Shinrone captain Shane Sampson with the IHC Cup
Shinrone were crowned 2020 Intermediate hurling champions in Birr on Saturday afternoon with a convincing win over their neighbours Coolderry in the delayed final. A powerful second quarter, which they outscored their opponents seven points to one laid the foundations for an impressive win which guarantees them Senior ‘B’ hurling for 2021. Despite a second half Coolderry comeback which was fuelled mainly from the set play accuracy of Cian Burke, the Shinrone men held on to claim the silverware.
Shinrone thought they had opened the scoring inside the first minute when David Murray’s effort from long range raised the umpire’s white flag. However, it was overruled by referee Shane Guinan and was subsequently waved wide. They did not have to wait long however, as Barry McNamara raised the white flag just 20 seconds later for the first score of the day.
Shinrone were certainly the brighter in the opening exchanges, enjoying plenty of possession and when a long ball was floated in on top of full forward Brian Loughnanne, he was pulled back by Coolderry’s Cian O’Connor and Guinan awarded a penalty. Paul Cleary stepped up and his low shot was excellently saved by James Gannon in the Coolderry goal.
The penalty seemed to swing momentum Coolderry’s way, and they registered their first score of the day on the 8th minute mark when Ciaran Teehan pointed from close range. Nine minutes in, the game got its first goal of the game when Darren Dooley rattled the back of the Shinrone net to give Coolderry the lead for the first time in the game.
Shinrone responded accordingly and a Dara Maher free followed by a fine Darren Crean point left a two-point gap, in Coolderry’s favour at the first water break.
Upon the resumption of play, it was Shinrone who played all the hurling, rallying off four on the bounce, two from free taker and captain Shane Sampson and points Darren Crean and David Murray.
Two further frees from Sampson and another Crean effort increased the Shinrone lead as they looked like a completely different outfit than the first water break. A Cian Burke close range free just before the half time break for Coolderry left them five down at half time, having led by two at the first water break.
Coolderry did get the first score of the second half thanks to another Burke free but disaster struck for them just three minutes into the second half. Colin O’Meara let a long ball in towards the small rectangle and Paul Cleary did superbly to take the ball down from the sky before picking and burying to the net. Further points from David Murray and Barry McNamara left the Shinrone men six points clear at the second water break.
Coolderry pulled themselves back into the game due to a lack of discipline from Shinrone and three frees from Cian Burke had them back to within three. Eamonn Cleary stretched the lead once again to four and with six minutes left on the clock, they had a chance to put the game to bed when they won their second penalty of the game. Dara Maher stepped up this time but incredibly, Gannon saved the penalty again to keep his side in the game.
Shinrone’s persistent fouling was keeping Coolderry in the game and two more frees from Cian Burke left two points in it heading into injury time, to set up a grand slam finish.
Coolderry threw everything at the game in injury time but it just wasn’t to be as the Shinrone defence stood strong to ensure The Michael Keary trophy made the shot trip to Shinrone for a couple of months at least.
SHINRONE: Shane Sampson 0-4 (0-4F), Darren Crean and David Murray 0-3 each, Paul Cleary 1-0, Barry McNamara 0-2, Eamonn Cleary and Dara Maher 0-1 each (0-1F),
COOLDERRY: Cian Burke 0-10 (0-9F, 0-1 ‘65’), Darren Dooley 1-0, Will Malone, Ciaran Teehan 0-1 each.
COOLDERRY: James Gannon; Mark Murphy, Cian O’Connor, Liam Miller; Adam Kennedy, Billy Burke, James Tooher; Paddy Maher, Jack Kennedy; Cian Burke, Will Malone, Darren Dooley; Shane Ryan, Brendan O’Meara, Ciaran Teehan. Subs: Brian Larkin for Darren Dooley (35), Joe Larkin for Jack Kennedy (41) Paul Ryan for Adam Kennedy inj (57)
SHINRONE: Eamonn Cleary; Peter Cleary, Eoin Cleary, Ronan O’Meara; Sean Liffey, Colin O’Meara, Shane Carroll; Darren Crean, Liam Clohessy; Dara Maher, David Murray, Barry McNamara; Paul Cleary, Brian Loughnane, Shane Sampson. Subs: Coley Cleary for Liam Clohessy (36), Paddy Sammon for David Murray (52), Michael Cleary for Brian Loughnane (60)
Referee: Shane Guinan.
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.