Mighty Meelin have all the skills

IN their green-and-gold jerseys the Cork champions looked like Newtownshandrum, moved like Newtownshandrum and played like Newtownshandrum.

But this was Meelin, a new and coming force on the Cork hurling scene.

Mind you there is a strong Newtownshandrum connection; Bernie O’Connor, father of the famous twins Ben and Jerry, is a native of the parish and a former club star. But there’s the more salient fact that their manager, Liam Ryan, is from Newtown and his stamp is all over this new Meelin style of play.

“Intelligent hurling,” said Ryan “That’s the Newtown style. Intelligent hurling is that when they get the ball, they look, and they deliver the ball at pace, that’s what it’s all about.”

That’s what it was all about for Meelin yesterday. It took them a few minutes to get to grips with the Tipp representatives, but once they did it was a rout. The doughty men from Duhallow were again far too strong, too organised, too skilful for the opposition and ran out convincing winners.

St. Patrick’s corner-forward Tony O’Brien notched the two opening points, but, on a good dry surface, the Meelin attack soon got into gear and the scores began to flow.

Corner-forward Eamonn Brosnan was the main man, scoring 1-2 in the next few minutes to put Meelin into a lead they would never lose.

Full-forward Jeremy Curtin and DJ O’Sullivan in the left corner each goaled in that opening half, wing-forwards John Forrest (2) and Brendan O’Sullivan (3) were potting great points from wide outside while centre-forward Shane O’Riordan did an outstanding job on the 40.

With Liam Collins and William Murphy ruling the roost in midfield, William Buckley, Kevin Collins and captain Jerry Forrest providing an additional platform in the half-back line, the supply to the forwards was constant, but more significantly, it was purposeful. Given such dominance then (and we haven’t mentioned the suffocating qualities of Mike Forrest, Denis O’Riordan and Diarmuid Lenihan in the full-back line, nor the alertness of keeper Stephen M O’Sullivan), little wonder that the Cork champions led by 16 points at the break (3-12 to 0-5).

To their credit, St. Patrick’s never gave up and even as Shane O’Riordan and DJ O’Sullivan had further Meelin goals, the Tipp outfit stuck gamely to the task. Tony O’Brien remained their main threat, but full-forward Brian McCormack helped himself to a point after a fine leaping catch.

No doubt about the winners, however, no doubt that they deserved it either.

Scorers for Meelin: E Brosnan 1-7 (0-3 frees); DJ O’Sullivan 2-1; J Curtin 1-2; S O’Riordan 1-1; B O’Sullivan 0-3; J Forrest 0-2; W Murphy, W Buckley, 0-1 each.

Scorers for St. Patrick’s: T O’Brien 0-6 (0-3 frees, 0-1 65); B McCormack, S Horan, W McCormack, 0-1 each.

MEELIN: SM O’Sullivan; M Forrest, D O’Riordan, D Lenihan; W Buckley, K Collins, Jerry Forrest (c); L Collins, W Murphy; John Forrest, S O’Riordan, B O’Sullivan; E Brosnan, J Curtin, DJ O’Sullivan.

Subs: C Murphy for B O’Sullivan (46); TJ Brosnan for D O’Riordan (49); B Collins for J Curtin (50); J O’Doherty for W Buckley (50); L O’Sullivan for SM O’Sullivan (55).

ST. PATRICK’S: J Moroney; K Clancy, E McCormack, R Needham; J Hayes, L Brett (c), P Horan; C Barry, S Gorey; M McCormack, S Horan, D Gleeson; T O’Brien, B McCormack, R McCormack.

Subs: N Gleeson for Needham (21); P Moroney for Needham (49); PJ Burke for Gorey (51); T O’Connor for R McCormack (54); C Dunne for E McCormack (58).

Referee: M Wadding (Waterford).

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