GALWAY GAA: “The Lads Held Out Well There” – Martin Larkin 

Martin Larkin

Cappataggle under 16 hurling manager Martin Larkin  felt his players did well after they held off a late Sarsfields revival last Monday (3rd September) to win the county under 16 A1 hurling championship in Duggan Park, Ballinasloe. 

Goals from Oisin Finn, man of the match Liam Collins and Cian Bowes ensured Cappataggle overturned a group game reversal to allow captain Michael Egan receive the trophy.

Cappataggle under 16 Hurling
The Cappataggle Under 16 team which defeated close neighbours Sarsfields 3.13 to 3.10 in the A1 championship final in ballinasloe, Back row, left to right: Liam Hession, Liam Collins, Jack Coughlan, AJ Lawless, Daniel Treacy, Cian Bowes, Patrick Downey, Dara Hession, Cormac Kenny, Donacha Rogers, Thomas Naughton, Niall Cronin Mentor. Front row, left to right: Joe Egan, Mentor, Ciaran Nevin, Aaron Donoghue, Lewis Coughlan, Evan Clancy, Oisin Finn, Michael Egan, Capt, Cian Treacy, Josh Dolan, Niall Delaney, Jamie Stankard, Martin Larkin, Mentor. (Photo: Joe Keane)

“The lads held out well there at the very end,” said Larkin afterwards.  “We were 10 points up but credit to Sarsfields, they came back.  We knew they were a great team.

“They bet us last year in the under 15 A1 and they bet us in the opening rounds.  We knew we had the work cut out for us tonight anyway.  We started Ok and Sarsfields got a goal, went a goal up.  But the lads stuck to the game plan and went out.  And they done well.”

Sarsfields struck early through Adam Donohue before Finn’s major gave Cappataggle a 1-7 to 1-6 interval lead.  However, even though the latter two goals looked enough for the eventual winners, two Liam Donohue majors nearly set up a stunning comeback for Sarsfields.

Sarsfields hurling
The Sarsfields Under 16 team which lost to neighbours Cappataggle in the A1 championship final, Back row, left to right:Jamie Burke, Cathal Ward, Joseph Cosgrove, Conor O’Higgins, Michael Hanlon, Ronan Maher, John Cooney, Adam Donohue, John Cosgrove, Diarmuid Hawkins, Dean Nevin, Eoin Naughton, Oisín Keane, Padraig Kelly, Ivan Keane, Liam Donohue. Front Row L to R: Mark Dwyer, Oisin Stratford, Jack Moran, Cian O’Regan, Robert Connaire, Fearghus Deeley, Alex Connaire, Darragh Donohue, Leon Connaire, Darren Murphy, Gavin McGuinness. (Photo: Joe Keane)

“Sarsfields is a very good team,” added Larkin.  “It was always kind of nothing between us.  But anytime Cappy and Sarsfields play, through the history, through this year, it’s been always a great battle.

“There’s always a point or two in the end, a goal today.  It was a goal when we played them in the championship.  That was all between us.  But the lads held out well and I just want to say well done to Sarsfields.  They tried.

“Liam Collins had a very good game today.  He scored the second goal and he scored a few points, frees.  I don’t think he missed, only one or two anyway.  He was crucial!  I’m just very happy for Liam.  He’s been working hard all year.  He was with the under 15 development squad and he fully deserves it today.”

Collins’ efforts were worthy of the man of the match award but keeper Michael Egan also had to be alert with some crucial saves when the New Inn/Bullaun team were enjoying the momentum.

“If those goals came in, it could have been a different story,” stated Larkin.  “But Mike (Egan) is a very talented goalie.  He came out well with the ball.

“Another lad I want to mention too is Dan Treacy.  Only three weeks ago, he came out of a cast.  He had a broken wrist this year.  He was touch-and-go for this match and he came back.  And he had a good performance coming out here today.  He kept the defence in touch.

“The future is bright for these lads once they keep with it, once they keep the work rate going, once they keep working.”