Portlaoise 4-5 Ballinakill 1-10
U-17 Hurling Championship Final 2000
Seventeen years ago last month, Portlaoise were crowned U-17 champions following a four point win over Ballinakill.
Three goals in the final fifteen minutes of the first half did the trick for the Town as they claimed the trophy.
The opening period of the game was even enough with Seán Tobin and Noel Costelloe seeing efforts for Portlaoise cancelled out by Eamon Jackman and Seamus Dwyer.
Tommy Fitzgerald and Dwyer then traded points before Jackman and Costelloe did likewise to leave the scores tied at 0-4 apiece at half time.
Ballinkaill were playing against the breeze in the first half and they would have been happy with how things were going but that all changed in a flash.
Alan Kingsley’s high ball wasn’t dealt with by the Ballinakill defence and Noel Hoolahan pounced to grab the game’s first goal.
Ballinkaill responded through Damien Carter but Portlaoise went looking for more goals and bagged two of the before half time through Tommy Fitzgerald and Alan Kingsley.
The men in maroon were shell-shocked but they did grab the final points of the half via Eamon Jackman to leave the score reading 3-4 to 0-7 at the break.
Ballinakill emerged for the second half determined to turn things around but they hit five wides in a row which killed off their challenge.
Portlaoise made them pay with a fourth goal through the excellent Noel Costelloe and although Seamus Dwyer did raise a green flag for Ballinakill, it proved to be a mere consolation.
SCORERS – Portlaoise: Noel Costelloe 1-2, Tommy Fitzgerald 1-1, Noel Hoolahan 1-0, Alan Kingsley 1-0, Seán Tobin 0-2 Ballinakill: Seamus Dwyer 1-3, Eamon Jackman 0-5, Damien Carter and Billy Barry 0-1 each
PORTLAOISE: W Farrell; P Scanlon, John Mulligan, Diarmuid Lalor; Brian Mulligan, John Breen, S Phelan; Brian Devaney, E Fingleton, Tommy Fitzgerald, Seán Tobin, Joe Phelan; Noel Hoolahan, Noel Costelloe, Alan Kingsley. Subs: J Delaney for S. Phelan, K Daly for Fingleton
BALLINAKILL: Colm Barry; R Walsh, Pat Dwyer, Brian Walsh; Eoin Delaney, Billy Barry, James Doone; Ronan Keohane, E Walsh; James Walsh, Seamus Dywer, Damien Carter; B Dunne, Eamon Jackman, M Jackman.