Carnmore hurlers gained some measure of compensation for their early exit from this years senior hurling championship when they won the Under 21 West Board Final at Pearse Stadium on Sunday. Taking an early lead when Padraic Fahy scored a point they were never in danger of losing to a Castlegar team that will hardly ever again experience such bad luck as they had on Sunday.
First of all they lost Gerry Glynn from midfield when he suffered a nasty injury in the first half. Then Stephen Hosty and Padraic Connolly both received facial cuts and had to come off, and to complete their tale of woe two of their men were sent to the line. It was Glynn's departure from midfield that had so much to do with Castlegarís big defeat. But nevertheless Connolly proved to be one of the few Castlegar stars and showed just why he is such a valuable asset to the County team at the moment. Always prodding and urging his team he scored two points and emerged as sportsman of the day.
But it was Fahy who really left his mark on this game. Always the Samson of this Carnmore side his bulky frame made hole after hole in the Castlegar defence and he scored 0-10 of his side's total. However, this was not hurling at its best and with some notable exceptions on each side both clubs have little to enthuse over.
The first half was all Carnmore's and once Fahy scored his another in the sixth, added another in the seventh and in the eight figured in the most exciting move of this half which saw Matty Greaney add another Carnmore point. Seizing the ball near the halfway line Fahy powered his way down the center of the field and just as half the Castlegar team closed in for the kill he ended his forty yard run with a beautiful pass to Greaney. But with John Connolly foraging away at midfield Castlegar always looked like a team about to score. True Paddy Murphy scored a good sixth minute goal for them, but their forwards lacked the necessary punch to cause a revival. This half ended with Carnmore attacking and Stephen Hosty in his unusual role in the backs and Paddy Long doing some good defensive work for Castlegar. At this stage the score was Carnmore 1-7, Castlegar 1-1.
In the second half play became a little more frenzied as Castlegar set about whittling down Carnmore's six point lead. And for a while this looked like a distinct possibility. Sean Hosty scored a third minute point and this was followed by a Gerry Burke goal and Carnmore seemed to be in trouble. However, the effort proved too much for Castlegar and Carnmore once again took command. Padraic Fahy m the right half forward position was supplying a good service to his full forwards and Tom Spellman and Seoirse Morris were proving too big a handful for goalie Michael Connolly and full back Paddy Long.
Then in the fifteenth minute real tragedy struck the luckless Castlegar team again. This time Stephen Hosty received a cut and had to go off the field and John Connolly also got cut at the same time and was off for a crucial ten minute period when Padraic Fahy scored some valuable points. And when Connolly returned to the field there was little fight left in the Castlegar team. Padraic Fahy ended his sides scoring with a point which gave Carnmore their final score.
Best for the winners were Jimmy Duggan at midfield who compensated for his short pucking with some neat work, John Long and Billy McDonagh in the backs and up front Seoirse Morris, John Spellman and Matty Cooney played best. For Castlegar John Connolly at midfield, Stephen Hosty, Gerry Glynn, M. Connolly in goals were best. Up front Paddy Murphy, Gerry Burke and Seamus Furey played well.
Castlegar: Paddy Murphy (1-0). Gerry Burke (1-0). And John Connolly and Stephen Hosty (0-1) each.
Carnmore: Padraic Fahy (0-10), Tom Spellman (1-0), Seoirse Morris and Matty Greaney (0-2) each and Paddy Spellman (0-1)
Carnmore: Martin Leonard, Paddy Joe Kerrigan, Bill McDonagh, Tom McDonagh. Padraic Duggan, John Long, Tom Walsh, Jim Hughes, Jim Duggan, Matty Greaney, Padraic Fahy, Seoirse Morris, James Grealish. P. J. Spellman, Tom Spellman. Sub. Matty Cooney for Paddy Spellman.
Castlegar: M. Connolly, Paddy Long. John Wall, S. Casserley, Stephen Hosty, Fergus Madden, P. Connor, Gerry Glynn, John Connolly, Padraic Connolly, S. Raftery, Paddy Murphy, M. Keane, Gerry Burke, Seamus Furey. Subs. Martin Ryan for S. Hosty, Pat Conroy for Furey.