Eoin O'Leary helps Glen to dramatic victory over Blackrock in Rebel Óg U18 Premier 1 hurling final

O'Leary took over in the final quarter, hitting six points as the Glen rallied from six down
Eoin O'Leary helps Glen to dramatic victory over Blackrock in Rebel Óg U18 Premier 1 hurling final

Glen Rovers captain Ben O'Connell raises the trophy after defeating Blackrock in the Rebel Óg U18 P1 HC final at Páirc Uí Rinn. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Glen Rovers 0-19

Blackrock 1-15

A DRAMATIC finish, inspired by Cork minor Eoin O'Leary, saw Glen Rovers win the Rebel Óg U18 Premier 1 hurling championship title after a hard-fought win over their arch-rivals Blackrock on Monday night at Pairc Ui Rinn.

O'Leary took over in the final quarter, hitting six points in that time to turn a four-point deficit into a one-point victory.

The win saw the Blackpool side win titles at U18, 17, and 16 ages this year, as well as getting to the U15 final, in a superb season for the club. Mention must be made of Cian Walsh, an U15, who was on all three winning sides.

Scores were few and far between in the opening quarter, with the only white flags all coming from placed balls, O'Leary opened the scoring in the second minute and he added another from a free four minutes later.

He was on target again, from another free, to put his side 0-3 to no score up.

Blackrock were unlucky not to goal just before the water break when Fionn Coleman superbly caught a long ball in. He turned to shoot but his effort was brilliantly saved by Ben Heffernan.

Linehan pointed the resulting 65 to see his side trail 0-1 to 0-3 at the water break.

Anything the Glen keeper could do the Rockies shot-stopper showed he was every bit as good with two quality saves in the space of two minutes.

The first was from Stephen Lynam as his shot looked like heading for the top corner only for Ross Browne to deny him. Lynam tried again and again Browne was up to the task, with the rebound falling to O'Leary, but Ben O'Connell blocked to stop him from finding the back of the net.

Glen Rovers players celebrate. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Glen Rovers players celebrate. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Lynam added a point with Linehan replying as Blackrock started to dominate.

Coleman scored a great point from out near the sideline and Ryan Sweeney has the sides level with 23 minutes gone.

Linehan put the Rockies in front, but their lead didn't last long, with Rhys Dunne levelling it again. O'Leary put the back in front, with Ciaran Maguire making it a two-point game.

But the Rockies responded with a great score from Sweeney, with Lynam replying to make it 0-8 to 0-6 as half-time approached.

Two late points from Linehan, a 65 and a free, saw the sides level at the break, 0-8 apiece, and all to play for in the second half.

The Rockies started much the better of the two sides with Linehan putting them in front from a free and with 34 minutes gone he pounced for the game's only goal, when catching a long ball in to find the back of the net, to make it 1-9 to 0-8.

Again the Rockies had their keeper to thank when he pulled off two more outstanding saves, again both from Lynam to keep his side in front.

O'Leary reduced the deficit from a 65 but the momentum was with the Rockies at this stage. Luke O'Donovan and Sweeney raised white flags to increase their lead before Glen had another goal chance. This time it was the width of the post that saved them, with Jack Kennefick's effort going just wide.

Glen Rovers' Eoghan O'Sullivan gathers the sliotar from Blackrock's Conor Hanley and Jacob Jackson. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Glen Rovers' Eoghan O'Sullivan gathers the sliotar from Blackrock's Conor Hanley and Jacob Jackson. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Lynam pointed for the Glen with Fionnan Leahy replying for the Rockies and just before the water break Kennfick raised the white flag to make it 1-12 to 0-11 at that stage.

But then Glen showed their spirit with O'Leary leading by example with three in a row to put a point between them. Walsh levelled it as late points from O'Leary and Eoin Downey saw the Glen run out winners in dramatic fashion.

Scorers for Glen Rovers: E O'Leary 0-11 (0-6 f, 0-3 65), S Lynam 0-3, R Dunne, C Maguire, J Kennefick, C Walsh, E Downey 0-1 each.

b P Linehan 1-7 (0-3 f, 0-2 65), R Sweeney 0-3, F Coleman 0-2, L O'Donovan, F Leahy, L O'Sullivan 0-1 each.

GLEN ROVERS: B Heffernan; S Cronin, E Varian, B O'Connell; S Cronin, F O'Driscoll, E Downey; D Coughlan, R Dunne; E O'Sullivan, E O'Leary, C Walsh; C Maguire, J Kennefick, S Lynam.

Subs: C Hurley for E O'Sullivan (45), D Wall for J Kennefick (56).

BLACKROCK: R Browne; D Browne, C Hanley, S Aherne; J Jackson, O McCarthy, S Healy; L O'Sullivan, H Collins; R Sweeney, P Linehan, L O'Donovan; E De Burca, F Coleman, O McAdoo.

Subs: L O'Herlihy for L O'Sullivan (h-t), F Leahy for S Aherne (37), M O'Connell for L O'Donovan (39), L O'Sullivan for S Healy (60).

Referee: Nathan Wall, Ballincollig.

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