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Johnny Leahy Blitz U12



On Saturday 27th August last Pairc Ui Connaill in Cobh played host to the travelling teams of Ballinkillen Gaa Club in Carlow and the Faythe Harriers Club from Wexford. With an Inter-County feel to this section of the Johnny Leahy Blitz all the Cobh players were eager to savour the different styles of hurling these teams would bring.

Cobh V’s Ballinkillen.

This was the first match of the tournament and both teams found it difficult to notch up a few scores early on. Both teams settled mid way through the first half and the hurling began to flow. At half time Cobh were in front 0-3 to 0-2. Good first half performances from Shane O’Driscoll, Ódhran Kidney Power, Jack O’Donovan and Andrew Powell. Dan Sheehan a former Ballinkillen player also put in a notable performance at midfield. A few changes were made at the break with the introduction of Shane Kidney, Díarmuid Kearney and Niall Bowen. Each of these players had a part to play in Cobh extending their lead and a superb point from play by Díarmuid Kearney helped the cause. Nickoli Wilke, Zac Devlin, Jamie Hamilton and Sean Meade all going well at this point eased Cobh to a 0-9 to 0-3 win at the final whistle.

Ballinkillen V’s Fathye Harriers.

With all neighbouring Counties, the result was going to be important for bragging rights at the final whistle. A very keenly contested game with excellent hurling throughout saw Faythe Harriers win on a score of 4-06 to 2-08 sending them into the Final against Cobh.

Cobh V’s Faythe Harriers.

This game turned out to be one of the classics in the long history of the blitz. Johnny Leahy himself, a great follower of youth hurling in the club, would have been proud to witness the hurling on show by these two teams. The Harriers started the stronger and were 2-0 to 0-0 in front mid way through the first half. Cobh began to exert pressure on their opponents in all areas and some well taken points by sharp shooter Dylan Higgins, with Aaron Dolan and George Keating outstanding in the half back line. The short whistle sounded with the Harriers ahead 2-01 to 0-6. Cobh made some changes for the second half with Edward Lane and Kevin Murphy moving to the back line shoring up the defence. John Gardiner and Eoghan Meaney were introduced along with tenacious Pa Carey were on top in the full forward line. Cobh pressed ahead and opened up a 3-point lead with minutes to go. The Harriers kept pressuring the Cobh back line and were rewarded with a goal with full time approaching. The resulting puck out found Ciaran Leahy who launched a delivery from his own half back line towards the Harries goal. The Harriers backs desperate not to concede a score swept the ball out for a 65 metre free for Cobh. Normal time had passed and it looked like extra time beckoned. Leading by example throughout the Blitz, Ciaran Leahy stood over the ball and composed himself, lifted the sliothar, struck and it sailed through the uprights to the loud cheers from the large attendance around the field. From the resulting puck out the final whistle sounded. Cobh took the title on a score line of, Cobh 1-12 Faythe Harriers 4-02. This was a truly magnificent performance by all 21 players who represented the Cobh club and the fruits of their hard work at training were evident to see.

A special word of thanks to all the people that made this day possible, enjoyable and memorable. To the Ballinkillen and The Faythe Harriers Gaa Club’s, we wish them the best in their hurling endeavours in their respective counties. It was a big undertaking to come to Cork and play in our annual Johnny Leahy Blitz. The referees for their part. Parents, supporters and players all played a part from sandwiches, teas/coffees, support and entertainment on the field. To the Leahy family for your continued support of the annual Blitz which always delights the onlookers with its feast of hurling. Mile buiochas libh.

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