Home Sport GAA Cuddy strikes late as Castletown claim minor league success

Cuddy strikes late as Castletown claim minor league success

The Castletown-Slieve Bloom team that won the minor hurling league final on Sunday evening

 

Castletown-Slieve Bloom 1-15 The Harps 1-14

Laois Shopping Centre Minor Hurling League Final

A late Tadhg Cuddy point proved to be the winning score as Castletown-Slieve Bloom got the better of The Harps in minor hurling league final in the Portlaoise GAA grounds on Sunday evening.

In an entertaining clash, the game ebbed and flowed for the full 60 minutes, but The Harps will be left to rue their inaccuracy as Castletown snatched victory in injury time.

The Harps started the brighter as they found space in the forward line but in the first five minutes the had hit three of their 18 wides of the day, as Castletown’s Aaron Gaughan slotted an early free to give his side the lead.

After ten minutes The Harps had gained the advantage as Ciarán Comerford first turned provider as he set up Evan Deegan for The Harps for their first score. Comerford then slotted his own score as he followed up a breaking ball, turned and put the ball between the uprights. Padraig Delaney then struck a long-range free to open The Harps’ lead to two points.

Evan Power fought hard in defence for Castletown before breaking away and striking a fine score to draw his side to within one. Comerford then dispossessed Power and provided Deegan with a chance and he duly supplied a finish.

By the 20-minute mark The Harps seemed to be the more comfortable, but in the space of five minutes the game had swung around. Firstly, came some tenacious work from Joseph Phelan to block Darragh Quinn, flick up the ball and swing over a fine point. Two minutes later a free won in midfield provided Ciaran Conroy to have a go from distance, but his free bounced awkwardly in front of The Harps keeper Eoghan Delaney and ended up hitting the back of the net.

The Harps followed up with another wide before Castletown’s Cathal Moore rose highest to catch the following puck out turn, solo past his man and strike a long-range point to stretch their lead to a goal.

Delaney struck another long range free to narrow the lead. Aaron Gaughan restore their three point margin with a close in free. Ciarán Comerford rounded off the first half scoring with a forty yard free to leave the scores at 1-5 to 0-6 at the break. In a half where The Harps hit eight wides, Castletown were going in the happier of the two sides.

The second half got off to a quick start as Cathal Moore hit a fine point from halfway. Ciaran Comerford again hit back for The Harps as he pointed from near the side line. He then added another free to make it a one-point game. The Harps then got their first sniff at goal but agonisingly missed when perhaps a point could have been the smarter option.

Aaron Gaughan re-established his sides goal advantage as he struct two quick fire frees. Joseph Phelan then found space as he set the difference to four as The Harps sought a goal to reignite their game. Comerford then slotted a 50-yard free but Castletown replied through Ciarán Conroy’s speculative effort which crept over Eoghan Delaney’s bar.

The Harps team that were narrowly beaten by Castletown-Slieve Bloom in the Laois minor hurling league final on Sunday evening. Pictures: Julie Anne Miller

The Harps then pulled back two points through Comerford and Delaney only for Castletown to reply with Aaron Gaughan and Cathal Moore as Castletown maintained their four point margin.

The game was then given an injection of life as Ciaran Comerford hit a low hard shot from a free which left Castletown goalie scrambling but unable to keep the shot out and it was level when Comerford added to his impressive tally with another free.

Gaughan added a free when he drew a foul near The Harps goal. But Comerford took centre stage once more as he caught a high ball turned and stuck the ball between the posts. He then won a break in the middle and drove on towards the goal before picking out Conor Delaney in space who struck for a point to give The Harps the lead for the first time since the twenty second minute.

With a minute left on the clock the pressure now turned onto Castletown. They sought the leveller and were rewarded as Gaughan again drew a foul when he seemed to be through on goal. He drew the sides level for the third time with the game now entering stoppage time.

The game needed a winner or extra time loomed. Step forward Tadgh Cuddy. The wing forward floated around the middle looking for a break before managing to win the ball and head for goal before calmly pointing the winning score.

SCORERS – Castletown-Slieve Bloom: Aaron Gaughan 0-7 (six frees), Ciaran Conroy 1-1 (1-0f), Cathal Moore 0-3, Joseph Phelan 0-2, Evan Power and Tadgh Cuddy 0-1 each. The Harps: Ciaran Comerford 1-8 (1-5 frees), Padraig Delaney 0-3 (two frees, one ’65), Evan Deegan 0-2, Conor Delaney 0-1.

CASTLETOWN-SLIEVE BLOOM: Mick Cuddy; Ciarán Phelan, Lynus Breen, Darragh Tobin; Evan Power, Ciarán Conroy, Seán Nolan; Ben Shore, Aaron Gaughan; Ciarán Kirwin, Cathal Moore, Tadgh Cuddy; Joseph Phelan, Ciarán Phelan, Cillian Breen.

THE HARPS: Eoghan Delaney; Killian O’Shea, Daniel Comerford, Ciarán Shortall; Darragh Quinn, Padraig Delaney, Padraic Dunne; Aaron O’Grady, Ronan Quinn; Evan Deegan, Adam Kenna, Conor Delaney; Michael Monaghan, Ciarán Comerford, Jim Kirby.

REFEREE: John Lalor (Shanahoe)

SEE ALSO – Fast start sees Ballyfin crowned Division 2 hurling champions

 

 

 

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