Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Late Goal Dashes Barley House Wolves Championship Hopes

Final: Barley House Wolves 3-4 St. Louis 1-11

The Barley House Wolves of Concord NH made the final of the Junior C Competition with victories over Oregon and Indianapolis on Friday and Saturday respectively. On Friday the Wolves demolished Oregon, a new club to the hurling scene. Saturday’s semi-final against Indy proved a far sterner test. The Wolves went down early. After 10 minutes the side from the Granite State were down by 2-2 to no score, and looked like they were at risk of going down to a hiding. The Wolves bucked down and thanks to some hard work in defence, especially from Eddie Clements, Dennis Traynor, and Lore Forde gradually turned the tables. Points started to flow from Rory O’Mahoney, Dan Hanna, and Matt Pulomina at half time the sides were level. The Wolves kept up the pressure and in the second half the job was made easier as goals came from O’Mahoney, Derek Reiss, and Alec Foley. The Wolves headed into Sunday’s final with hopes high to add a North American Championship to their Northeast title.

St. Louis Defend a 21-Yard BHW Free.
The sternest test of the weekend for the Granite Staters proved to be the final. Despite leading for most of the game and having had plenty of chances to add to the lead, the Wolves lost out at the very end by the narrowest of margins having conceded a late goal. St. Louis, one of the biggest and well-established junior hurling clubs in North America displayed some fine shooting skills. Several scores from the mid-western outfit were worthy of the senior stage. The Wolves took control of the contest with about 10 minutes left in the first half and added to their lead in the early stages of the second. St. Louis however kept chipping away with the points and when the chance came to take a late lead they took it. The Wolves had a chance to steal a late winner but the opposition keeper pulled off the save of the game.

The Wolves relied on a first half goal from Derek Reiss to keep in the game in the early going. St. Louis took a five points to one goal lead. Rory O’Mahoney added one in the points column for the northeastern side, and with 20 minutes gone netted a goal after the Corkman latched on to a poor clearance. At the half the Wolves led 2-2 to 0-6.

Rory O'Mahoney in Action in the Semi-Final.
Things looked very promising for the Wolves for most of the second half. The Concord men worked hard for the ball and in defence closed down the space. A goal came from Dan Hanna early on. St. Louis answered with three points, two lovely efforts from distance. Darragh Madden stemmed the tide with a point and at that stage the Wolves lead was three points. With the Wolves living dangerously St. Louis pointed again from distance and the lead was now a dangerous two points. With minutes left on the clock St. Louis won a free from 21 yards and planted the ball in the net to take the lead. Now it was the Wolves who had to press and they did. Chances were generated, but a score did not come. Disappointment with the final result, but having come within a hair of winning the championship on their first try, the Concord boys have much to be encouraged by for the future.

BHW: D. Trainor, R. Brown, S. McCarty, M. Gregoire, E. Clements, L. Forde, M. Pulomena, D. Hanna, D. Madden, R. O’Mahoney, R. Valas, A. Foley, D. Reiss, S. Baron, R. Burnham.

By Rory O'Donnell

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