By Michael O’Leary
James Stephens maintained their 100% record of having won all matches in the Minor Roinn A Hurling League, as they made it three wins from three to finish strongly & win 1-17 to 1-15 against Young Irelands of Gowran in Gowran last night (Monday).
In a superbly hard-fought contest in which James Stephens goalkeeper Daniel Power gave a top-class performance with a host of fine saves & assured handling, the winners made a bright start & they led 1-4 to 0-3 at the first water break.
However, the Gowran lads responded & a well-taken goal from Daniel Manning narrowed the gap to a point(1-4 to 1-3) & it was mainly point for point for the remainder of the half as the teams were all square at the interval, 1-7 each.
It was tit for tat throughout the third quarter, as Young Irelands held a slender lead heading into the final quarter, 1-12 to 1-11.
When Young Irelands stretched the lead with points from a Mikey Knox and a superb inspirational long-range effort from play by Ben Phelan, it appeared that they were closing in on victory – 1-14 to 1-11, but James Stephens dug deep outsourcing Young Irelands 0-6 to 0-1 over the final ten minutes to run out two point winners.