Kehoe Shield Final victory for Mayo hurlers
10 February 2014
Mayo Captain Aiden Connolly receives the Kehoe Shield.
Leinster GAA Bord na Mona Kehoe Shield Final
Mayo 1-17, Queen's University, Belfast 0-15
Brendan Geraghty at Louth GAA Centre of Excellence, Darver.
Mayo hurlers made the long journey to Darver in Co. Louth on Saturday to play Queen's University in the Kehoe Shield Final. With recent victories over DIT and DCU Mayo Manager Christy Phillips was hopeful of getting over the line in this game but he was also mindful that the Red and Green were short five regular starters due to injuries and other commitments.
Mayo, with the aid of a slight breeze, were first off the mark through two well taken Kenny Feeney points, one from a free. Queen's responded with points from Brendan Rodgers and their star performer Conor Corvan but for the reminder of the half Mayo dominated with four points from centre forward Stephen Hoban, ably assisted by Feeney, Derek McDonnell and Cathal Freeman. Mayo led 11 points to 5 at half-time but should have been further ahead with poor shot selection resulting in 8 wides over the half.
The game really got going in the second half with Queen's first off the mark through Donal Hughes before Mayo forward Fergal Boland goaled after a good build up by the half-forward line. Feeney and Hoban followed up with points to leave it 1-13 to 0-6 in favour of Mayo with only 5 minutes of the second half on the clock. However Queen's did not roll over and responded with 5 points from Corvan, with Thomas Morgan and Donal Hughes also chipping in. The Mayo backs were under continuous pressure but strong performances from Captain Aiden Connolly, Paddy Barrett and Padraig O'Flynn meant that the goal that the students required never materialised. Mayo forward Hoban put in a defiant display getting an additional three points to occasionally break the Queen's scoring run and with Feeney also getting on the scoreboard Mayo eventually ran out winners on a score line of Mayo 1-17, Queen's 0-15.
After the match Mayo's Captain Aiden Connolly received the Kehoe Shield on behalf of the victorious Red and Green. Mayo's star performer on the day was Stephen Hoban with 7 points from play, ably assisted by Kenny Feeney and Fergal Boland. Goalkeeper Donal O'Brien was solid throughout and defenders Kieran Kiely, Connolly, Barrett and O'Flynn also put in impressive performances. Conor Corvan was the student's outstanding performer, ably assisted by Thomas Morgan and Donal Hughes.
The Mayo Management of Christy Phillips, Leo Connor and Austin Kenny will be very satisfied with the victory but will also know that stronger challenges lie ahead in the League and Christy Ring Cup. With the addition of the Morley brothers, Sean Regan, Ciaran Charlton and All Star footballer Keith Higgins to the side things are shaping up very well for a strong championship run this year.
Next up for Mayo are Fingal in the Allianz National Hurling League on Sunday at 2.00 pm in Elvery's MacHale Park, Castlebar.
Mayo: D. O'Brien, A. Brennan, A. Connolly, D. Kenny, Kieran Kiely, P. O'Flynn, P. Barrett, G. Nolan, B. Higgins, C. Freeman (0-1), S. Hoban (0-7), B. Hunt, K. Feeney (0-8, 6f), D. McDonnell (0-1), F. Boland (1-0). Subs: K. McDermott for F. Boland (55m), C. Scahill for B. Hunt (65m).
Queen's University: M. McKeon, A. Carey, J. Merron, C. McAnallen, C. Flynn, C. McClelland, M. Rafferty, D. Begley, D. Hughes (0-2), C. Mageean, C. Madden (0-1), C. Corvan (0-7, 3f), T. Morgan (0-2), B. Rodgers (0-2), M. Conway. Subs: D. McGarry for M. McKeon (h/t), C. Magennis for M. Rafterry (46m) J. Lavery (0-1) for Conway (50m).
Referee: Killian Jones (Cill Dara)