Masterclass from Shane
ST. JAMES’ ST. PATRICK’S 2-19 2-10
SHANE MURPHY was the star of the show as his haul of 2-10 propelled St. James’ into an All-County Hurling League Division 3 final meeting with Shamrocks after an efficient 2-19 to 2-10 victory over St. Patrick’s in Sunday’s clash at Camolin.
The former Wexford Under-21 hurler posed a constant threat up front, always seeming to make the right move at the right time while simultaneously playing the role of creator and scorer-in-chief for the Ramsgrange men.
That said, the hosts enjoyed the brighter start as Tomás Morris plastered home a goal on five minutes after Tynan Flynn’s initial effort from out the field came down off the post.
The same two players contributed four of St. Pat’s five points in the remainder of the half, with Morris angling over a beauty from near the sideline in what was their most productive spell of the entire contest.
But a thrilling passage of play saw seven points shared over a six-minute period, with a brace from Murphy and the equally-menacing Michael O’Grady giving St. James’ a slim 0-11 to 1-6 advantage at half-time.
And they really hammered home their authority on 40 minutes when Murphy made yards on the scorched earth before unleashing a rocket shot to the net (1-13 to 1-6).
Eleven of St. Patrick’s 15 wides would arrive after the break, with Niall O’Brien ending a run of seven consecutive mis-cues with a point on 43 minutes to cut the gap.
But they were always playing catch-up from the moment Murphy goaled for the first time, and he added salt to the locals’ wounds seven minutes from time when he gathered and dispatched from close-range as the difference swelled to 2-17 to 1-10.
Paul McDonald pulled a consolation goal back late on when he batted home a cross from his midfield colleague Tommy Dunne, but St. James’ were home and hosed long before then.
The litany of absentees for both sides must be acknowledged, with household names such as Mark Molloy and Matthew O’Hanlon for the victors, and John Doyle and Michael O’Brien for St. Patrick’s, all unavailable for different reasons.
St. James’: Graeme Molloy; Paul Barron, Jason Barron, Jamie Doran; David Doyle (capt.), Liam Murphy, Tommy Walsh; Brian Molloy (0-2), Mark Myler; Daniel Keating, Shane Murphy (2-10, 0-4 frees), Darragh Lyons; Donal Barron, Alan Walsh (0-2), Michael O’Grady (0-5). Subs. - John Ryan for Murphy (55), Conor Dalton for D. Barron (60).
St. Patrick’s: Stuart Quinn; Brian Cadigan, Joe Cousins, James Cousins; Hughie Doyle (capt.), Daryl Murphy, Tommy Morris; Tommy Dunne, Paul McDonald (1-1); Shane Finn, Tynan Flynn (0-3), Andrew Doyle; Ashley Tully, Tomás Morris (1-4, 0-3 frees), Niall O’Brien (0-2). Subs. - Glen Carton for Cadigan (40), Conor Morris for Tully (51), Kyle Byrne for A. Doyle (58).
Referee: Paul Browne (Clonee).