Mitchelstown CBS Under 16 ½ hurlers capped a glorious campaign on Wednesday last, November 26th, when they captured the Munster crown with a most impressive win over Scoil Mhuire gan Smál, Blarney in Mallow. The CBS boys were dominant from start to finish and were fully deserving of their victory on a final scoreline of 2-17 to 1-05.
The opening exchanges were promising. Adrian English was fouled as he cut in along the endline, and George Pendle pointed the resultant free. Cathal O’Mahony added a point from play, and George Pendle made it three with his second pointed free when Cathal Harrington was fouled. Blarney replied with two points, one from a free and one from play. Mitchelstown were soon 3 points ahead again, with points from James Keating (free) and a fine effort from play from Dylan Kent. They were moving the ball well in attack, the speed of movement of both players and ball causing Blarney difficulties. This was typified by captain Adrian English, who broke free of his marker to score Mitchelstown’s seventh point. The half backs were resolute, with James Keating’s close control and ability to extricate himself from any difficulty a pleasure to watch. The game swung firmly in Mithcelstown’s favour when a fine clearance by Jordan Sheehy at corner back was broken down by Mark Keane for George Pendle, and George set up Cathal O’Mahony for the game’s opening goal. CBS now led 1-07 to 0-03, and were full value for that lead. Corner backs Jordan Sheehy and Killian Roche were well on top, while Sean O’Sullivan’s dominance at full back contributed to Blarney’s decision to move their full-forward outfield. The CBS midfield duo of James Conway and Cahal O’Sullivan worked tirelessly, defending when needed and linking play most effectively. Blarney replied with a pointed free, but it was a short-lived recovery. The impressive Cathal Harrington added a point from play to put CBS ahead 1-08 to 0-04. Blarney’s defence was struggling to cope with the aerial ability of Mark Keane and the speed and balance of Cathal O’Mahony, and frees conceded by their markers were converted by James Keating and George Pendle. Cathal O’Mahony had the final point of the half with a point from the tightest of angles, and at half-time the CBS lead was a well-deserved 10 points.
The second half started as the first had with a pointed free for the CBS, this time from James Keating following good persistence by Mark Keane. Great work by the outstanding Lorcan Finn in defence freed Dylan Kent, and his delivery was fielded spectacularly by Mark Keane who turned and added another fine point. Mitchelstown now led by 1-13 to 0-04 and the scoreline was an accurate reflection of their on-field dominance. Blarney scored their first point of the half from a free with 10 minutes gone. The pace of the game slowed somewhat, not unsurprisingly, given the commanding lead enjoyed by the CBS. Nevertheless, the attitude of the Mitchelstown boys was commendable as they continued to work for every ball and were determined to keep the Blarney score down. The selfless workrate of James Conway, Jack Coughlan and Cahal O’Sullivan was a feature as they anchored the centre, while George Pendle continued to threaten in attack. Scores were now at a premium as both sides sought to close the other down, but the speed of Cathal O’Mahony once again posed problems for Blarney and a fine run from the flying corner forward brought a superb save from the Blarney keeper. James Keating stroked over the resultant 65 to put CBS 12 points ahead. Ian Butler was called on for the first time in goal when he confidently dealt with a long free dropped in, while Jack Coughlan’s strength saw him emerge from a further scramble in front of goals to clear. The sides then exchanged goals within minutes of one another – CBS striking first when a long delivery by Cahal O’Sullivan was netted by the alert George Pendle, and Blarney replying shortly after. The score now stood at 2-14 to 1-05 as the minutes ticked down. It was to be Blarney’s last score, as the CBS rounded off an excellent performance with points from Cillian Dollian, George Pendle and James Keating to leave the final score at Mitchelstown CBS 2-17 to Blarney’s 1-05.
The cup, Corn Dara O Donabháin, was presented to team captain Adrian English, and the name of Mitchelstown CBS will be the first engraved on this new trophy.
This was an impressive win from a talented and dedicated bunch of players who have been whole-hearted in their commitment from the start of the year. While their coaches Jason Walsh, Anthony Nash and Willie Duggan were justifiably delighted with the performance, they were also keen to point out the roles played by these players’ coaches both at primary school level and in the clubs. This was a result to savour for all who have played a part to date in the players’ development, and the challenge now will be for the players to push on from this and add to their honours list.
Team: Ian Butler, Killian Roche, Sean O’Sullivan, Jordan Sheehy, Lorcan Finn, James Keating, Jack Coughlan, James Conway, Cahal O’Sullivan, Dylan Kent, George Pendle, Cathal Harrington, Cathal O’Mahony, Mark Keane, Adrian English. Subs used: Josh Macken, Tomas Vaughan, Shane Doyle, Cillian Dollian, Sean Walsh.