Passage 6-10 St Vincent’s 1-10
WHAT a way to land a first Seandún Junior A Hurling Championship, Passage hitting six goals to roar to the title at Ballinlough.
Passage arrived at the headquarters of the city division having experienced heartbreak down through the years while St Vincent’s were after their first victory in 70 years.
It was a novel pairing but, in the end, the Saints had little chance of denying the harbour club who went for goals and stunned them into submission.
There were many heroes for Passage, but Man of the Match Cian McCarthy deserves special mention as he finished with a game-high 2-5 and had a hand in three of his team's other goals.
It certainly was a great day for the McCarthy family, in front of a huge crowd, with Cian’s brother Niall also lining out and father Teddy the team coach.
“I am thrilled for the players and the management team who have waited many years for this to happen and now after a celebration, it will be back to getting ready for having a crack at the county title,” said McCarthy.
“Of course getting six goals is great but we need to up our game with our point-scoring as we will not get the kind of space we were afforded here today.”
The Saints had the better with consecutive points from Luke Callanan and Blake Murphy in the opening minute.
Credit to Passage they responded in style and a Cian McCarthy point was followed a minute later with a goal as the Saints went into total meltdown in the space of a minute.
Vincent’s defence was lethargic in clearing the ball from defence and Shane Howard managed to guide the ball past the keeper. It only took 30 seconds for Passage to inflict another sucker punch on Vincent’s as an unmarked Cian McCarthy billowed the back of the net from close range.
This game had everything and the next goal came courtesy of a wonder strike from Vincent’s corner-forward Blake Murphy, blasting a 20-metre free to the roof of the net.
Vincent's were struggling to win dirty ball and they were punished again six minutes from the interval, the hard-working Graham Carroll got in behind to drill an unstoppable shot to the net.
Trailing 4-6 to 1-8 at the break, Vincent’s were in trouble. Passage, inspired by the outstanding Ronan Harrington, were relentless hitting further goals from Niall and Cian McCarthy.
Both teams should take a bow in the sporting the game was played in over the hour helped by the excellent refereeing of Brian Coniry.