Passage 6-18; St Saviours 0-7
Passage secured their place in the Eastern Under 21 ‘A’ Hurling final when they easily accounted for St Saviours in Walsh Park last Sunday. Weather conditions were not ideal for good hurling and, in fact, referee John Power had to carry out a pitch inspection before giving the game the go-ahead.
On the day, St Saviours were completely outclassed by a strong and well-balanced Passage outfit, but they did take the lead in the very first minute through an Adam Brophy free. This was to be the only time in the game that St Saviours were to be in the lead and it was short lived.
Impressive midfielder Killian Fitzgerald equalised for Passage after 3 minutes and thereafter it was largely one-way traffic. Passage quickly added points from play through Thomas Connors, Aaron Connors, a superb solo effort from John Whitty and two more from Killian Fitzgerald All this gave them a six points to one lead after 12 minutes.
This lead increased dramatically in the 16th minute when Thomas Connors broke through the St Saviours defence and hand passed to his cousin Owen, who rifled an unstoppable shot to the back of the St Saviours’ net. Shortly after this goal, midfielder Killian Fitzgerald added his fourth point of the half before corner forward Patrick Walsh opened his account with a fine point from the right wing.
Four minutes before the break, Adam Brophy scored St Saviours second point of the game before the Connors’ took over. Wing forward Aaron scored a neat point from play, his brother Owen scored an exquisite point from way out on the left touchline and Thomas finished the half with two points from play. When the referee sounded the half-time whistle, Passage led by 1-12 to 0-2.
The second half started in a similar fashion to the first, with an Adam Brophy point for St Saviours. Passage replied with 2 frees from Owen Connors before Brophy got his and St Saviours’ fourth point of the game. Just as it looked as if we might be in for a competitive second half, Passage raised another green flag. An incisive run from Killian Fitzgerald led to a goal for Patrick Walsh. A minute later, Passage were awarded a 21-yard free, which Owen Connors blasted to the net. The same player quickly added a free before Dean Crowley became the second St Saviours player on the scoresheet with an excellent point from play.
In the 48th minute, substitute Seamus Barry got on the scoresheet with an excellent finish to a great team move. This was quickly followed by a second goal of the game for Patrick Walsh and not wishing to be outdone by his colleagues in the forward line, Aaron Connors grabbed himself a goal in the final minute. In between all these goals, St Saviours’ star man Adam Brophy did manage to score a fine point directly from a sideline cut.
Unfortunately for St Saviours, they came up against a slick Passage team who were in no need to be charitable. Full-back Peter Crowley was St Saviours’ best player on the day and no blame for their defeat could be attached to this man. Midfielder Darren Tuohy also played quite well as did scorer-in-chief Brophy.
This was a fine team performance from a Passage team who will really put it up to Ballygunner in the final. Most of the team saw action in the Senior Championship over the past three weeks and their extra sharpness was very noticeable. Midfielder Killian Fitzgerald was probably the man of the match on this occasion but he was pushed close by top scorers Owen and Thomas Connors.
Passage: M O’Sullivan, S Flood, P Donnellan, N Troy, I Power, N Connors, M Wyse, K Fitzgerald, J Whitty, O Connors, T Connors, A Connors, P Walsh, E Quann, B Fitzgerald. Subs: S Barry for E Quann, L Flynn for E Connors, N Barry for K Fitzgerald, J Flynn for M Wyse, E Lynch for M O’Sullivan.
Scorers: O Connors 2-4 (1-3f), P Walsh 2-1, A Connors 1-3, S Barry 1-1, K Fitzgerald 0-4, T Connors 0-4, J Whitty 0-1.
St Saviours: M English, M Sheridan, P Crowley, D Duggan, D Crowley, K Murphy, M O’Brien, C O’Neill, D Tuohy, K Dolan, A Brophy, L Kelly, G McGrath, I Power, J Cassidy. Subs: A Kiely for G McGrath, M Cullinane for J Cassidy.
Scorers: A Brophy 0-5 (0-3f 0-1 sideline) D Crowley 0-1, D Tuohy 0-1.