Hamilton High School Bandon secured Munster ‘B’ hurling honours, claiming the Corn Thomáis Mhic Choilm, eventually edging past Castletroy College by just a point, after extra time on Tuesday.
This enthralling clash in Kildorrery featured many standout performances but none more than Michéal Maguire, the skilful and elusive Bandon forward netting 2-4, including a telling goal in extra-time. The Courcey Rovers forward was not alone, and was served well by Evan O’Shea and busy midfielders Ronan Crowley and Niall Kelly.
The Valley Rovers influence was clear on this team but there were many contributions, including a watertight defence, which didn’t look like conceding a green flag.
Bandon had arrived at the final unbeaten, and had edged past Charleville CBS in the last four. For Castletroy, they’d been free-scoring in the early rounds, and had the narrowest of victories over Highschool Clonmel last month.
Backed by 12 starters from Monaleen, Limerick side Castletroy College were chasing first ever Munster glory, and rescued this game in normal time thanks to a nerveless free from Robert O’Farrell.
Before that, it looked like the Cork side would squeeze by in regulation, having trailed at half-time. Castletroy made decent use of the wind, landing 12 first half points, with O’Farrell joined on the scoresheet by Dara Ferland, Ben Hayes and David Carr. Their problem was the concession of two superb goals.
The first for Bandon arrived after 90 seconds, Evan O’Shea’s dropping free caused panic with Maguire sharpest to rifled into the net from inside the 13 meter line. The second goal, on 13 minutes put them 2-1 to 0-4 ahead. A lung-bursting, defence-splitting run from Kevin Dart-O’Flynn saw him play a one-two with clubmante Eoin Guinane before drilling low to the net.
By half-time, it was 0-12 to 2-5, with Castletroy landing eight of the final ten points, including quality strikes from Matthew Fitzgerald and O’Farrell.
Castletroy couldn’t build on their lead, with just one point, an O’Farrell free, to show for the next 25 minutes of work. In this period, Bandon cut loose. A brace each from Evan O’Shea and Maguire pushed them clear with O’Shea landing another on 54 minutes to make it 2-11 to 0-13.
But there was time for a twist, Mark Field, Ferland (free) and O’Farrell put the minimum between them, before Bandon were off target with a stoppage time. Then in the 64th, and final minute, O’Farrell ignored the breeze and landed a superb free from 70 meters.
Extra-time saw a dip in efficiency, with Castletroy struggling for scores, wasting a handful of opportunities in the opening ten minutes. Bandon had two chances, and scored 1-1. Captain Conor O’Sullivan pointed before Maguire ghosted away from a ruck, to receive a pass from O’Shea, to fire to the net.
Now 3-12 to 0-18 ahead, Bandon again had a hand on the silverware. Castletroy finished with the final two points, one from the impressive Fitzgerald and the other from Field. There was time for one more play but the Hamilton Highschool defence held on to seal provincial glory.
M Maguire (2-4); E O’Shea (0-5, 3 frees); K Dart-O’Flynn (1-0); R Crowley, N Kelly, C O’Sullivan (0-1 each).
R O’Farrell (0-6, 4f); D Ferland (0-4, 3f); M Field (0-3), M Fitzgerald, C O’Duinn (0-2 each); B Hayes, W McCormack, D Carr (0-1 each).
A White (Valley Rovers); F Ustianowski (Kilbrittain); C O’Sullivan (Valley Rovers), J Cullinane (Bandon); K Dart-O’Flynn (Valley Rovers), C Johnson (Valley Rovers), S Ahern (Bandon); R Crowley (Kilbrittain), N Kelly (Newcestown); D McCarthy (St. Oliver Plunketts), E Guinane (Valley Rovers), E O’Shea (Valley Rovers); M Maguire (Courcey Rovers); C O’Sullivan; J O’Leary (Valley Rovers).
S McEntee (Valley Rovers) for McCarthy (42); J Woods (Valley Rovers) for O’Leary (47); H O’Sullivan (Valley Rovers) for Crowley (54); J Burrows (Newcestown) for Ahern (75).
M O’Dalaigh, J Doyle, D Clifford, T McCarthy; S McKeon, D Langan ©, C Scully; R O’Farrell (Kildimo Pallaskenry), C O’Duinn; W McCormack (Ahane), B Hayes, M Fitzgerald; D Ferland, M Field, D Carr (Ahane).
T D’Arcy for Scully (blood 44-46); L Ryan for Carr (54); D Humphries for McCormack (58); T D’Arcy for McKewon (74).
Sean Everard (Tipperary)