JUNIOR HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP
Erin’s Own 0-7
By Kieran Murphy
TALK about doing it in style. On Sunday in Netwatch Cullen Park, Palatine maintained a glorious 100% record in this 2017 competition when seeing off the challenge of Erin’s Own in the junior hurling championship final.
Palatine put 4-21 up on Sunday’s opponents in the concluding round of the group stages but they knew this was never going to be repeated here.
It was always going to be a bit of a dog-fight. That it was but with ten minutes to go only a major accident was going to stop Palatine lifting the cup.
They knew that themselves too and made sure it was never going to happen.
Their job was made easier for them when the Bagenalstown side lost Danny Doyle to a straight red card at the end of third quarter and he was followed shortly afterwards by Nathan Byrne.
Erin’s Own finished with hardly a whimper at the end.
Sean Dermody opened the scoring for Palatine two minutes in. Eoin McMahon followed up with a point before John Gladney raised a white flag for Erin’s Own. The Palatine lead went out to two when Cathal Ryan peeled away from the cover and slotted a nice point.
Palatine exerted a grip on the game and this was manifested in a great block on Michael Whelan by Liam Kenny who stopped an Erin’s Own move in its tracks. A little bit of wizardry from Tomás Kenny when he secured possession with two players bearing down on him was an illustration that if the Palatine footballer turned his hand to the small ball game he might not be out of touch at intercounty level with Carlow.
He went on to have an excellent game and was one of the key figures in this Palatine success.
The only goal of the game came on seventeen minutes when the Erin’s Own defence were caught at sixes and sevens with Jamie Kenny firing in from close range.
Eoin McMahon added a free to widen the gap to five points in favour of the eventual winners.
Once more Palatine resolve came to the fore when full-back Paul Reid needed to be on his toes to deny Jamie O’Neill.
At half-time Palatine led 1-5 to 0-3 and were well worth the lead.
Early in the second period Michael Whelan scored his third point of the game for Erin’s Own but any suggestion of a comeback died when Niall Reid got on the end of a low flying free to flick the ball over the crossbar for Palatine.
McMahon went on to add a further two points and could very well have goaled if Paddy Robinson hadn’t deflected the sliotar over the crossbar.
Whelan added his final point of the game and John Rogers landed a mighty point from half-way for Erin’s Own. All this took place around the same time the losing side were reduced to thirteen.
Two more McMahon points gave Palatine an unassailable seven point lead with time running out. John Rogers showed he still hasn’t lost the bit of magic when pointing from play. Sadly for him, too many of those around him were unable to produce a performance. Crucially though, silverware keeps tripping across the threshold over in Bennekerry. Morale boosts wherever success comes from.
Palatine: Tommy O’Shea; Chris O’Brien, Paul Reid, Sean Dermody (0-1); Tomás Kenny, Liam Kenny (0-1 free), Gavin Farrell; David Reid, John Reid; Brian Parker, Eoin McMahon (0-6, 0-4frees), Ken McDonald; Jamie Kenny (1-0), Niall Reid (0-1), Cathal Ryan (0-1). Subs: Stephen Reilly for O’Brien (43 mins), David Murphy for Parker (47 mins), Shane O’Neill for McDonald (53 mins), Jimmy Fitzpatrick for Dermody (57 mins), Paud O’Dwyer for Farrell (58 mins).
Erin’s Own: Patrick Robinson; Dylan Nolan, John Rogers (0-2), Thomas Maher; Stephen Salter, Eoin Cowman, David Galway; Stephen Crowe, Mark Kennedy; Neil Martin, John Gladney (0-1), Gary Monaghan; Jamie O’Neill, Mickey Whelan (0-4, 65, 0-3 frees), Mickey Walsh. Subs: Nathan Byrne for Crowe (23 mins), Danny Doyle for Walsh (h/t), David McDonald for Monaghan (39 mins), Robbie Kane for O’Neill (45 mins), Dessie Dowling for Cowman (51 mins).
Referee: Patrick Murphy (Ballinkillen)