Mitchelstown CBS hurlers were crowned Under 16 Cork County champions following their hard-earned victory over Patrician Academy Mallow in Kildorrery last Wednesday. In an outstanding game between two evenly matched teams, the CBS emerged victorious by two points after extra-time.
There was little to choose between the teams in the opening 15 minutes. Mitchelstown had the better start, scoring the first points of the game through James Keating (free) and James Conway. Mallow replied with a pointed free, but Adrian English and Lorcan Finn each pointed for CBS. Two points from Mallow followed, before Jack Coughlan replied to leave Mitchelstown leading by 5 points to 4. Mallow grew into the game, and with the breeze to the backs their midfielders and forwards enjoyed a dominant period. The CBS defence was under almost constant pressure as the first half wore on. During the period up to half-time Mallow scored 1-04 to Mitchelstown’s 2 points, both James Keating frees, to leave Mallow in a strong position leading by 1-08 to 0-07 at the break.
Mitchelstown CBS needed to respond, and the early signs were promising with points from James Keating (free) and the ever-dangerous Adrian English and Lorcan Finn in the full-forward line. Mallow replied with 2 points, but then the game turned in Mitchelstown’s favour. George Pendle made a good catch from a puck-out and played in Jack Coughlan. Jack was still some distance out but a fine run saw him in a shooting position and from about 20 yards out on the right he unleashed an unstoppable shot to the roof of the net. The belief this instilled was invaluable, and Mitchelstown came close to adding a second goal immediately. Cathail O’Mahony played Adrian English through but his effort rebounded from the keeper. Quick reactions by Lorcan Finn with a first-time overhead pull saw the ball fly over for a point. Mitchelstown had now gained a grip at midfield, with Tadgh Finn having a strong second half and the excellent Colin English a rock at centre-back and later at full-back. A constant threat at corner forward, Lorcan Finn made a fine catch shortly after, turned his marker and drove the ball to the net for Mitchelstown’s second goal. Another point, this time an outstanding effort by wing forward Jack Coughlan from well out on the right side saw Mitchelstown lead by 5 points. The game looked to be heading one way at this stage but credit to Mallow, they responded well. They fought for every ball as they gave it their all to rescue the game. 1 point brought them back to 4 behind, and in the final minutes their persistence paid off with a goal. As the minutes ticked down Mallow got the final score of normal time to level it at 2-13 each.
It is often said that the team that comes back is favourite to win the extra time, and Mallow started extra time as if they fully subscribed to this. They continued from where they left off in normal time and were rewarded with the opening scores – 2 points, 1 from play and 1 free. James Keating struck over a free for a point to keep Mitchelstown in it, but the cup looked to be heading Mallow’s way when they scored a fortuitous goal. Credit to the Mitchelstown boys, they were not willing to give in easily. From the puck-out the ball was played to Adrian English and the goal poacher duly obliged with a fine shot to the back of the Mallow net. Turning over for the second half, Mitchelstown were just 1 point behind. There was now huge drive and determination in their play, and they went on to dominate the second period. Mallow were confined to just one point during this time. James Keating levelled the match with 2 further frees, before George Pendle put CBS ahead following a fine break through the centre. To the delight of the large support, James Keating stretched the lead out to 2 points as time ran out. The CBS withstood one final Mallow attack, and the final whistle was greeted with scenes of great joy and relief. In a pulsating game played by two committed, skilled and fair teams, Mitchelstown CBS captured the title on a final scoreline of 3-19 to 3-17. CBS captain James Conway, who led by example from midfield, accepted the cup on behalf of a very happy panel and support.
This was a tremendous victory for Mitchelstown CBS and their trainers Mr. Walsh, Mr. Duggan and Mr. Nash. Their commitment and never-say-die attitude meant they did not give up, even when the momentum of the game was going against them. Their willingness to work for one another, exemplified by the tigerish tackling of the defence, was a huge feature of the game. While the school takes great pride from their achievement, their clubs should also. Seven clubs from Cork. Tipperary and Limerick are represented in this panel and the school gratefully acknowledges their support and co-operation.
Team: Ian Butler, Eoin Gallahue, Sean O’Sullivan, Killian Roche, Eoin O’Mahony, Colin English, Dylan Kent, James Conway, Tadgh Finn, Jack Coughlan, Kieran O’Doherty, James Keating, Lorcan Finn, George Pendle, Adrian English. Subs: Cahal O’Sullivan, Cathail O’Mahony, Jordan Sheehy. Subs: Tommy Breedy, P.J. Keating, Josh Macken, Dylan O’Gorman, Sean Walsh, Matthew Dawson Furey, Eoin Fenton, Mark Keane.
Mitchelstown CBS, Cork County under 16 hurling champions 2013/14