All-Britain Hurling Semi-Final
Brothers Pearse 2-18
John Mitchels 3-12
By Fiona O’Brien
at McGovern Park
Brothers Pearse prevailed against a storming performance by Liam Watson to book their place in an All-Britain final against Lancashire champs Fullen Gaels.
The London champions were playing a team that included eight players from the Warwickshire starting side that claimed the Lory Meagher against Leitrim earlier this year, as well as former senior Galway player Paul Hoban.
Despite some good scoring from the Pearses, and prolonged periods of dominance, they were always in danger of Watson pulling more scores out of the bag, and as extra-time approached there was only a score in it.
The visitors opened the scoring through a pointed Watson free before Danny Connolly equalised after receiving the ball on the right wing.
A brilliant ball from captain Kevin Reid to Danny Connolly in the right corner caused the John Mitchels backs some bother, Michael O’Regan dealt with it well.
But the Pearses persevered with the tactic and Phil Hogan’s sideline ball into Conor Kennedy was batted down to Connolly, who ran out to the left to take his chance and give the Pearses a 1-1 to 0-1 lead after five minutes.
The Mitchels shot two wides, before Reid’s ball was intercepted well by Niall Kennedy, but he also put his shot wide, before Watson claimed a pointed free from inside his own half.
Stephen Frawley made a great interception in the centre of the field in the next run of play, and his ball to Jake Greaney was laid off quickly to Connolly who passed to Hogan, but the shot went just wide, as both teams were waiting to settle.
Watson went for goal with his next attempt, but it was saved well and controlled to clear brilliantly by Paul Egan, but the Pearses conceded a free straight away which was put over by Watson.
Stephen Page won the next puck out and made a great run before passing it to Hogan, who won a free for Tony Clarke to put over easily.
See this week’s paper to read the full match report
BROTHERS PEARSE: Paul Egan, Joe Bermingham, Padraig Muldoon, Barry Smith, Declan Sexton, Kevin Reid (0-2, 1f, 1 ‘65’), Aidan O’Brien, Stephen Frawley (0-1), Owen Shiel (0-3), Jake Greaney, Phil Hogan (0-3), Stephen Page, Danny Connolly (1-2), Conor Kennedy (0-1), Tony Clarke (0- 7, 6f) SUBS: Niall Murphy for O’Brien.
JOHN MITCHELS: Mike Cremin, Stephen Ahern, Dean Bruen, Michael O’Regan, Robert Curley, Adrian Downey, Willy Allen, Paul Uniacke, Paul Hoban (0-3, 2f), Shane Caulfield, Niall Kennedy (0-1), Liam Watson (3-8, 8f), Ogie Long, Padraic Crehan, Emmett McCabe.