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U16 Hurling League – Saturday 24th February 2024

U16 Hurling League – Saturday 24th February 2024

Posted February 27, 2024

Naomh Mearnóg

Naomh Fionnbarra

Spring sunshine, pitch 1, and a big home win for Naomh Mearnóg U16s in their first league game of 2024 against Naomh Fionnbarra.

Finn O’Donnell opened the scoring with a free following a foul on Thuan Ball. Shane Rafter added a point before the opening goal of the game after 6 mins. O’Donnell picked the ball up in midfield and headed off on a trademark run direct towards goal. He was met with a hefty challenge on the 21m line but recovered and crashed the ball to the net. At this stage O’Donnell and Hogan were finding plenty of space in the Fionnbarra defence and tacked on 2 points between them to make it 1-5 to 0-1 after 15 mins.

Rowan Davidson tapped over Fionnbarra’s first score of the game before the second goal from Mearnóg after 17 mins. O’Donnell took a free from halfway that came back off the post and Shane Rafter was quickest to react and slotted the ball home. Liam Hogan came out to the forty to give O’Donnell a break and enjoyed the freedom of the half forward line scoring two nice points, one off the left and one off the right.
At this stage Mearnóg were dominant in almost every position with Theo Dunne in midfield and Louis Bernard at half back particularly impressive. O’Donnell continued his fine striking, scoring 4 more points before half time, 3 from frees and one from play.

The half time score was Naomh Mearnóg 2-11 Fionnbarra 0-03.

The second half continued where it left off with O’Donnell tapping over 3 more frees before Naomh Fionnbarra had their best spell of the match. Ashton Connolly at centre forward (1-1) and Rowan Davidson (0-2) were most prominent to leave the score Naomh Mearnóg 2-15 to Fionnbarra 1-6 with 10 mins remaining. The difference in the scoreline may have been reduced further but for the defending of Jack Clarke and Shane O’Brien who held their line well. Liam Hogan also dropped back to the half back line to mop up any loose ball.

Naomh Mearnóg’s final goal came on 53 mins when Burns soloed towards goal and his shot was blocked on the edge of the square before O’Donnell struck the rebound to the net. This capped a fine performance from Finn O’Donnell who has lost none of his familiar skill and power after a lengthy layoff due to injury. Naomh Fionnbarra finished with the final 2 points of the game but it mattered little as Mearnóg ran out comprehensive winners.

Special thanks to the ‘interim’ management team of Mike Miland and Donal Leen who took charge of the Mearnóg sideline. The players responded well to their game plan and the hurling management, who were on holidays in Munich, can be well pleased with the lads.
Scores for Naomh Mearnóg: Finn O’Donnell (2-11, 0-8F), Shane Rafter (1-1), Liam Hogan (0-3)
Panel: Cillian Slevin, Ronan O’Brien, Sam Reid, Ethan Fitzgibbon, Louis Bernard, Shane O’Brien, Jack Clarke, Daniel Burns, Theo Dunne, Daragh Fahy, Finn O’Donnell, Thuan Ball, Shane Rafter, Liam Hogan, Oisin Nugent, Senan Miland, Cillian Brennan, Jack Lawn, Evan McKeever.

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