Mount Leinster Rangers 4-18
By Kieran Murphy
THE horrendously bad weather which was forecast never truly arrived for this under-15 Division 1 hurling final on Friday. Instead the Borris-based side created their own storm which few sides in Carlow, never mind outside the county, could have stayed with.
They started best as Donagh Murphy and Pauric Kavanagh knocked over a point each to lead after just five minutes. Ballinkillen hit back with a point from Darragh Cummins. When a long-range free appeared to be tailing wide at the scoreboard end, Rangers corner-forward Jamie Nolan gathered possession and scored an opportunist goal. He was proving to be unmarkable and while he added another point himself he also drew two frees which yielded 1-1 for Murphy.
Ballinkillen were hanging on but they kept themselves in the game with centre-forward Shane Kelly scoring four points from placed balls and play to leave Rangers leading 2-7 to 0-6 at the interval.
Rangers were relentless in the third quarter as they went about securing victory as quickly as possible. Pauric Kavanagh fired over his second point followed by further scores from Bolger and Conaill Fitzpatrick.
Another close-range goal from the predatory Jamie Nolan left no doubt about the destination of the silverware. Despite their fraught position Ballinkillen kept putting in the hard work while their defence had to make several clearances. He may have been wearing number 11 on his back but Rangers Donagh Murphy controlled the area between the two 65m lines. He had able companions in Kyle Foley and Oisin Martin.
Ballinkillen persevered throughout but Rangers had created their own perfect storm which blew their opposition away.
Mount Leinster Rangers: Eoin Coleman; Ed Fenlon, Tomas Joyce, Mark Breen; Tim Brennan, Luke Kavanagh, Paddy Stafford; Oisin Martin, Kyle Foley (0-1); Brad Bolger (0-2), Donagh Murphy (2-9, 1-8 frees), Conaill Fitzpatrick (0-1); Jamie Nolan (2-1), Luke Fenlon, Pauric Kavanagh (0-2). Subs: Jack Griffith for Fenlon (33 mins), Jack Cummins for Kavanagh (44 mins), David Coleman for Joyce (53 mins), Ezra Doran for Brennan (59 mins), Conor Coleman, Mike Joyce, James Kennedy, Luke Joyce, Hugh Kavanagh
Ballinkillen: Adam Farrell; Padraig O’Brien, Conor Meaney, Cormac Murphy; Adam Ryan, Fionn Hickey, Pauric Kearney; Darragh Cummins (0-1), Kevin Kavanagh (0-1); Rory Leen, Shane Kelly (0-5, 0-3 frees, 0-1-65, Ross Nolan (0-1); Tom Murphy, Cormac Nolan, Cian Meaney. Subs: Ciaran O’Neill for Cian Meaney (39 mins), Charlie Byrne for Nolan, Cian Doyle for Murphy (50 mins), Callum Aughney, Aaron Coogan.
Referee: Jonathan Murphy (St Mullins)