Cootehill Celtic 4-14 Castleblayney 4-4
A scoring surge of 2-4 without reply in extra time helped to seal the U15 Hurling League Cup title for Cootehill Celtic in cold, crisp conditions at Entekra Monaghan GAA Centre of Excellence last Tuesday night.
Played under lights, this match was a slow burner but gradually got better and opened up more the longer the game went on, and coincided with Cootehill’s increasing stranglehold on the contest.
Cootehill slowly moved into a four points to no score lead from the off, the first three from frees. These came from Cillian Boyle and two from Oliver Leddy from frees, and a Conor Bannon score from play.
It took Castleblaney 15 minutes to register a score, but then suddenly Nathan McArdle and Leo Moloney landed two goals in as many minutes to put their team into a two point lead.
Not to be perturbed, Cootehill struck back with a point from Cillian Boyle, followed by an inspirational long range effort from Oliver Leddy to leave the sides level at half time, 0-6 to 2-0.
In the opening minutes of the second half, two Leo Moloney frees for Blayney, either side of a Cillian Boyle free for Cootehill, put the Faughs a point in front by the 10th minute.
Things got even better for them, when David Moorehead plundered his team’s third goal in the 13th minute to move Blayney four points ahead.
Despite an Oliver Leddy free pulling the margin back to three points for Cootehill, Thomas Keenan landed Blayney’s fourth goal in the 17th minute. Now Blayney were six points ahead with seven minutes remaining. Surely they wouldn’t be caught at this stage………
Cootehill had other ideas. Oliver Leddy coolly slotted over his 4th free in the 19th minute, and then Colin McCauley rammed home his first goal to bring Cootehill’s deficit back to two points with five minutes remaining.
Cillian Boyle struck another point from play to bring the margin down to the minimum, but when Leo Moloney struck over his third free of the night to increase the Blayney lead to two points, it seemed like Blayney had halted the Cootehill charge.
With a minute of normal time remaining though, Gavin Fitzpatrick struck the Celtics’ second goal to put them into a one point lead and send their supporters into raptures.
With the last play of normal time however, Blayney were awarded a controversial close-in free, and it was dispatched by Leo Moloney to bring the game to extra time. This though was to be their last score of the match.
In the first period of seven minutes, Cootehill finally cut loose. Cillian Boyle from play and Oliver Leddy from a free put the Celtics two points ahead in the opening three minutes of extra time.
Over the next three minutes, this game was put to bed with two goals, courtesy of Ben Tully and a second of the evening for Colin McCauley. Cootehill led 4-12 to 4-4 at the end of the first period of extra time.
In the second period, Brandon McCague saved a penalty for Blayney, but it was of little comfort to them. Oliver Leddy and Gavin Fitzpatrick slotted over two points to seal an impressive run-away win for the border boys from Cavan.
COOTEHILL: Shea Denning, Ben Fitzpatrick, Jake Duffy, Christopher Dunne, Dylan Adams, Oliver Leddy 0-7 (6f) Rian Delaney, Caelum Faughnan, Darragh Boyle, Conor Bannon 0-1, Colin McCauley 2-0, Gavin Fitzpatrick 1-1, Cillian Boyle 0-5 (2f).
Subs: Killian Brady for Christopher Dunne, Ben Tully 1-0 for Killian Brady, Damian Leddy for Dylan Adams, Ben Fitzpatrick for Rian Delaney, Peter Brady for Jake Duffy.
CASTLEBLANEY: Brandon McCague, Thomas Keenan 1-0, Zachary McArdle, Tristan Duffy, Charlie McQuillan, Jason Campbell, Joe Carey, Padraig Heavin, David Moorehead 1-0, Nathan McArdle 1-0, Leo Moloney 1-4 (4f), Thomas Hughes, Shea Casey.
Subs: Jason Clarke for Shea Casey.