Maynooth Post Primary School

Hurling Champions

19-December-18
Hurling Champions

'MEC BLITZ THE B'

MEC 2-11
St. MacDara's CC 2-4

Our u16 hurlers had a monumental win at Abbotstown yesterday, capturing the schools' first ever B grade hurling title.

Having finally conquered the C grade u16 last season (after several near misses in recent years), we decided to try our hand at the B grade this year. It proved to be a fruitful decision yesterday, as Eoin Kelliher hoisted the B title aloft at the National Sports Campus.

Playing with a stiff breeze from the off, we quickly raced into a 1-3 to no score lead. David Qualter knocked over an early free to steady his cucumber-cool self. Conor Duffy, the self proclaimed 'Meath Hurling Messiah', added a lovely point shortly after. The first major of the day was raised when Adam Jordan crept in behind the defence, gathered a long delivery, and stepped the MacDara's keeper to finish smartly to the net. Jordan's goal added to his 3 pointer from last year's u16 final at the same venue, showing the poacher's penchant for important strikes.

MacDara's responded with a goal of their own but it was to be the only impression they would make on our rearguard over the first 30 minutes. The full back line of Daniel O' Meara, Gavin McVann and Luke Murnane proved to be stingy opposition for the MacDara's sharpshooters. The half back line of JTB's finest, Aaron McNally, Clane's Sam Hillyer and, particularly, Ciarán 'Flani Alves' Flanagan acted as masters of the sky for the day fetching ball like it was going out of fashion and dictating play nicely.

Further up the field, Cian O' Neill and Eoin Kelliher dominated the middle third, supplying quality ball after quality ball to our well-oiled forward unit. O' Neill in particular must have been burned out from pucking balls after the shift he put in for the first 30 minutes, cutting out endless passes. Kelliher was his typical aggressive self, bossing the opposition with an unmatched intensity and raiding forward to add on a point.

Up front, David Qualter shot 3 quick points to quell a MacDara's revival, following their goal. Cormac Nolan tacked on a fine effort, to open his account, Conor 'Big Mac' McBrearty added a wonder score from the left sideline to push us further ahead and Conor 'Bubbles' Walsh fired over the lat, to ensure all starting forwards had opened accounts by the half time whistle. We went in with a healthy 1-11 to 1-0 lead, but facing into a stiff breeze.

The second half was all about resilience. O' Meara and Flanagn repelled endless attacks, keeping MacDara's at bay, allowing only 1-4 in the face of the mammoth wind. We struggled to create opportunities against the wind for large spells of the 2nd half but with 10minutes to go, we delivered a dangerous ball to the full forward line.

As the saying goes...COMETH THE HOUR, COMETH THE MAN!!!

Conor 'Duffman' Duffy collected a delivery, rounded the full back, threw on the afterburner and dispatched another one to the onion bag. All year 'Duffman' has proven to be a game changer, and game winner, amassing 6-5 over the championship! The Meath Maestro has utilised his Shakira-esque hips time and time again to take full backs to the cleaners. A real dualstar in the making, Diarmuid Connolly should take note!

Duffy's goal gave us the breathing space we required and a fantastic reflex stop from Gearoid Hogan on goal kept us well in the ascendancy. A saved 21 yard free saw the final whistle blown and euphoria descend on the MEC panel. Rollercoaster stuff!

Captain Eoin Kelliher accepted the trophy on behalf of his team and duly delivered a passionate, invigorating, completely expletive-free speech. Well done Eoin.

On behalf of the coaches I would like to say congratulations to all panel members. They have been an incredible group to work with since they entered the school and are a credit to their families, their clubs, the schools and, most importantly, themselves. This is a remarkable achievement for this group of players and it was fantastic to see them performing to their full potential all year. As Kelliher said, "we're heading for the A lads!"
Team and Scorers: Gearoid Hogan, Daniel O' Meara, Gavin McVann, Luke Murnane, Ciarán Flanagan, Sam Hillyer, Aaron McNally, Eoin Kelliher (0-1), Cian O'Neill, Cormac Nolan (0-1), Conor McBrearty (0-1), David Qualter (0-6), Conor Walsh (0-1), Conor Duffy (1-1), Adam Jordan (1-0), Luke Jennings, Jason Stanley-McKenna, Rory Byrden, Kevin McNeill, Vincent Ellison, Daniel Maher, Ciarán Walsh, Oisin Kearney, Daragh McVann, Conor Whyte. Backroom team - Paddy Kellet, Ciaran Hayes, Cathal O' Donovan, Ryan Comeau.

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