ULSTER used a Rory Woods point in the dying moments to just scrape by and annex the junior hurling title after a brilliant hour of hurling. With both sides leaving it all on the line, a hugely entertaining outing went down to the wire, and indeed Hoboken had a 20 meter free that would have put them ahead just before Wood’s winner.
Hoboken broke out the gate early and had two points on the board from Shane Quinn and Joe O’Connor inside three minutes.
Ulster settled and they had three of the next four scores to move into a slim lead, with both sides battling intensely. Peter Hatzer was having a big effect at center half for Ulster, while the long ball was being used into Woods continuously.
Quinn and David Varley pushed Hoboken ahead once more, but Ulster had a penalty awarded when Woods was fouled in the large parallelogram. Maurice O’Callaghan took the peno but his shot was stopped and cleared to safety with Stephen Delaney excellent.
O’Callaghan did have the next four Ulster points to offset a O’Connor effort to push the winners into a 0-8 to 0-6 lead. Hoboken also had a point called back when the whistle went for a foul on the ball before the strike. No foul was committed, however, and a throw in occurred with Ger McFettridge from Ulster getting a yellow card at the next stop in play for his indiscretions before the incident.
After a McFettridge score to open the second half, Hoboken had a huge break. A long free from full back Paul Sweeney eluded all and bounced to the net.
After an O’Callaghan free Hoboken had their second goal, This time Quinn rattled the strings with a low drive. Points followed from O’Callaghan (two) and a Delaney free when he came out the field and fired over from close to 90 yards to give his side a 2-7 to 0-12 lead.
In a flurry between the 18th and 24th minutes the landscape changed again around the scoreboard. Cahir McNaughton set up Woods for a goal for the winners before the same player added their second with a shot after a run through the middle.
Five ahead they looked safe, but Hoboken had other ideas. O’Connor stormed through for a goal and then added a point from play.
Fintan Meehan had the sides level with another point before his side had a free from the 20 meter line on the left side of goal after O’Connor was fouled. The free went to the left and wide, however, and Ulster had one more chance on the restart.
The ball went down the field and was pumped into the full forward line. Woods pulled it down and sent a screamer over the lathe for the winner.
Hoboken Guards: 1 Stephen Delaney (0-1), 2 Mark Loughnane, 4 Paul Sweeney (1-0), 5 John Fitzgerald, 6 Leo Quigley, 7 James Egan, 8 Darren Coffey, 9 David Varley (0-1), 10 Shane Quinn (1-2), 11 Paul Loughnane, 12 Joe O’Connor (1-3), 13 Pat Egan, 15 Fintan Meehan (0-2). Subs: Adrian Purcell, Colm Reilly.
Ulster: 1 Eoghan McCorry, 2 Paul McCormack, 4 Dan Kenny, 5 Ian Gibbs, 6 Peter Hatzer, 7 Tom Daniels, 8 David O’Halloran (0-3), 9 Peader McMahon, 10 Ger McFettridge (0-1), 11 Cahir McNaughton (1-0), 12 Adam Fitzgerald (0-1), 13 Rory Woods (1-1), 15 Maurice O’Callaghan (0-7). Subs: Richie Morgan, Stephen King, Lawrence Kennedy.
Man of the match: Rory Woods (Ulster).
Referee: Eugene Kyne (Turloughmore).