Birthday boy Cahalane seals title for Barrs in super minor hurling display

Birthday boy Cahalane seals title for Barrs in super minor hurling display

Captain of St Finbarr’s Ethan Twomey celebrates with his side after their win over Sarsfields in their Rebel Óg Premier 1 Minor Hurling final at Páirc Uí Rinn. Picture: Dan Linehan

St Finbarr's 2-21 Sarsfields 3-11

MOST people remember their 18th birthday for a variety of reasons but Jack Cahalane certainly won't ever forget his.

The Barrs forward got two second-half goals that were crucial scores as the famine is finally over for his side, winning their first Premier 1 MHC title since 1997.

There can be no denying the better side won on the night as they were outstanding from start to finish, with Ben Cunningham, Willian Buckley, Dylan McSweeney, Ben O'Connor, along with Cahalane, all outstanding on the night for the winners.

 St Finbarr’s Jack Cahalane and Ethan Twomey  celebrate. Picture Dan Linehan
St Finbarr’s Jack Cahalane and Ethan Twomey  celebrate. Picture Dan Linehan

McSweeney, the Barrs keeper, made a number of superb saves in the first half, which kept his side in the game at that stage.

By the break, Sars were in front but the second-half was all Barrs and the two goals from the birthday boy ensured the cup made the journey back to the famed Togher club after a long absence.

Sars looked like goaling in the first minute but Odhran Sheppard's effort was well blocked by the Barrs defence.

Barrs broke down the pitch with Geoffrey Gowen getting the opening score and with two minutes gone Sars were in on goal again. But this time Hogan's effort was brilliantly saved by McSweeney in the Barrs goal.

Hogan converted the resulting 65, with Cunningham replying at the other end. Hogan pointed to make it 0-2 apiece, with five minutes gone, in a hectic start.

Cunningham put his side back in front with Buckley doubling their lead. Ben Nodwell pulled a point back before a Cunningham pointed a free for the Barrs. With 15 minutes gone McSweeney made another brilliant save, again denying Hogan for what looked like a certain goal, with the forward converting the 65 to make it 0-5 to 0-4 at the water break.

Just after the resumption Sars got their first goal, when Sheppard set up Nodwell and this time McSweeney had no chance of saving.

Buckley pulled a point back for the Barrs before McSweeney denied Hogan for the third time.

Points from Ethan Twomey, Cunningham and Cahalane put the Barrs in front, 0-9 to 1-4, before scores from Louis Casey and Sheppard had the sides level again.

Cunningham and Sheppard exchanged points and they did it again and with half-time approaching it was still level, 1-8 to 0-11.

Colm McCarthy put Sars in front and in injury-time a long ball in from Zack O'Sullivan found Flynn O'Brien and he turned to score their second goal. Cunningham pulled a point back from a free to see Sars lead 2-9 to 0-12 at half-time.

Barrs got the perfect start to the second-half when Cahalane goaled after just 17 seconds and they quickly built on that. Cunningham pointed from a free to put them in front, with Buckley making it 1-14 to 2-9.

 Ben Cunningham, St Finbarr’s, breaking past Jake Bowen. Picture Dan Linehan
Ben Cunningham, St Finbarr’s, breaking past Jake Bowen. Picture Dan Linehan

Cunningham was on target from another free and Ciaran Doolan also scored, before Hogan got Sars' first point of the second half, with 40 minutes gone.

But the Barrs were in no mood for hanging around and quickly responded with two points from Cunningham, to make it 1-18 to 2-10 after 48 minutes.

With 10 minutes to go Barrs got a crucial score to push them into an eight-point lead as Cahalane bore down on goal to find the back of the net, to make it 2-18 to 2-10.

Twomey scored a long-range point to increase their lead and with time running out Sars had to go for goals. JJ O'Connor made a brilliant block to deny Hogan, with Cahalane pointing at the other end. In the final minute, Hogan goaled from a free to make it 3-10 to 2-20.

Cunningham pointed and Darragh Long got the last score before the final whistle went and the famine was finally over for the Barrs.

Scorers for St Finbarr's: B Cunningham 0-12 (0-5 f), J Cahalane 2-2, W Buckley 0-3, E Twomey 0-2, G Gowen, C Doolan 0-1 each.

Sarsfields: D Hogan 1-4 (1-1 f, 0-2 65), B Nodwell 1-1, F O'Brien 1-0, O Sheppard 0-2, L Casey, Colm McCarthy, D Lynch, D Long 0-1 each.

St FINBARR'S: D McSweeney; R Doyle, JJ O'Connor, S Kennedy; D Kennedy, B O'Connor, M Nason; E Twomey, C Doolan; G Gowen, B Cunningham, F Crowley; W Buckley, J Cahalane, A Buckley.

Subs: C Buckley for A Buckley (44), C O'Neill for F Crowley (55).

SARSFIELDS: N Marron; D Murray, L Elliott, Z O'Sullivan; J Bowen, Cathal McCarthy, O Kelleher; Colm McCarthy, L Casey; J Kingston, O Sheppard, B Nodwell; D Lynch, F O'Brien, D Hogan

Subs: Cillian McCarthy for L Casey, O Compton for Z O'Sullivan (both 43), R O'Brien for F O'Brien, D Long for O Sheppard (both 44), A Marron for D Lynch (55).

Referee: Cathal McAllister (Aghada).

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