Midleton goals decide classic U15 hurling final against Sarsfields

Sars came close to snatching a win in added time but the Magpies' four green flags were the difference in a brilliant Rebel Óg P1 decider in the Mardyke
Midleton goals decide classic U15 hurling final against Sarsfields

Joy for Midleton after their lifted the Rebel Óg U15 P1 Hurling Championship after beating Sars in the Mardyke. Picture: David Creedon

Midleton 4-10 Sarsfields 1-17

Midleton were crowned Rebel Óg Premier 1 U15 hurling champions after a rip-roaring game against Midleton at the Mardyke on Saturday.

If it’s excitement you wanted then it wouldn’t come much better than this as both sides gave it everything over the 60 plus minutes, with nothing between the sides. Both enjoyed their periods of dominance and right to the end Sars were attacking as they tried to get the equalising score.

They certainly can’t be faulted for their efforts and had some outstanding performances in the likes of Rian Boyle, Luke Considine, Finn O’Connor and Cathal Galvin, when he came on as a sub in the second half.

Sarsfields' Luke Considine drives out with the sliotar. Picture: David Creedon
Sarsfields' Luke Considine drives out with the sliotar. Picture: David Creedon

The Magpies played magnificently as a team, led by the likes of Mikey Pedley, Peter Barrett, Josh Hogan, Matthew McSweeney and Eoin Ahern.

In the end, Midleton’s ability to get goals at crucial times was the telling difference, scoring one at the start of each half, which put their opponents under immediate pressure, particularly the second-half one.

In the first minute, Sars had a chance for a goal but Josh McNamara’s effort was well saved by the Midleton keeper Conor Finn.

It didn’t take long for the first green flag to come, but it was at the other end when Pedley scored to give his side the lead.

Sars hit back with two frees from Finn O’Connor and they were back on level terms after nine minutes when McNamara raised their third white flag.

Peter Barrett responded at the other end and a point from Michael Hurley had them level again, 0-4 to 1-1 with 12 minutes gone.

Cian Stack put the Magpies back in front before three in a row from Sars gave them the lead for the first time.

Two from Hurley, followed by a free from O’Connor made it 0-7 to 1-2.

Barrett pulled a point back before Midleton raised their second green flag, this time the aforementioned scoring.

Two minutes later and a great move involving Harry Cogan and McNamara set up O’Connor to find the back of the net to put his side back in front, 1-7 to 2-3.

But late points from Barrett, Matthew McSweeney and Josh Hogan saw the Magpies in front by 2-7 to 1-8 at half-time.

The second half had barely restarted when the Magpies raised another green flag, this time Pedley setting up Hogan to billow the back of the net, extending their lead to 3-7 to 1-8.

Ryan O’Donovan replied for Sars, but Midleton had their keeper Conor Finn to thank when he saved from O’Connor.

Two points from O’Connor reduced the deficit as Sars were far from out of this game.

With 50 minutes gone points from O’Connor and Galvin had the Midleton lead down to two, 1-13 to 3-9.

But again another goal was to prove costly as a long ball in from Senan Carroll found Barrett and he raised their fourth green flag – another blow at a time when Sars were on top.

Peter Barrett shoots Midleton's fourth goal past defender Kevin Murphy at the Mardyke. Picture: David Creedon
Peter Barrett shoots Midleton's fourth goal past defender Kevin Murphy at the Mardyke. Picture: David Creedon

But credit to them they kept going, with O’Connor raising two more white flags, followed by two from Galvin, to make it 1-17 to 4-9 as we were deep into injury time.

But a 65th-minute score from Josh Foley secured the win for Midleton after a thrilling game of hurling.

Scorers for Midleton: P Barrett 2-6 (0-3 f), J Hogan, M Pedley 1-0 each, J Foley 0-2, M McSweeney, C Stack 0-1 each.

Sarsfields: F O’Connor 1-8 (0-6 f), M Hurley 0-3, B O’Mahony, J McNamara 0-2 each, R O’Donovan, C Galvin 0-1 each.

MIDLETON: C Finn; E Hurley, L Stewart, E Ahern; R O’Driscoll; M McSweeney, D Cronin; S Crowley, C Lawton; J Hogan, J Foley, N Coughlan; C Stack, M Pedley, P Barrett.

Subs: M Murphy for E Hurley, S Carroll for S Crowley (both h-t), S O’Mahony for C Lawton (51).

SARSFIELDS: F O’Donovan; K Murphy, R Fitzpatrick, A Grainger; J McNamara, A Leahy, R Boyle; J Tierney, R O’Donovan; J O’Sullivan, H Cogan, L Considine; M Hurley, F O’Connor, D Ryan.

Subs: R Higgins for D Ryan (35), C Galvin for J O’Sullivan (46), A Dunlea for M Hurley (55), B O’Mahony for J McNamara (57), C Condon for R Boyle (58).

Referee: Simon Stokes (Tullylease).

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