Shels see off Buf­fers Al­ley

Both sides now in last eight

Enniscorthy Guardian - - SPORT - BREN­DAN FUR­LONG


SHEL­MALIERS cruised past an in­jury hit Buf­fers Al­ley in this hugely dis­ap­point­ing Pet­titt’s Se­nior Hurl­ing Cham­pi­onship Round 5 Group A game played at In­no­vate Wex­ford Park on Satur­day evening.

Shel­maliers needed both points to se­cure their quar­ter-final spot for fear of other re­sults not go­ing their way and this they achieved with­out any real dif­fi­culty against a Buf­fers Al­ley side that had the lux­ury of a knock-out spot go­ing into this game, for they qual­i­fied on a head to head vic­tory with Glynn-Barn­town who de­spite de­mol­ish­ing last year’s beaten fi­nal­ists, Clough­bawn, saw their cham­pi­onship ended on a dis­ap­point­ing note.

For the Shel­maliers the re­sult saw them back in busi­ness af­ter com­ing through a dread­ful sixty min­utes of hurl­ing.

Should they serve up a re­peat in the quar­ter-final they will find it dif­fi­cult to achieve a re­sult, while for the Al­ley they will be solely de­pen­dent on their in­jured play­ers to in­flu­ence them, for as they stand at the mo­ment they will hardly test who­ever their quar­ter-final op­po­nents may be.

Played out in front of a dis­ap­point­ing crowd, which must have re­duced to less than two hun­dred for the sec­ond half, the hurl­ing was de­void of in­ter­est, as it lacked a real com­pet­i­tive edge, with the Shels sim­ply play­ing through the final 20 min­utes as the Al­ley chal­lenge evap­o­rated into a to­ken chal­lenge, which left their hard­ened sup­port­ers and past play­ers frus­trated at the fee­ble­ness of their chal­lenge.

Conor Byrne, free, and An­drew Kenny ex­changed open­ing points, but once Byrne pointed his side in front once again with a sixth minute free, it was a lead they were never sub­se­quently to lose, for they went on to add fur­ther points through Ciaran O’Shaugh­nessy and Conor Hearne to lead 0-4 to 0-1 af­ter 12 min­utes and play­ing into the breeze.

With the Al­ley un­able to mount any real chal­lenge and play­ing the sweeper sys­tem when as­sisted by the breeze it was no sur­prise that they strug­gled for scores, be­ing mainly de­pen­dent on Paul O’Leary’s free­tak­ing and An­drw Kenny points to keep them in touch, but they still trailed 0-8 to 0-6 at the in­ter­val leav­ing them with a real chal­lenge if they were to get a re­sult from this game.

The Al­ley needed a good start to this half, but it was the Shels who mounted a se­ries of at­tacks but their fin­ish­ing did not match their out­field play as they shot four suc­ces­sive wides.

The Al­ley in their first real sec­ond half at­tack saw Pauyl O’Leary point a 35th minute free, but that was as good as it got as the Shels fi­nally found their ac­cu­racy re­spond­ing with points from Eoin Doyle, An­dre O’Brien and Stephen Banville to lead 0-11 to 0-7 af­ter 38 min­utes.

Mean­while the Al­ley strug­gle be­came more pro­nounced de­spite a fine Paul O’Leary point from play, as the Shels had points through substitute Joe Kelly along with Ciaran O’Shaugh­nessy and Conor Hearne to stretch into a 0-15 to 0-9 lead with nine min­utes re­main­ing in the game.

With the Al­ley only pro­vid­ing a to­ken chal­lenge it was the Shels who added to their op­po­nent’s woes when keeper Brian Mur­phy goaled a 56th minute penalty en­abling his side to emerge with a com­fort­able nine-point vic­tory but still leav­ing man­ager Tom Mul­lally with much work to do.

Shel­maliers: Brian Mur­phy (1-0 pen); Ciaran Walsh, Ai­dan Mur­phy, Benny Bar­ron; Glen Malone, Ai­dan Cash, Si­mon Dono­hoe; An­dre O’Brien (0-1), Eoin Doyle (0-2); Stephen Banville (0-1), Brian Malone (0-1), Conor Hearne (0-2); Ciaran O’Shaugh­nessy (0-2), Eoghan Nolan (0-1), Conor Byrne (0-3 frees). Subs: Joe Kelly (04, 0-2 frees, 0-1, 65) for Byrne; James Cash for Banville; Arnie Mur­phy for Doyle; Tommy Bar­ron for O’Shaugh­nessy; Conor Walsh for Glen Malone.

Buf­fers Al­ley: Dar­ren O’Brien; Ciaran Mur­phy, Sean Mur­phy, Paudie Reidy; Bobby Kenny, Ross Dono­hoe, Robert O’Leary; Kevin Roche (0-1), Sean Og Whe­lan; Wil­lie Do­ran (0-1), Domh­nall McAr­dle, Shane Gran­nell; Conor Kenny, An­drew Kenny (0-3), Paul O’Leary (0-6, 0-5 frees).

Ref­eree: An­drew Tobin (Ger O’Han­ra­hans).

Conor Kenny of Buf­fers Al­ley com­petes with Eoin Doyle of Shel­maliers.

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