MUNSTER COLLEGES hurling history was created at Fraher Field, Dungarvan, yesterday when Blackwater Community School won the Dean Ryan Cup (U16½ hurling championship) for the time in their history after a tough contest. The sides slogged it out over the hour and while the standard of hurling didn’t always measure up to expectations, the intensity of the game never flagged as the rivals battled to the final whistle.
Centre forward Stephen Bennett was the star man on show, hitting all but one of the victor’s tally. The all-round play of the Waterford minor was inspirational and in the tension-filled finish he was deep in his own defence, helping ensure that his side successfully held on to its narrow lead.
If Bennett was the main man in attack for Blackwater, much the same could be said of Patrick Curran for CBS.
In the first half, it was a shootout between pair, with Blackwater edging 0-5 to 0-4 ahead at the break thanks to Bennett’s accuracy. Curran was desperately unlucky to see a great goal attempt in the ninth minute flash wide.
Blackwater however tightened their grip on the game on the turnover with three Bennett points, and another from midfielder Shane Murray, drawing just a solitary response, that coming from Cormac Curran’s fine effort.
By now the margin had widened to four points but Dungarvan refused to wilt, and inspired by Kevin Daly, Patrick and Cormac Curran, Daragh Lyons, and PJ Coffey, they were two adrift (0-9 to 0-7) with 10 minutes remaining.
But with the threat to their historic title win intensifying, Blackwater were seen at their most resilient best. Shane O’Brien and his colleagues brilliantly put up the defensive shutters to deny CBS possible winning scores.
Their solitary response was another pointed free by Pat Curran in the 58th minute, not nearly enough on the day to deny Blackwater.
Scorers for Blackwater CS: Stephen Bennett (0-10, 6f, 0-1 ‘65’); S. Murray(0-1).
Scorers for Dungarvan CBS: P. Curran (0-5, 0-4 frees); C. Curran (0-3, frees).
BLACKWATER CS: J. McGrath; D. Prendergast, C. Roche, A. Flynn; C. Leamy, S. O’Brien A. Dwyer; M. Kearney, S. Murray; Shane Bennett, Stephen Bennett, J. Beecher; J. Henley, A. Crawford, A. Molumby. Subs: J. Prendergast for (49); S. Kenny for D. Prendergast (57).
DUNGARVAN CBS: C. O’Donnell; C. Culloo, J. Morrissey, M. Cronin; D. Lyons, K. Daly, PJ Coffey; M. Shine, A. Donnelly; P. Curran, C. Curran, J. O’Donnell; J. Allen. S. Duggan, B. Egan.
Sub: W. Barron for Allen (55).
Referee: Noel Cosgrove, Tipperary.