Hurling: Junior A Championship Final

Bodyke 2-17 O’Callaghan’s Mills 0-15 At Dr Daly Memorial Park, Tulla

BODYKE were crowned Junior A hurling champions in Tulla on Sunday after they dispatched neighbours the Mills in a largely one sided final played before a huge crowd in Dr Daly Park in Tulla.
The East Clare Derby was always in the control of Bodyke once full forward Paddy Fitzgerald goaled midway through the first half, a score that put his side 1-5 to 0-2 clear, a lead they would maintain to the final whistle.
The winners could always raid upfield for scores anytime that the Mills briefly threatened and with six minutes to go that was the case, a Conor Henry point putting just four between the sides. This was the closest the Mills had been since the first green flag of the game and that resistance was snuffed out for good from the resulting puck out. A clever move along the sideline eventually freed Johnny Howard and one on one with Fergus O’Donovan, he made no mistake to seal the memorable win for Bodyke.
The victory was well deserved with Bodyke’s balance throughout the field ensuring they had multiple scorers and a threat in every line, whereas O’Callaghan’s Mills were hugely reliant on Jamie keane’s frees and the ever willing Conor Henry.
The game’s best player was Bodyke midfielder Ian Murray who dominated the game from the middle, constantly driving his team forward. He also shot some telling scores from distance, finishing the game with eight points four from play, two from each side.
Bodyke started well and were 0-5 to 0-2 in front and cruising before Fitzgerald doubled on a ball to put the daylight between the sides the Mills could never close. Along with Murray, Shane and Patrick Walsh had timely points, while Willie Fitzgerald, Danny McGuire and Howard were all in on the act too. In response the Mills could only muster placed balls from Keane.
By half time the writing was on the wall, the winners 1-11 to 0-6 ahead. The goal that the Mills needed to spark a revival never came, although two blasts only just cleared Seamus Quigley’s crossbar. Three consecutive scores from Keane (2 frees) and Henry had the gap at six but Bodyke and Murray would hit back with a Murray point for each Mills effort. Another three in a row reduced the margin to four, one of them a fine long range bomb from Cathal Lenihan, but it was then than Howard put the icing on the Bodyke cake.
Willie Fitzgerald would add another before fittingly, Ian Murray, tapped over a late free that sealed the eight point win signalling celebrations that erased the memory of last year’s heartbreaking final defeat. There were no doubts on this occasion however, Bodyke on top throughout and to the finishing line.

The victorious Bodyke team

Ian Murray was superb, the engine room of his side’s win.
The Bodyke backs too had a commanding hour, led by Eanna Doyle at full back, with Shane Walsh, Cathal Doyle and Keith O’Donnell also prominent.
Beside Murray in midfield Patrick Walsh played his part, while the forward line always looked dangerous, led by Fitzgerald at full forward, Johnny Howard and Willie Fitzgerald the other danger men.
The Mills battled hard throughout and while their effort never flagged, they found scores a lot harder to come by. Conor Henry was effective, running at the Bodyke defence, Jamie Keane was also accurate, but elsewhere they struggled to make an impact. Cathal Lenihan and Jonathan Lyons did well, Brendan Hannon and Ger Frost also tried hard.

Bodyke
Seamus Quigley; Gavin Moroney, Eanna Doyle, Keith O’Donnell, Shane Walsh (0-1), Cian Minogue, Cathal Doyle, Ian Murray (0-8 4f), Patrick Walsh, Willie Fitzgerald (0-4), Danny McGuire, Paddy McNamara, Johnny Howard (1-3), Paddy Fitzgerald (1-1), Liam O’Donnell. Subs Ciaran Walsh for McGuire (47 mins), Evan Healy for P Walsh (58 mins), Diarmuid Walsh for O’Donnell (58 mins), Oisin Slattery for McNamara (61 mins).
O’Callaghan’s Mills
Fergus O’Donovan, Ger Frost, Noel Nash, Niall McNamara, Darren Cooney, Jonathan Lyons, Cathal Lenihan (0-1), Ian Donnellan, Brendan Hannon, Mark Pewter, Conor Henry (0-4), Jamie Keane (0-9 6f), Eoin McGrath (0-1), Barry Heffernan, David McGrath Sub Sean Murphy for Ian Donnellan (28 mins)
Referee Wayne King (Doora Barefield).

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