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Deccie Dalton and David Lowney celebrate at the end of the game. Picture: INPHO/Ken Sutton
Deccie Dalton and David Lowney celebrate at the end of the game. Picture: INPHO/Ken Sutton
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U21 hurling hero Dalton: I've taken a few penalties but nothing with pressure like that

DECCIE Dalton showed nerves of steel in a sensational conclusion to a hard-hitting Munster U21 hurling semi-final.

The 20-year-old Fr O’Neill’s club man was the Cork minor goalkeeper two years ago but is also a powerful forward. He delivered to the tune of 1-12 here, including an unstoppable penalty with the last puck of the game for a 2-17 to 1-19 win away to Waterford.

John Meyler’s side led by five points early in the second half but fell behind late on against the wind. And when senior star Darragh Fitzgibbon was red-carded three minutes into injury time their race appeared to be run. They managed one last play, sub Jack O’Connor from Sars hauled down in the 65th minute.

“I’ve taken a few penalties with Imokilly and O’Neill’s but nothing with the pressure like that,” said the apprentice electrician with RMC Electrical, who was back in work this morning. “Thank God it went up but it’s not just about me because the boys stood up. They put in some work for the last 10 months.

“You just have to power through. Even when Darragh got sent off we’d the time for one more play and that’s why always have to believe.”

Next up is the Munster final away to Limerick on Wednesday week, July 26. Cork hurling teams have already landed three provincial titles at U17, minor and senior, winning 10 and drawing one of their games in the Munster championships.

Dalton paid tribute to the effort put in by manager John Meyler, who is also a senior selector, and his backroom, which includes Eoin Cadogan on the fitness side and Kieran ‘Fraggie’ Murphy as coach.

“We’ve a great set-up, John (Meyler) and all the lads are so professional and we can look at a Munster final now and try to push on. We just to show people what we can do.”

Back in 2015 Dalton was in goal but on the frees when the Cork minors left a win behind them in the Munster-final up in Limerick. Since then, he shot Fr O’Neill’s to last season’s intermediate title but this was redemption in red.

“The minor was one that got away. We’d a huge loss with Shane Kingston injured but then I missed seven that day against Limerick.”

Back-up goalie to Pa Collins until his club form forced the hand of the U21 selectors, he hurls outfield with his club but in goal with divisional side Imokilly. “As long as I get a jersey one to 15 I don’t care!”

Deccie Dalton shoots on goal. Picture: INPHO/Ken Sutton
Deccie Dalton shoots on goal. Picture: INPHO/Ken Sutton