There was no shortage of talent on display in the boys Division 1 Cumann na mBunscol hurling final last Tuesday afternoon.
The game started with the Rathdowney captain Conor Madden keeping his composure to slot home a well struck shot past Abbeyleix goalie Alan Kelly in the second minute. Madden doubled his tally five minutes later by striking a second goal from the exact same position as his first.
Abbeyleix took a while to find their rhythm, but Stephen Thompson got the scoreboard ticking with a fine point. The goals were flying in for Rathdowney when in the eleventh minute, Patrick Madden pulled on a ball outside the square which found the net. They added two more just before half time thanks to a Theo Fitzpatrick and Adam Loughman, leaving it 5-1 to 0-4 at half time.
Goals were what separated the teams at the half and Abbeleix knew that’s what they needed. It was Rathdowney who started half stronger though, with three scores from Brandon McGinley and Peter Keyes.
A tactical move by the Abbeleix management saw goalie Alan Kelly put into the forward line, and this move paid off as he caught a high ball and had no difficulty slotting it past Eoghan Holohan in the Rathdowney goals.
Gavin Delaney added a second Abbeleix goal within a minute after a mixup on the Rathdowney goalline saw a free from his own half end up in the back of the net. But despite Abbeleix’s effort, it was too little too late as Peter Keyes and Brandon McGinley put the final nail in the coffin for Abbeleix by adding too late scores to leave the final scoreline 8-4 to 2-5 in a fine display of juvenile hurling.
SCORERS - Rathdowney: Connor Madden 2-1, Peter Keyes 2-0, Theo Fitzpatrick 1-1 (1-1 45s), Patrick Madden, Gavin Delaney, Adam Loughman 1-0 each, Brandon McGinley 0-2; Abbeyleix: Alan Kelly, JJ Murphy 1-0 each, Aaron Brennan, Josh Hyland 0-2 each, Stephen Thompson 0-1
RATHDOWNEY: Eoghan Holohan, Thep Fitzpatrick, Brandon Mcginley; Dean Carroll, Oisin Campion; Dylan Doyle, Darren Bowe; Gavin Delaney, Conor Madden; Adam Loughman, Patrick Madden. Subs: Keyes for Patrick Madden (28 min), Costigan for Loughman (35 min)
ABBEYLEIX: Alan Kelly, Niall Phelan, Scott Stapleton; James O’Connor, Aaron Brennan; Gavin Dent, JJ Murphy; Josh Hyland, Ciarain Byrne; Stephen Thompson, John Rogers Subs: McEvoy for Rogers (24 min), Quinn for Byrne (36 min), Whitty for Stapleton( 39 min), Peacock for Thompson (40 min), Hiney for Brennan (33min), Coffey for Hiney( 38 min)