U12B Championship Semi Final Tuesday 25th August
Glenravel (3 – 8) v St McNissi (1 – 4)
After a good performance on Thursday evening in the Quarter Final Glenravel knew they were playing well. This did not remove the nagging doubt over the possible outcome of this semi-final due to the previous loss to St McNissi in the league when they ran away with the game in the second half. However on that day St McNissi had not seen the full Glenravel team in the league.
Glenravel started the semi–final nervously. Playing with the wind in the first half Glenravel missed some early chances, including one big goal chance from Conor McKeown that went flashing narrowly wide. Caolan Lennon got Glenravel of the mark with a fine point before St McNissi punished Glenravel’s early misses when they fired in a goal in one of their first attacks to take the lead. Glenravel picked themselves up and a second point from Caolan Lennon saw the lead reduced to one point. Glenravel were then awarded a free on the 21 yard line, to the right of the goal, after Cormac McKeown won the ball and pushed over. Ryan McQuillan’s subsequent free ended up in the back of the net through divine intervention. This cancelled out St McNissi’s goal and gave Glenravel a boost with three more points from Cormac McKeown, Ryan McQuillan and Caolan Lennon producing a 5 point lead at half time.
Although there was a benefit from the wind in the first half it was hard to appreciate how much. Thus, with St McNissi now having the wind advantage it was imperative that centre half back Calum Higgins continued his excellent first half performance of restricting St McNissi’s strongest forward who had inflicted most of the damage on Glenravel in the league match in July. Calum did so and gave the team the platform to kick on for further scores in the second half.
Glenravel got the restart they wanted when a long range shot from Ryan McQuillan dropped beneficially into the net. Shortly afterward Caolan Lennon followed up with a further goal which underlined his strong performance. Ryan McQuillan added a further point from a free following good work by Cormac McKeown, who then followed up with his own second point from play.
Although Glenravel were 3-7 to 1-0 up at this stage St McNissi were still battling hard. Captain Thomas O’Kane was clearing up at full back and the defence, ably assisted by midfield, were giving no space to the St McNissi forwards. St McNissi got two points from frees before Caolon Lennon added another long range point. Eamon Carey, who came on as a substitute for the second half, caught the ball in the box from a Cormac McKeown pass but the goal chance was snuffled out by a committed defence. St McNissi rallied and got a further two points from play close to the end of the match but as the final whistle went Glenravel had held on to win the semi final
This great performance now puts Glenravel into the final on Saturday 5th September against St Ergnats. This is the first final for an U12 Glenravel hurling team in almost 20 years.