Silvermines Conor McKelvey

Arravale prove too strong for Silvermines minor challenge

 
Arravale Rovers  1-21  
Silvermines   0-15
 
Report: James Hayden in Kilcommon
 
Arravale Rovers proved far too strong for Silvermines in the County Minor ‘B’ hurling semi-final on Saturday.

The newly crowned North champions went into this encounter hopeful of securing a berth in the county decider, but they came up against a physically stronger Arravale side who had too much in their collective locker.

A good start is half the battle but for the Silvermines that start did not come way their way, even though they virtually laid siege to the Arravale Rovers goal for the opening exchanges. Two missed goal chances coupled with some impressive Arravale defending thwarted their best efforts before Paddy Quigley finally opened the scoring with a fine effort from range.

Evan Hawkins replied with a well-struck free for the West champions before Eoghan Lonergan tore through the Silvermines defence and laid off to Ray Kelly who crashed the sliotar to the back of the net to set the Brian Jones outfit on their way.

Three points on the bounce from the hugely impressive trio of Gavin Cussen, Eoghan Lonergan and captain, Niall Sharpe fired Arravale 1-4 to 0-1 clear and with just eight minutes elapsed the ‘Mines were struggling to contain a dominant Arravale side.

Ger Leamy cut through the Arravale defence to put a stop to the haemorrhage of scores with a beautifully struck eleventh minute point before a sublime Alex Reynolds effort narrowed the gap to four. Eoghan Lonergan and Conor McKelvey traded points before Niall Sharpe fired his side five clear as the water break approached.

The West champions were dealt an injury blow shortly after with wing-back, John Paul Lohan forced off with a shoulder injury. Silvermines continued to fashion some good scoring opportunities though with Conor McKelvey (free) and Alex Reynolds both on target before McKelvey set up an unmarked Cynan Bailey for a beautifully struck 24th minute point. Arravale were equal to the best the ‘Mines could muster though with Evan Hawkins and Niall Sharpe kept their noses in front. Sharpe’s dominance in the latter stages of the half was all too obvious with the rangy midfielder firing over three from play to ensure his side led 1-10 to 0-9 as the interval approached.

The ‘Mines’ responded thanks to a Conor McKelvey free before the West champions once more shut down the best efforts from McKelvey and his county counterpart, Michael Corcoran. Both raided on goal but Eamonn Ryan at full-back and Donough Hickey at centre-back marshalled their respective defensive lines well.

Coming away with nothing from these late attacks appeared to deflate the ‘Mines and Arravale really pushed on in time added on with Evan Hawkins (free), a brace from Caleb Molloy Hickey and another Hawkins pointed free ensuring the west champions held a commanding 1-14 to 0-10 interval lead.

Arravale took up where they left off straight from the re-start with Gavin Cussen and Adam Dunne putting nine between the sides before Conor McKelvey pulled one back with a free. Michael Corcoran embarked on a mazy 37th minute run but Patrick O’Donnell in the Arravale goal was equal to Corcoran’s low goal-bound drive and cleared to safety.

A missed free further hampered Silvermines’ efforts to claw their way back into contention and once more Arravale capitalized with a brace from Gavin Cussen firing his side 1-18 to 0-11 clear. Conor McKelvey pulled one back just before the water break, but the North champions still faced a huge uphill battle just to get back into contention.

Arravale raised two successive white flags straight from the re-start and although Silvermines threw everything at Arravale in the closing quarter they couldn’t breach a teak tough Arravale defence. Conor McKelvey cut the deficit to nine points with a brace of frees as the match slipped into time added on but realistically the ‘Mines were in dire need of goals, and quickly.

However, these goals failed to materialize as the West champions saw off the ‘Mines with a deserved nine-point victory. Silvermines were reduced to fourteen men deep in injury time after Michael Corcoran was red carded for retaliation but it mattered little as Arravale to a county final decider against the mid champions.

Impressive for Arravale Rovers were Niall Sharpe, Raymond Kelly, Donough Hickey, Gavin Cussen, Evan Hawkins and Eoghan Lonergan while Conor McKelvey, Cynan Bailey, Michael Corcoran, Ger Leamy and Alex Reynolds impressed for Silvermines.
 
MATCH DIGEST
Player of the Match:
Niall Sharpe (Arravale Rovers)
Arravale Rovers: Patrick O’Donnell, Shane Maher, Eamonn Ryan, Andrew Richardson; Peter Ryan, Donough Hickey, John Paul Lohan; Niall Sharpe (0-5), Ben Ryan; Caleb Molloy Hickey (0-2), Raymond Kelly (1-0), Gavin Cussen (0-5); Eoghan Lonergan (0-2), Evan Hawkins (0-6, 5f), Adam Dunne (0-1).
Subs: Paudie Russell for Lohan (17 inj); Jack English for P Ryan (57).
Silvermines: Conor Murphy, Niall Sullivan, Sean Ryan-Prendiville, Kevin Hayden; Brian Leamy, Michael Corcoran, Luke O’Brien, Cynan Bailey (0-1), Ger Leamy (0-1); Adam Steed, Conor McKelvey (0-10, 8f), Paddy Quigley (0-1); Cathal McGrath, Aaron Ryan, Alex Reynolds (0-2).
Subs: John Ryan for Quigley (39); Micheal Ryan-Prendiville for Ryan (56); Justin Ryan-Donnellan for O’Brien (60+3); Eoin Ryan for B Leamy (60+3).
Referee: Johnny Butler (Upperchurch-Drombane)

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