REPORT: Crotta Make U21 Final After Battle With Abbeydorney/Ballyheigue

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Mike O’Halloran watched the Acorn Life Kerry U21 Hurling Championship semi-final yesterday between Crotta O’Neills to Abbeydorney/Ballyheigue…

Crotta O’Neills 1-15

Abbeydorney/Ballyheigue 0-14 (after extra time)

Adam O’Sullivan came up from his goalkeeping duties to bring Crotta back from the brink of defeat, to point a free in ordinary time, a free that kept the fancied Crotta team in the championship.

There was 32 minutes on the timepiece when he split the post to leave the score Crotta 1-9 Abbeydorney/Ballyheigue 0-12.

David Egan started brightly for Abbeydorney/Ballyheigue with a point that was replied to by Darragh O’Donoghue, Egan and Conor Galwey added one each before Adrian O’Mahony the Crotta captain and Darragh O’Donoghue replied.

The Abbeydorney/Ballyheigue team. Photo by Mike O’Halloran

After 21 minutes Abbeydorney/Ballyheigue led by two points, their fourth and fifth points coming from the placed ball accuracy of Adam Maunsell.

Two minutes later Crotta went ahead when Sean Hartnett the Austin Stacks man, caught the ball high in the air turned to his left and blasted to the net.

By halftime Crotta led by two 1-5 to 0-6 Darragh O’Donoghue, and Tomas O’Connor pointing for Crotta and Michael O’Leary having a post splitter for Abbeydorney/Ballyheigue.

In the second half Michael O’Leary pointed for Abbeydorney/Ballyheigue twice, Darragh O’Donoghue did likewise for Crotta.

The Crotta O’Neills team. Photo by Mike O’Halloran

David Egan made it a one point game before Michael levelled the game from a 65, 1-7 to 0-10 after sixteen minutes.

Adam O’Sullivan the Crotta goalkeeper pointed a free on nineteen minutes, but Michael added two to put Abbeydorney/Ballyheigue ahead by one. Adam then pointed a free at the death to bring the game to extra time Crotta O’Neills 1-9 Abbeydorney/Ballyheigue 0-12.

Crotta had three unanswered points in the first half of extra time from Sean O’Donoghue and two from Jaic McKenna.

By the fifth minute of the second half of extra time Crotta led 1-14 to 0-12 Adam O’Sullivan and Adrian Mahony tapping over points.

Michael Slattery had two points for Abbeydorney/Ballyheigue, Tomas O’Connor had one in-between.

Try as they might Abbeydorney could not manufacture a goal and their inability to get the ball out of defence to one of their own players was ultimately their downfall.

Crotta O’Neills now face Cuaseway in the final next weekend and on this performance given that they played without Barry O’Mahony they will surely be favourites.

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