The predicted apocalypse of the world had an unlucky effect on the Gorey Community School hurlers on Friday last when Heywood Community School’s two late goals marked the end of the incredible 2012 season for Gorey. The “Rest Of Leinster” Post Primary Schools Senior Hurling “B” Final was played in surreal winter conditions in Dr Cullen Park. Gorey CS led from the off with Conor McDonald, Kevin Molloy and Jason Redmond committing themselves to attack. However, Heywood retaliated with Ronan De Brudaire, Leigh Bergin and Niall Brennan thwarting the endeavours of the Wexford side. Despite four early Gorey wides, Laois’ Eoghan Fennelly opened Heywood’s scoring account with a pointed free after six minutes. County minor star, Conor McDonald, swiftly reacted with two pointed frees. The defence of Gorey was immaculate. Ben Egan and Yusuf Frih were outstanding while Conor Devitt showed great dexterity. After McDonald and Fennelly exchanged pointed frees again, it was the turn of the Naomh Éanna clubman to secure the first point from play of the game seconds before the break. The first half provided mixed entertainment for the sizeable crowd that had gathered. While it was a low scoring affair, the clash’s intensity was at its peak. At halftime the scores stood as Gorey Community School 0-04; Heywood Community School 0-02.
The second half sparked even more skill and passion. After seconds of play, Kevin Bergin swiftly pointed for Heywood. The battle continued to be fierce and brutal as both sides pounced on possession and hunted in packs. Conor McDonald pointed twice to widen the gap to three points in favour of Gorey. Nevertheless, Eoghan Fennelly replied with a pointed free in the seventeenth minute. The Laois attack were indebted to the work of Joe Campion while Eoin Conroy was an inspirational captain to the Gorey men throughout. The finicky refereeing style of David Hickey gave little advantage to the Wexford side in particular. Hickey made his toughest and harshest call with nine minutes remaining when Gorey’s solid full back Michael O’ Brien received a debatable red card. From there, the attacks of Heywood could not be held back. Heywood clustered Gorey’s goalmouth and the ball scrambled in from the combined efforts of Aaron Dunne and Eoghan Fennelly. After fifty eight minutes of Gorey dominance, the tables had turned with a two point deficit facing Rory McCarthy and Conor Wickham’s men. Despite David Kennedy’s response with a pointed free, the scoring difference would be soon widened. Kevin Bergin of Laois lobbed the ball to the net to capitalise on the shocked Model County representatives. With that, the referee’s whistle sounded to the agony of Gorey CS. After a whirlwind year for the men of green, all had ended in utter devastation. The Wexford men managed to grasp control of this finale right up to the final two minutes. The dogged determination of Heywood never ceased yielding to pierced Gorey hearts. Heywood advance to play the Dublin winners in the hope of All-Ireland success while Gorey retreat to lick their wounds in preparation for 2013’s football campaign.
Full Time: Heywood Community School 2-05; Gorey Community School 0-07.
GOREY CS: Darragh Hughes (Naomh Eanna), Sean O’ Brien (Craanford), Michael O’Brien (St Patricks, Camolin), Ben Egan (Naomh Eanna), Jason Redmond (Naomh Eanna), Eoin Conroy (Naomh Eanna), David Kennedy (0-01 free; Naomh Eanna), Fionn Doyle (Naomh Eanna), Yusuf Frih (Liam Mellows), Daryl Murphy (St Patricks, Camolin), Conor Devitt 0-03 (Ballyfad), Kevin Molloy (Naomh Eanna), Gavin Stamp (Liam Mellows), Conor McDonald 0-06 (0-04 from frees; Naomh Eanna), Cathal Dunbar (Ballygarrett).
SUBSTITUTES: Gearoid Cullen (Naomh Éanna) for Murphy, Tomás Morris (St Patricks Camolin) for Stamp, Michael Hamilton (St Patricks), Lee Owley (Tara Rocks), Marc Halpin (Liam Mellows), Alan McPartlan (Naomh Eanna), Ben McGrath (Realt Na Mara), Kevin Byrne (Liam Mellows), Peter Roche (St Patricks), Liam Condren (Liam Mellows), Rhys Owley (Tara Rocks), Michael Dwyer (Naomh Eanna), Eoin Whelan (Buffers Alley), Ross Murphy (Naomh Eanna), Eoin Harris (Naomh Eanna), Cormac Moore (Ballygarrett).
HEYWOOD CS: Enda Rowland (Abbeyleix), Liam Lalor (Baile Na Coille), MJ Dunphy (Baile Na Coille), Alan Lynch (Abbeyleix), Ronan De Brudaire (Clogh-Ballacolla), Leigh Bergin (Shanahoe), Jack Delaney (Shanahoe), Niall Brennan (Colt), Ronan Delahunty (Harps), Kevin Bergin (1-01; Colt), Henry Keyes (Colt), Joe Campion (Borris-Kilcotton), Conor Deegan (Harps), Eoghan Fennelly (0-04 frees; Abbeyleix), Jack O’ Shea (St Patricks).
SUBSTITUTES: Aaron Dunne (1-00; Harps), Owen Joyce (Colt), Mark Hamm (Baile Na Coille), Paul Simms (Baile Na Coille), Rhiannon Bergin (Shanahoe), Hugh O’ Connor (Ballypickas), Tim Cass (Ballypickas), David Walsh (Abbeyleix), Fionn Synott (Shanahoe), David Kelly (St Patrick’s), Darragh Hyland (Clough-Ballacolla).