Heartbreak for Corofin as second half comeback sees Bodyke clinch U-21 hurling title

posted 10 Apr 2015, 14:33 by Corofin GAA   [ updated 10 Apr 2015, 17:17 ]

U-21 C Hurling Final

Bodyke 3-9 Corofin 0-15

April 10th, 2015

Bodyke overturned a 9 point half-time deficit to emerge victorious over Corofin in the final of the U-21 C Hurling Championship, which was played in sunny Cusack Park on Friday evening, April 10th. In what could be described as a game of two halves, Bodyke's ability to find the net proved decisive, as their 3 second half majors saw them lead Corofin by 3 points when the final whistle blew at the end of the contest.

Corofin played with the aid of a strong breeze in the first half, and had 3 points on the scoreboard through the stick of Declan Stack before Bodyke got off the mark with a pointed free from their talisman Paddy Fitzgerald. Corofin however soon began to dominate the game and they scored 7 unanswered points, with Jamie Malone, Eoin Davoren and Michael Kelly all joining Stack on the scoresheet. Davoren's point was a fine score from distance, while Malone's second point was arguably the score of the game, after a fine run by Cian O'Dea found the Clare senior footballer in space, who split the posts from close range. Paddy Fitzgerald stopped the rot with a second pointed free for Bodyke, but the final score of the first half fell to Corofin's Declan Stack who pointed his sixth free to give Corofin an 0-11 to 0-2 lead at the break. The sides would have been closer on the scoreboard at half-time, but Bodyke were struggling to find the radar from placed balls and open play.    

Much of the analysis amongst both sets of supporters during the half-time break was of the view that the result was now more or less a foregone conclusion. This was not the view of the Bodyke team however, and they came out a revitalised team for the second half, and quickly set about eating into Corofin's 9 point advantage. Two pointed frees for Bodyke reduced the gap to 7. Then arrived what would prove to be the turning point of the game. Bodyke were awarded a close in free, and when their attempt at goal was blocked on the line, players from both sides converged on the ball in the square. An old fashioned 'schmozzle' soon ensued which quickly transformed into an all-in brawl after Corofin goalkeeper Liam Corbett appeared to have been struck by a wild pull. When order was eventually restored, red cards were shown to Corofin's Shay Malone and Bodyke's Adrian Healy. Corbett was forced to retire from the game following the injury he sustained, and he was replaced by Jason McCarthy. When play resumed, Declan Stack got Corofin's opening score of the second half with a pointed free, but from the resultant puck out, Bodyke went up the other end of the field and struck for the first goal of the game. Substitute goalkeeper Jason McCarthy stopped the initial shot with a superb save, but the rebound fell kindly to a Bodyke forward who flicked to the net. Bodyke were now making better use of the extra space which had resulted from both sides been reduced to 12 players. The teams exchanged points, before Bodyke scored their second goal to reduce Corofin's lead to 2 points, 0-13 to 2-5. It wasn't long before the sides were level, with Bodyke scoring a brace of points. Stack edged Corofin back into a one point lead, before another brace of points from Bodyke, put the East Clare side into the lead for the first time.When Declan Stack pointed a '65 to draw the teams level once more, it looked as if extra time was beckoning. However, there would be time for one final twist in the tale when Bodyke broke through for their third goal which was quickly followed by the full-time whistle.

While Corofin will be very disappointed to lose out after dominating the opening half, great credit must go to Bodyke for their never say die attitude. Corofin's quest for a first ever U-21 hurling title goes on for another year, while attention now switches towards preparing for the upcoming Intermediate Championships in both hurling and football.

The following was the Corofin team line-out and scorers:
(13 a side)

1. Liam Corbett

2. Paul Carkill

4. Diarmaid Cleary

5. Conor O'Loughlin

6. Eoin Clancy (Capt.)

7. Shay Malone

8. Cian O'Dea

9. Jack O'Dea

10. David Corbett

11. Declan Stack 0-11 (0-10 frees)

12. Eoin Davoren 0-1

13. Jamie Malone 0-2

15. Michael Kelly 0-1

Jason McCarthy   for   Liam Corbett (injured)

Subs not used:
Cillian Clancy
Eoin Keane
Pádraig O'Dea
Micheál Duffy
Maccon Byrne
Damien O'Loughlin (inj)