Lattin-Cullen Gaels are Ollies Bar West Tipperary U21B Hurling champions following a four-point victory over Galtee-Emly in Bansha on Sunday last.
The game was played in dry crisp conditions with Lattin-Cullen Gaels having the advantage of a slight breeze in the first half.
It was a nervous opening start by both sides as they tried to put their mark on the game. Lattin-Cullen Gaels were first off the mark when Shane Neville pointed from a placed ball, but this was cancelled out almost immediately when Adrian Dawson pointed from a free at the opposite end. Both sides were finding it hard to find the target and with just under ten minutes played the game got its first point from play as Shane Power put the combination of Galtee-Emly into the lead. Adrian Dawson added another from a placed ball as Galtee-Emly opened up a two -point lead with a quarter of the game gone.
Mark Russell took over the free-taking duties for the Gaels and he brought the deficit back to a point.
Luke Ashmore had to be fully alert for the Gaels as he cleared a shot away for a '65 which was duly pointed by Adrian Dawson. Shane Neville then pointed the Gaels first point from play. This was immediately followed by two points from Mark Russell from placed balls as the Gaels moved into the lead. Eoin O’Connell was working very hard in midfield for the Gaels and he found Mark Russell, who had moved to full-forward, with a pass as Lattin-Cullen extended their advantage with just five minutes of the half remaining.
Mark Russell and Adrian Dawson swapped points before referee Phill Ryan blew the half-time whistle with Lattin-Cullen Gaels ahead on a score-line of 0-7 to 0-5.
Lattin-Cullen Gaels burst out of the blocks as the ball was thrown in for the second half. Eoin O’Connell won possession and went on a run before drawing a free which Mark Russell duly pointed. Adrian Dawson responded with a pointed free at the other end. Patrick O’Donoghue (Lattin-Cullen) responded for the Gaels as they re-opened up their three -point advantage. Indeed, Lattin-Cullen Gaels could have been further ahead, but for some wayward shooting. Galtee-Emly were trying hard, but the Lattin-Cullen defence was holding solid with John Moloney at full -back. With a quarter of an hour to play just two points separated the sides when Adrian Dawson pointed from a place ball. The turning point of the game came though just a minute later when Kevin Kinane found the net for the Gaels. Kevin Franks pointed from play and a Mark Russell free further extended that advantage and with ten minutes remaining they were in the driving seat when leading 1-11 to 0-7.
Galtee-Emly continued to attack with points from Adrian Dawson (2 frees) and Pat Quinn saw them reduce the deficit to four points. Luke Ashmore was again at his best on the goal line when he made a very good save to deny Adrian Dawson a goal.
Resolute defending though from Lattin-Cullen Gaels ensured they held on for victory and advance to the County semi-final on a final score of 1-11 to 0-10.
Galtee-Emly were best served by Declan Hennessy, Shane Power and Adrian Dawson. Eoin O’Connell showed great leadership for Lattin-Cullen Gaels who was well assisted by Mark Russell, John Moloney and Ed O’Meara to name a few.
Galtee-Emly: David Finnane, Philly O’Mahony, Eric Grogan, James Condon, David Byron, Declan Hennessy, Dillon Gubbins, Damien Bourke, Sean Daly, Shane Power (0-1), Dara Egan, Jason Ryan, Adrian Dawson (0-8f), Andrew Vance. Subs Used: Pat Quinn (0-1), Darren McGrath.
Lattin-Cullen Gaels: Luke Ashmore, Stephen Moloney, John Moloney, Patrick Crehan, Anthony Leahy, Ed O’Meara, Sean Cunningham, Thomas O’Donoghue, Eoin O’Connell, Jamie Franks, Mark Russell (0-7, 0-5f), Shane Neville (0-2, 0-1f), David O’Heney, Patrick O’Donoghue (Aherlow), Kevin Franks (0-1). Subs Used: Kevin Kinane (1-0), Patrick O’Donoghue (Lattin-Cullen) (0-1).
Referee: Phil Ryan (Knockavilla-Donaskeigh Kickhams).