THREE goals from substitute Piaras O’Halloran handed Ballygarvan their very first South East Under 21 A hurling championship title as they defeated neighbours Ballymartle 3-17 to 0-12 in the final which was played in brilliant sunshine at Minane Bridge on Sunday.
Ballygarvan’s Sean Brady opened the scoring in the first few minutes with two points also being added by Cormac Dowd and another from Niall Dowd while Ballymartle responded with scores from Donnacha Desmond and a brace from Luke O’Callaghan as Ballygarvan headed into the first water break one point ahead.
It was tit for tat after the break, Ballygarvan stretching their lead to two before Ballymartle pulled back to level, as the teams were level no less than three times before Ballygarvan’s Stephen Fenton pointed just before the break to leave his team one point ahead 0-8 to 0-07 at the break.
The teams were level twice again by the 35th minute, but the introduction of Piaras O’Halloran proved to be pivotal for Ballygarvan as he rattled the back of the net in the 40th minute after storming through the centre to leave four points between the sides as the gap was beginning to widen.
Ballygarvan extended their lead to five by the second water break, but in the 46th minute that had widened to eight when O’Halloran scored his second goal from close range, and added a third to his name three minutes later as Ballygarvan now had a comfortable eleven point advantage as Ballymartle only managed just one point in the final 15 minutes as they were shell shocked by the quick goals and successive points.
Ballymartle did have chances in the closing stages to bridge the gap between the sides only for keeper Daniel Mackey to keep out Luke O’Callaghan’s and Jason Murphy’s attempts with three minutes remaining, as they can be guilty of a number of wides during the game which could have put some respectability on the score line, but it was Ballygarvan’s day as they ran out comfortable 3-17 to 0-12 winners.
Scorers for Ballygarvan: Piaras O’Halloran 3-0; Cormac Dowd 0-9 (1 65, 4 frees); Stephen Fenton 0-2; Paddy Ryan, Conor Mackey, Niall Dowd, Evan O’Connor 0-1 each.
Ballymartle: Luke O’Callaghan 0-4 (1 free); Donnacha Desmond 0-3; Matthew Higgins 0-2; Padraqig Dorney 0-1 (1 free); Oisin White, Eoghan Cummins 0-1 each.
Ballygarvan: Daniel Mackey, Paddy Ryan, Evan Forrest O’Brien, Eoin Mackey, Cillian Murphy, Kevin Lyons, Ciaran McIntyre, Sean Brady, Sean O’Donovan, Cormac Dowd, Stephen Fenton, Conor Mackey, (Conor Hurley 30); Niall Dowd, (Piaras O’Halloran 30); Morgan Sheehan, Evan O’Connor (Conor Fitzgerald 45)
Ballymartle: Liam Healy, Darragh Murphy, Faelan Stewart, Nathan Good, Cillian Lordan, Padraig Dorney, Riordan Stewart, Jack Deasy, Simon Dorney, Fionn Desmond, Cian Barry, Conor Kelleher (Jason Murphy 55), Eoghan Cummins, (Oisin White 30); Evin O’Leary, Luke O’Callaghan.
Referee: Brian Coniry (Crosshaven).