Of course the answer was no and a minute later Slieverue had put their first score on the board to a huge roar from the crowd as Cillian Power received the ball took a shot which was well saved and after a scramble on the goal line captain Kenny was there to ensure that ball crossed the line for a green flag to be waved. Game now on!! The tension on the sideline was noticeable as selector Freyne marched up and down the touchline like a Sergeant Major shouting instructions to his troops. He wasn't overly happy when Ballycallan then added a couple more points to leave a goal between the sides again. While he looked after the forward line General Power had the task of keeping the defence intact and by golly was his plan working as although the opposition were getting points they were been made work for them and our defence was not been infiltrated. Things were to get a little better for Slieverue. On 21 minutes we had the ball in the back of the Ballycallan for the second time which came from our lively corner forward Cillian Power. In fairness the forward line had the Ballycallan lads under pressure even though we were not playing that well as a team in the first quarter of the game but we were doing enough to keep the Ballycallan lads in sight at all times. That goal would put Slieverue ahead and now they were starting to come into their own. Ballycallan added two more points to our one and then hit a cruel blow just before half time. A long ball into our square saw a mix up between backs and goalkeeper which resulted in the failure of the Slieverue lads to clear their line and the ball ended up in the back of the net. It left Ballycallan going into the break the happier side as they were now leading 2-3 to 1-8.
Second half, ball was thrown in by Referee Kennedy we gained possession, diagonal ball hit into our corner forward and Cillian as he has done so many times this year rounded his man tearing in on goal before unleashing an unstoppable rocket to the net. How long did this goal take? From throw in to green flag been waved a mere 25 seconds had only elapsed. It was the perfect start for a team and luckily we were the ones to get it. That game the team momentum and the huge support for Slieverue got behind the team and the encouragement was a joy to hear coming from the bank. The team was now playing like a team and harassing the Ballycallan boys when they had the ball, hooking, blocking and giving them little time on the ball helped them to push into the lead with only 5 minutes gone in the second half. If you wanted a team to then punish the opposition and really dig deep to find that inner strength to win a game in came in the 37 minute of the game. Captain Kenny had been brought out from full forward to centre forward and when he hit a speculative ball into the square our crafty little forward Phelan left everyone go for the ball, he took a chance that everyone would miss it and the ball would come to him which it did and like any talented corner forward struck the ball on the volley and rifled a hot to the bottom right hand corner of the goal. What a game we were having now and what a start to the second half by our team. Had the supporters been in a stand in Piltown with a roof on it they would have blown it off like a hurricane such was the roar that went up when Eamonn put that ball in the net. They could tell that our lads wanted this game more and they could smell the victory in the air, grant it there was still 20 minutes to go, but one always knew that there was no way our lads was going to let this County title slip through their fingers. The score was now 4-4 to 1-10. Ballycallan in fairness had a good spell after we got that fourth goal. They put over some points and by the 43rd minute there was only a goal between the sides a dangerous lead to have in any game of hurling. The two generals were now anxiously parading the sideline passing each other out making sure that the lads was going to keep the heads and the discipline and not let Ballycallan back into the game with stupid frees or by a lack of concentration to allow them in for a goal. To their credit and the teams credit that never happened and by the 64th minute of the game Referee Kennedy blew the full time whistle to jubilant scenes of joy from all involved with the team. The years of hard work, dedication and commitment had now paid off and we could at last say that 'We are County Minor Champions' the huge support raced across the field to congratulate the team and management and it was then time to assemble for Chairman of Bord Na nÓg Willie Dempsey to present the winning plaque to Captain Eoin Kenny. Congratulations to all involved who helped out on the day. The players, Management, Selectors, First Aid and Water Carriers. It was a fantastic day for our little community and one that won't be forgotten for a very very long time.
We would also like to thank John Mooney and The Rhu Glen who sponsored the meal for the team after the victory its much appreciated.
Under 14 2011
Under 16 League Winners.