Rebel Óg minor hurling: Jack Leahy goal sees Kiltha Óg edge out Shandrum

After a tight, tough Premier 2 final reply at Páirc Uí Rinn, the Castlemartyr and Dungourney amalgamation hit for the key score late on through Cork minor Leahy
Rebel Óg minor hurling: Jack Leahy goal sees Kiltha Óg edge out Shandrum

Kiltha Óg players celebrating after winning the Rebel Óg Premier 2 MHC final replay at Páirc Uí Rinn. Picture: Denis Minihane.

Kiltha Óg 2-13 Shandrum 1-11 

A GOAL from Cork minor Jack Leahy in the fourth quarter was crucial to seeing off gallant Shandrum side in another titanic Rebel Óg P2 battle at Páirc Uí Rinn.

This didn't come close to the classic these sides served up in the drawn game, which ended 1-23 to 5-11, but for sheer effort and determination, both sides deserve credit.

Leahy was well policed at full-forward, but after a switch to the wing was a goal threat on the run. Though a few of his drives came to nothing, he buried the sliotar in the 57th minute after a lovely off-load from Cillian O'Callaghan.

Kiltha Óg's Cillian O'Callaghan being challenged by Shandrum's Robert Troy. Picture Denis Minihane.
Kiltha Óg's Cillian O'Callaghan being challenged by Shandrum's Robert Troy. Picture Denis Minihane.

John Ahern came up with some big scores in the second half while Billy McGann struck for the opening goal when the game was tight. Corner-back Cathal Murphy pulled off a critical goal-line clearance with Patrick Daly, Darragh Leahy and Sean Geany scrapping for every loose ball.

Eoin O'Mahony led the fight for the Newtownshandrum and Dromina amalgamation, Kieran Murphy was their top-scorer, and Tom McCarthy and Bill Collins thundered out with the sliotar time and again. Ultimately though, the Castleymartyr and Dungourney combination had more bite up front, even with Leahy marked tightly.

There was little between the teams early on, both guilty of poor shooting, until the opening goal, coming up to half-time when McGann found himself unmarked in the danger zone and billowed the net with a ferocious strike.

Leahy then came close to raising a green flag when he made a darting run in added time but his thundering shot was blocked by courageous Shandrum keeper Daniel O’Connell.

That left Kiltha Óg with a 1-4 to 0-5 at the break, in comparison to the eight-point advantage they held at the same period in Monday’s game.

To be fair both sides increased the tempo on the restart and after adding two points to their tally Shandrum scored a quality goal. Kieran Murphy caught a high ball and, with brilliant skill, he managed to find the in-rushing Eoin O’Mahony who made no mistake. 

The game was still in the balance up to the 57th minute but one minute of sheer brilliance with one of Leahy's lightning bursts paying off in style. 

The closing stages were exciting, with Shandrum desperately searching for a second goal and Kiltha Óg hanging on for a very hard-fought win.

Peter Watson, vice-chairman, Rebel Óg, presenting the cup to Kiltha Óg captain John Ahern. Picture: Denis Minihane.
Peter Watson, vice-chairman, Rebel Óg, presenting the cup to Kiltha Óg captain John Ahern. Picture: Denis Minihane.

Scorers for Kiltha Óg: J Leahy 1-7 (0-7 f), B McGann 1-1, J Ahern 0-3 (0-1 sl), C Murphy, C O’Callaghan 0-1 each.

Shandrum: K Murphy 0-7 (0-5 f), E O’Mahony 1-1, C Quaid, S Minihane, Robert Troy 0-1 each.

KILTHA ÓG: P Flynn; C Murphy, P Daly, S Morgan; D Lynch, S Geaney, D Leahy; C Murphy, S Ryan; C O’Callaghan, J Ahern, B McGann; Colin Murphy, O Sweetman, J Leahy.

Subs: C O’Neill for C Murphy (inj 42), K Cody Byrne for D Leahy (50).

SHANDRUM: D O’Connell; S O’Leary, T McCarthy, C O’Brien; Rory Troy, B Collins, D O’Riordan; E O’Connor, Robert Troy; J Murphy, E O’Mahony, C Quaid; K Murphy, S Minihane, S O’Riordan.

Subs: D Ryan for Robert Troy (51), C Dunne for S O’Riordan (48).

Referee: Brian Sweeney (Erin's Own).

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