Match Report: Garvey's SuperValu Senior Hurling Champ. Final
Garvey's SuperValu Senior Hurling Championship Final: The Famine is over as mighty Causeway reclaims the Neilus Flynn Cup
By Murt Murphy
Two goals from man of the match Colum Harty saw Causeway reclaim the Neilus Flynn Cup for the first time since 1998 and in process defeated champions Lixnaw in this keenly contested Senior Hurling Championship Final, played in front of 2618 spectators at the Austin Stack Park.
It was Harty’s second goal midway through the second half that gave Causeway a ten point lead (2-12 to 0-8) and breathing space but the stick of Shane Conway kept Lixnaw in the game, scoring 1-12 of his side’s total, one man could not save them.
Victorious Causeway manager Stephen Goggin was on cloud nine after his side had ended the twenty one year famine Victorious Causeway manager Stephen Goggin was on cloud nine after his side had ended the twenty one year famine “We are just over the moon. You can see the joy in everyone’s faces out there as they take it all in. We are just a small village in a small parish and you can see people out there crying because they haven’t seen Causeway win a championship for twenty one years. They have suffered years of heartbreak and near misses and who could blame them if they thought we were becoming a hurling version of Mayo. I cannot believe that we are after doing it. I am sitting back here talking to you but I can’t wait to get back to Causeway to start the celebrations. I can assure its going to be one hell of party that could go on for weeks”
Stephen Goggin is as active as Davy Fitzgerald on the side line so asking him did he enjoy the game received the expected response “I just go off my head on the sideline and I play every ball with them. The boys know me well as I have coached Brandon Barrett and Jason Diggins and a lot of the lads from U-10 up. We won the U-21 Championship together and now we have won the biggest prize of all and it has not sunk in yet. “
While Colum Harty won the Man of the Match for his 2-2, Stephen Goggin agreed it could have been any one of five or six “Look I said to the boys in advance that I did not care who got man of the match that it was all about bringing that cup back to Causeway this evening. I told them that we would have the cup in our grasp if we all played in a unit and really go at it, we really will be county champions. While I was there last year as a selector, I firmly believed from the day I took over from Maurice Leahy who stepped aside as manager that we were going to win the championship. I firmly believed if we tweaked a few things from last year and worked that bit harder, and without being big headed that we were going to win the championship. I felt that this panel of players were ready to come of age.”
Goggin admitted that this group of players had really been put their paces to improve fitness levels “The work rate of this group was phenomenal but that just does not happen overnight. There were nights down training when they used to get frustrated with us when we had to them working hard on fitness when they just wanted to play hurling. But they knew the tough slog had to be done and it has paid off because the Neilus Flynn Cup is going back to its rightful home tonight”
Colum Harty’s goals proved crucial and Goggin said he was the man he wanted to see at the end of the moves in front of goal “I suppose if there was to be anyone on the field who I would want to be in front of the goals like what happened, it would be Colum Harty. I have seen Colum down through the years and Colum is a finisher and always was a finisher. Daniel (Goggin) and Gavin (Dooley) will learn their trade as they are young fellows and they will learn to put away balls in those situations. But Colum is the coolest man on the pitch when given space in front of goal and so the ball fell to the right man. But it was our work rate that turned Lixnaw over. Daniel Goggin took over completely at midfield in the second half and that was the platform that set us on the road to victory”
Causeway’s defence backboned by Jason Diggins at centre back was outstanding but it was the work rate and the hunger of 21 years of hurling starvation that proved the difference in the end.
Causeway led at half time thanks to a well crafted goal in the 10th minute when Billy Lyons sends Colum Harty through and he drilled the ball low past Lixnaw keeper Martin Stackpoole. Colum Harty’s goals proved crucial and Goggin said he was the man he wanted to see at the end of the moves in front of goal “I suppose if there was to be anyone on the field who I would want to be in front of the goals like what happened, it would be Colum Harty. I have seen Colum down through the years and Colum is a finisher and always was a finisher. But Colum is the coolest man on the pitch when given space in front of goal and so the ball fell to the right man. But it was our work rate that turned Lixnaw over. Jason Diggins was rock solid at the heart of the Causeway defence while Lixnaw danger man was being doubled team as Lixnaw found the going tough against the wind.
In fact it was Shane Conway with 0-4 from frees and Lixnaw’s only point from play came in injury time from Mike Conway as Causeway dominated the opening half but they shot seven wides.
Brandon Barrett from frees and play and points from Gavin Dooley and Colum Harty saw Causeway retire five clear, 1-7 to 0-5.
Causeway despite that late rally and a goal from an injury time penalty from Shane Conway held on to claim their eighth SHC title.
MAN OF THE MATCH: COLUM HARTY (CAUSEWAY)
Causeway: C Harty 2-2, B Barrett 0-7, 4 frees, 2 x’65’s), B Murphy 0-2, G Dooley and D Goggin 0-1 each.
Lixnaw: S Conway 1-12 (0-10 frees, 1-0 pen), M Conway 0-1.
Causeway: J M Dooley; S Sheehan , M Delaney , T Barrett; E Murphy Jason Diggins, A Fealy ; Joseph Diggins , K Carmody ; B Lyons, B Murphy, B Barrett; D Goggin; C Harty, G Dooley
Subs: M Murphy for Joseph Diggins (37), J Leahy for A Fealy (48), P McGrath for G Dooley (62)
Lixnaw: M Stackpoole; D McCarthy, C O’Keeffe, M Quilter ; B Brosnan, D Shanahan, G Stackpoole ; John Griffin , B McAuliffe; M Conway , J McKenna, R Heffernan ; J Wallace , S Conway , C Sheehy
Subs: S McElligott for C Sheehy (20), J Flaherty for J Wallace (44), R Galvan for S McElligott (45), J Galvin for R Heffernan (54)
Referee: M Sexton (Limerick)