MOOREHOUSE ON FIRE IN NEWRY!
Bray attacker bags 1-11 of Wicklow’s total as Storey’s charges retain Ring status
FOLLOWING a mixed Christy Ring Cup campaign, Wicklow and Derry renewed an old rivalry when the counties make the trip to Newry on Saturday last for the relegation play-off.
The outcome of the clash would see the winners retain their status while the losers would enter a last chance saloon situation against the Nicky Rackard winners for survival.
Wicklow were given a boost when Christy Moorehouse was cleared to play following an appeal during the week after his dismissal against Kildare in the last round.
And no doubt he played a major role on Saturday as the Bray man produced a five-star performance when he scored 1-11 of his side’s total and delivered a performance which inspired his team mates to step up to the mark as Martin Storey’s side scored a convincing win to retain their status for 2017.
Both teams showed one change from the programme which saw Diarmuid Masterson replace Anto Byrne, while Jonathan O’Dwyer started instead of Paul Cleary for Derry.
With the aid of a strong breeze in the opening half, Wicklow opened the scoring with a point from Daniel Staunton after two minutes.
This brought a quick response from the Derry men when Jonathan O’Dwyer scored a point from play to bring the sides level.
Wicklow showed their intent when they bagged three points on the trot.
Diarmuid Masterson scored a long-range point from play, while top scorer Christy Moorehouse pointed a free, and wing forward Pádraig Doran also got his name on the score board with a point from play which left Wicklow leading by 0-04 to 0-01 after seven minutes played.
Derry launched two attacks then but the Wicklow defence stood firm before a long ball from a free was floated in to the Wicklow goal area which ended in the net. The referee consulted with his umpires and then awarded a free out, much to the delight of the loyal Wicklow supporters who made the trip to support their team.
Wicklow surged forward which saw good move involving three players before Mikey Lee split the Derry defence, but his pile driver brought a excellent save from Darry McDermott in the Derry goal,
Wicklow continued to keep the pressure on which saw midfielder Eamon Kearns solo through but his shot went wide and the winners were also guilty of some bad shooting as they recorded two wides in a row, one from a free.
Derry surged up field but the in-form centre-back John Hen- derson cut off their threat which resulted in a free out being awarded and the first yellow card being shown to Derry wing forward Mark McGuigan.
After both sides missed two scoring chances each, a Derry attack resulted in a free being awarded which Ruairi Convery pointed to leave Wicklow leading on a score of 0-04 to 0-02 at the end of the first quarter.
At this stage Wicklow upped the tempo which saw Eamon Kearns find his way past several defenders only to be denied a goal by the alert Conor McSorley which resulted in a 65 being awarded but, on this occasion, Christy Morehouse was off target.
The Wicklow defence continued to battle hard and made life miserable for the Derry forwards while a hard working midfield pairing of Eamon Kearns and Ronan Keddy gave a good supply to the forwards who clicked as a unit. This united play resulted in three points being scored through Diarmuid Masterson, Daniel Staunton, and Christy Moorehouse to leave Wicklow leading by 0-07 to 0-02.
Wicklow were also unlucky not to have scored a goal during that spell when a pass from Mikey Lee was gathered by Daniel Staunton who rounded his maker but he shot wide.
Another Wicklow attack resulted in a free out to Derry which saw a melee develop and one or two Derry players can count themselves lucky to have stayed on the field of play.
A rare Derry attack saw a free being awarded which Ruairi O’Convery converted. This stirred Wicklow into action and, following a foul on Pádraig Doran, ace free taker Christy Morehouse scored a point from the free.
From the puck out, Eamon Kearns won possession around the midfield area which saw him drive a long ball down field which resulted in Daniel Staunton scoring a point while centre-forward Tommy Storey added another Wicklow point to give Wicklow a commanding lead of 0-10 to 0-03.
Derry set about reducing the deficit and were rewarded with two points, one each from wing forwards Mark McGuigan and top scorer Ruairi Convery, but it was the winners who finished the stronger with two points, after good work by John Henderson and Daniel Staunton resulted in Mikey Lee landing a point, while it was only fitting that Christy Moorehouse should close the first half scoring with a point from play to leave Wicklow leading by 0-12 to 0-05 at half-time.
Following the break, a fired up Derry side showed they were hurt and, trailing by seven points, they rallied strongly and struck over seven consecutive points, with early scores from Mark McGuigan and Ruairi Convery, and no doubt these scorers inspired the rest of the Derry team as they went on to take control and force Wicklow to play second fiddle to a rampant Derry side.
Corner-forward Oisin McCloskey landed the first of the seven points, his from play. Another Derry attack saw Mark McGuigan fouled and Ruairi Convery pointed.
The Derry dominance continued and they landed a point each from Tiarnan McCloskey, Mark McGuigan, and Ruairi Convery, to bring the sides level at 0-12 each.
This bombardment left the Wicklow side shell-shocked as they had been cruising in the opening half.
But, once again, Wicklow responded when they knew they had a battle on their hands. They went on to score two points from the in-form Christy Morehouse, one from play, while the Derry side kept in touch with a point which left one point between the sides with Wicklow leading by 0-14 to 0-13 at the end of the third quarter.
At this stage Wicklow really took the game to their opponents and, after hitting a couple of wides, Danny Staunton gave the winners the tonic they needed when he scored a great goal.
Staunton’s strike inspired those around him to up the tempo once more, and this fresh burst of energy resulted in Derry conceding frees which proved costly with Moorehouse on fire from placed balls. He added two points from frees and, for good measure, scored his side’s second goal which left the Garden county with a commanding lead of 2-16 to 0-13 well into the second half.
The remainder of the game saw the winners outscore their opponents by seven points to two.
A long ball from midfielder Eamon Kearns resulted in a 65, which Christy Moorhouse pointed. Second half substitute Anto Byrne also got his name on the score board.
Diarmuid Masterson and Christy Moorehouse went on to add two points each while Mikey Lee completed the Wicklow scoring with a point from play.
Derry substitute Deaglan Foley and Alan Grant scored two consolation points for Derry which left Wicklow comfortable winners and retaining their Christy Ring status for 2017.
This game saw Wicklow play their best hurling of the year as they dominated the opening half with some great defending, they controlled midfield and the forwards working as a unit with all six attackers getting on the score sheet while substitute Anto Byrne also scored a point, while another sub, Eoin McCormack, also played a part in Wicklow’s second goal.
Wicklow finished up worthy winners and they fully deserved their victory with all 17 players playing their part to achieve victory which sent the loyal band of supporters home happy.
After the game, Wicklow manager Martin Storey was full of praise for the team effort and commitment during the year and had no doubt that today was the team best performance and hoped he would play a part in the coming season.
County Chairman, Martin Coleman, thanked everyone concerned with the team for their efforts during the year and they got what they deserved in retaining their status and he also wished the players the best of luck in the local championship and urged the
entire panel to return for county duty at the end of the year.
Scorers – Wicklow: Christy Moorehouse 1-11 (8f, 1 65), Danny Staunton 1-03, Diarmuid Masterson 0-04, Mikey Lee 0-02, Pádraig Doran 0-01, Tommy Storey 0-01, Anto Byrne 0-01.
Derry: Ruairi Convery 0-07 (6f), Mark McGuigan 0-03, Jonathan O’Dwyer, Oisin McCloskey, Michael McGrath, Deaglan Foley, Alan Grant 0-01 each.
Wicklow: Dan ONeill; Luke Maloney, Stephen Kelly, Cathal O Dulachain; Peter Keane, John Henderson, Martin O’Brien; Ronan Keddy, Eamon Kearns; Pádraig Doran, Tommy Storey, Diarmuid Masterson; Mikey Lee, Christy Moorehouse, Daniel Staunton. Subs: Anto Byrne for P Doran, Eoin McCormack for D Staunton (BS), Daniel Staunton for E McCormack, Eoin McCormack for Tommy Storey.
Derry: Darryl McDermot; Darragh McCloskey, Conor Quinn, Sean McCullagh; Brendan Quigley, Conor McSorley, Brian Og McGillian; Alan Grant, Tiarnan McCloskey; Mark McGuinan, Jonathan Dwyer, Ruairi Convery; Garreth O’Kane, Shane Farren, Oisin McCloskey. Subs: Michael McGrath for Garreth O’Kane, Deaglan Foley for Jonathan O’Dwyer.
Referee: John O’Brien (Tipperary)
Wicklow’s Ronan Keddy storms up the field during the Christy Ring Cup relegation battle.
The tide turns - Urgency on the Wicklow sideline as the hurlers start to get the better of Derry.