20 Jun 2014

Piercestown too strong for Crannford

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Piercestown 7-10 Crannford 0-8

Conditions were perfect for hurling last Tuesday as Crannford and Piercestown battled it out to see who would be crowned champions in the Allianz Cumann na mBunscoil Rackard League Roinn A Hurling final. Expectations were great as Piercestown had knocked out last year’s winners Gorey in their Semi-Final and Crannford had comprehensively dealt with a very strong Oulart team to get to the final.

Crannford got off to a lightning start and within the first minute the crowd were shown why this team are current Mini Sevens title holders after Bradley Crosbie caught the ball, soloed up the field and blasted a shot at goal only to be denied by a fine save from keeper Darragh O’Sullivan. However a minute later Crannford’s talisman Eamonn Doran put them on the scoreboard with an accurately taken free.  However, the Piercestown response was swift. Conor Stafford caught the ball from the puck out and pumped a high ball into the full forward line that eventually found its way into the Crannford net. This ignited Piercestown and led to an intense period of pressure on the Crannford Full Back line and goalmouth, during which the crowd were treated to a fantastic display of teamwork and first touch hurling from one to fifteen.

Despite strong and convincing individual displays from Crannford’s Eamonn Doran and Cormac Doyle the period of pressure saw Conor Devereux hit the net for Piercestown on seven minutes.  After the puck out Crannford found themselves under siege again and after a beautiful first touch in midfield from Conor Stafford to pick the ball from the ground and lay it off Conor Devereux added a point to his personal tally. Crannford seemed to have no answer for the on form Piercestown and minutes later a free in from Conor Stafford that wasn’t cleared was slotted over by Rory Whelan. Crannford managed two quick points in succession both scored by Joseph Conroy to keep them within touch with sixteen minutes gone. However a minute later Ben Morris lit the net with a cracking shot that saw Piercestown increase their ever growing lead. Crannford never gave up and showed great displays of hooking and blocking, a testament to all the hard work being done in the Parish schools and the club, and on twenty minutes Pat Doyle hit the side netting which gave the team and the crowd a much needed lift. Piercestown increased their lead right at the break through Diarmuid O’Leary leaving the score at half time 3-3 to 0-3

The second half began in much the same fashion as the first with Crannford’s Eamonn Doran scoring a point after just a minute. However there was nothing Crannford could do to stop the scoring of the Piercestown forwards as Diarmuid O’Leary found the net after Darragh O’Sullivan had made a fine initial save. Zac Firman then added another point to the scoreboard with a well taken free from the wing and Adam Feery punished a short puck out by putting the ball in the net leaving the score at 5-4 to 0-4. Zac Firman then found his range again pointing off his left. This was followed by one of the scores of the game. Crannford’s inspirational leader Eamonn Doran plucked the ball from the air on the left of midfield, soloed up the wing and struck the ball on the run to score a sensational point that drew applause from everyone present. Conor Devereux was not to be out done and a minute later he rose into the air, caught the ball over his head, turned and struck the ball to the back of the Crannford net. This was to be his last contribution as minutes later he was applauded off the pitch after shipping a heavy, but fair, tackle from the Crannford half backs. A spirited performance by Crannford’s Pat Doyle, Aodán Whitty and Aidan Kavanagh was rewarded with a point 10 minutes into the second half.  Piercestown’s seventh goal was added followed by another Pat Doyle point for Crannford leaving the score at 7-5 to 0-6 with ten minutes remaining.

The final stages of the game saw both teams exchanging points  with Zac Firman, Adam Feery and Conor Kelly scoring for Piercestown and Eamonn Doran adding two more for Crannford to leave the final score Piercestown 7-10 Crannford 0-8. This was Piercestown’s fourth title in the Roinn A competition and even though it was a very one sided final the future of hurling looks promising in Crannford.

By Conor Mc Donald

Piercestown: Darragh O’Sullivan, James Mernagh, Brandon Dodd, Jamie Berry, Jim Mc Dermott, David Codd, Shane Walsh, Zac Firman, Conor Stafford, Rory Whelan, Conor Kelly, John Hennessy, Diarmuid O’Leary, Conor Devereux, Ben Morris, Rory Walsh, Luke Kavanagh, David Cantwell, Joe Barrett, Adam Feery, Francis Dempsey, Conor Doyle, Oisín Waters.

Crannford: Patrick Kavanagh, Martin Kavanagh, Cormac Doyle, Dean Wadding Nolan, Aidan Kavanagh, Aodán Whitty, Jack Curran, Eamonn Doran, Joseph Conroy, Jack Fleming, Bradley Crosbie, Pádraig Tobin, Christopher Montague, Pat Doyle, Adam Bailey, Eoin Byrne, Alex McSwiney, Ciaran McLoughlin, Ross Bailey.