Junior B Hurling League (AHL 8) – Thur. 24th Sept.2009
Clontarf 5-10 V St. Peregrines 3-17 [ Half Time: 2-7, 1-8 ]
“Peregrines swoop late to grab the points ”
It's hard to find any comparisons between the Clontarf Junior B hurlers and any Kilkenny Senior hurling team of any era. In the Leinster Final of 1980 Kilkenny scored 5-10 and conceeded 3-17 as they lost an epic battle to an Offaly team embarking on a glorious era. That scoreline repeated itself last Thursday as Peregrines pipped Clontarf by 1pt in a very entertaining game under floodlights at St. Annes Pk.
This was the 2nd meeting of the year between these sides, Peregrines having won a close Championship encounter by 4pts back in May. Clontarf struggled to field after the long layoff and needed the help of 4 minors to make up the numbers, with Stephen Reynolds and Nick O'Brien impressing on their Adult hurling debuts.
Peregrines started swiftly and raced into an early 3 pt lead, thanks to that rarest of Junior B traits - speed. But Clontarf were soon off the mark thanks to excellent free taking from minor Craig McConnell. At full forward the mildly mobile Alan Vale was proving a handful. Twice he broke up the play to assist John Keegan and Niall Synnott as both found the Peregrines net. Clontarf turned in for the break with a narrow 2 pt lead (2-7,1-8).
The 2nd half took off at the same busy pace as before. Peregrines fired over 9 pts and looked the more likely side to claim the points. But goals were the saviour for the home side and brace from Alan Vale kept Clontarf well in the running. With minutes remaining wing forward Eoin O'Connor netted and Stephen Reynolds followed up with a great point to give Clontarf a 5pt cushion and it looked as if Peregrines would finally surrender. Credit to Peregrines who upped the tempo with a quick response to the O'Connor goal. A point from play, a converted free and then a vital goal left the sides level with injury time already ticking. The winning score was a fine effort from distance and a cruel blow to a Clontarf side that had just run up a massive 5-10. Despite the result Clontarf 2nd hurling side will take heart from their continued competitiveness in their 1st year of existence.