An epic hurling league came to a conclusion on Friday 27 November as the Red team claimed the Morning Star Cup with an extra-time win over the Green team in a nail-biting deciding game at Ian Galloway Park.
It was Felim O’Leary’s Green team who gained the early advantage in the three-game league with a seven-point win in game one. A more coherent side in game two, the Red team, captained by Dean McMahon, paid back in kind with a 12-point victory to keep the league alive going into game three.
Despite horizontal rain and the worst of Wellington’s wind, the decider was every bit as entertaining and high-scoring as the first two games. Playing with the “breeze” in the first half, the Green team made it count as they amassed 5-6 to the Red team’s 0-5 before the short whistle.
The Green team and the Red team (in yellow) following game three of November’s hurling league
But if ever there were a game of two halves, this was it. The wind and rain didn’t abate in the second half and now the Reds used the conditions to their advantage. A scoring salvo saw them claw back at the 16-point half-time deficit, but the Greens held on and mustered a few goals on the break to keep the Reds at bay. It took a last-second point from the Red team to bring the game to extra-time.
The additional period was all the Red team’s as they built on their second-half momentum and a few early points – which put them in the lead for the first time in the game – were the fillip they needed to drive on and secure the game. The win meant they claimed the league, and the Morning Star Cup, by two games to one.
Action from game three of the hurling league
Thanks a million to match officials Laura McQuillan, Aoife Kerrigan and Sheila Forde for putting up with the lads’ guff over three games as well as some typhoon-like conditions in game three.
And finally, our tally shows a whopping 43-106 (235) was racked up between the two teams in three games – we don’t know about you, but we’re not sure you’d find such high-quality hurling anywhere else this side of the equator.
Game one | Friday 6 November
Green team 8-16 (40) – 4-21 (33) Red team
Game two | Friday 20 November
Green team 8-13 (37) – 9-22 (49) Red team
Game three | Friday 27 November
Green team 8-10 (34) – 6-24 (42) Red team
(Aggregate score: Green team 24-39 (111) – 19-67 (124) Red team)
Green team captain Felim O’Leary (right) presenting Red team captain Dean McMahon with the Morning Star Cup
Officials Aoife Kerrigan (left) and Sheila Forde (right) presenting Darragh Corboy of the Green team with his Man of the Match award