Island shine in must-win clash
Marshalstown depart race
OUR LADY’S ISLAND M’TOWN-C’RELL 1-18 0-12
THE STAKES couldn’t have been any higher in Killurin on Sunday when Our Lady’s Island and Marshalstown-Castledockrell locked horns in this Top Oil Intermediate ‘A’ hurling championship Group A clash, knowing that the loser would be departing from the title race.
And although the Enniscorthy District side came into the game on the back of a surprise but fully-merited win over Oulart-The Ballagh, they were no match for their fired-up south county rivals who have come with a late burst to reach the quarter-finals, building solidly on that narrow victory over St. Patrick’s last time out.
Indeed, the Island were full value for their nine-point success, and the only matter open to debate was which one of their substitutes made the bigger impact off the bench.
That accolade rested between two players, for starters Noel Dempsey whose first touch after his half-time introduction was a sublime crossfield pass from the left corner to set up Darragh Sinnott for the game’s decisive goal.
That strike pushed the Island clear by 1-11 to 0-6 and was the perfect tonic as they were now facing the breeze.
And while the unfortunate Sinnott departed soon after on a stretcher with an ankle injury, his replacement, Eoin Wright, was keen to match Dempsey on the ‘super-sub’ front as he fired over three eye-catching points before the end.
Defeat and a frustrating fifth place finish will come as a big blow to the youthful Marshalstown-Castledockrell outfit whose elusive county Minor, Diarmuid Doyle, posed a serious threat in the early stages.
His two points cancelled out earlier efforts from the equally talented Quinn Saunders, and Dean Maloney (free), while Eoin Bennett pointed from a tight angle to push the green and gold-clad side 0-3 to 0-2 clear in the seventh minute.
A good patch followed from the Island though as Cian Meyler, Maloney (free), Colm Kinsella, Fintan Mullins and Saunders opened up a four-point gap.
And they had gone one better by the break, retiring with an 0-11 to 0-6 advantage after Saunders, Maloney (free), Meyler and Cathal Devereux added further scores, with Diarmuid Doyle (two frees) and substitute Colm Quigley replying.
Quigley posed the only attacking threat for Marshalstown-Castledockrell on the re-start, picking off another two points, but that early goal left the Island in command.
James Farrell and Quigley did pull back two points in the third quarter, but any flow in the game was unavoidably lost around that period due to a series of injuries.
Eoin Wright ended a barren spell for the Island lasting nearly 16 minutes with his first point, and they drove on from there to earn the right to meet Fethard in the quarter-final.
Our Lady’s Island: Alan Kinsella; Brian Moore, Eamon Maloney (capt.), Rory Reville; Cathal Devereux (0-1), Liam Kinsella, Davy Corish; Gary Walsh (0-1), Joey Murphy; Dean Maloney (0-3 frees), Fintan Mullins (0-2), Quinn Saunders (0-5, 1 free); Cian Meyler (0-2), Colm Kinsella (0-1), Darragh Sinnott (1-0). Subs. - Noel Dempsey for C. Kinsella, inj. (HT), Nicky Keane for Sinnott, inj. (41), Eoin Wright (0-3) for D. Maloney, inj. (45), Dylan Murphy for Meyler (60+6).
Marshalstown-Castledockrell: Mark Brennan; Johnny Frayne, Darragh Kehoe, Ken Doyle; David O’Connor, Colm Bennett, Mark Morris; Michael Morris, John Cullen; James Farrell (0-1), James Finn (0-1), Michael Kelly; Diarmuid Doyle (0-6, 4 frees), Joe Kelly (capt.), Eoin Bennett (0-1). Subs. - Colm Quigley (0-3) for E. Bennett, inj. (27), Michael Hughes for J. Kelly, Eoin Bennett for Farrell (56).
Referee: Derek Murphy (St. Martin’s). JOHN DOYLE was the St. Patrick’s’ talisman yet again as his tally of 0-10 steered his side to a crucial 1-16 to 1-11 Group A victory over Rathnure’s second string in round five of the Top Oil Intermediate ‘A’ hurling championship in Monageer on Sunday.
Doyle set out his stall with a customary long-range free less than a minute in, and he supplied three more points to the scoreboard, while his colleagues Tynan Flynn, Richie Flood and Eamon O’Leary also pointed as the Camolin/Ballyoughter men developed a 0-8 to 0-1 lead on 22 minutes.
And things got even better for the leaders in their next attack when Tommy Dunne fed Flynn, who in turn transferred to the better-placed Stephen Ryan for a crashing drive to the far corner of the net. Rathnure’s Teddy O’Connor was accurate from placed balls himself, and he had three such scores on the board as St. Patrick’s held a 1-10 to 0-4 lead at half-time.
O’Connor and Doyle shared the next four scores evenly (all frees), while the latter stretched the gap to 1-13 to 0-6 after 40 minutes.
Nigel Higgins nicked only Rathnure’s second point from play five minutes from time, but they did finish with a mini-flourish.
Paul Murphy pointed not long after his introduction, while fellow substitute Paddy Flynn flashed a consolation goal to the net in injury time, but it wasn’t enough to prevent a meeting with Liam Mellows in the relegation final. Meanwhile, St. Patrick’s advance to the quarter-finals with growing confidence.
St. Patrick’s: Stuart Quinn; James Cousins, Michael O’Brien, Joe Cousins; Hughie Doyle, Dermot O’Leary, Peter Roche; Richie Flood (0-2), Daryl Murphy; Shane Finn, John Doyle (0-10, 6 frees), Stephen Ryan (1-0); Eamon O’Leary (0-1), Tommy Dunne (0-1), Tynan Flynn (0-2). Subs. - Tomás Morris for O’Leary, Tommy Morris for Ryan, Brian Cadigan for Joe Cousins, Ashley Tully for Finn, Michael Carroll for Flood.
Rathnure: Seán Nolan; James Flynn, Shane Barron, Aodhán Foley; Thomas Furlong, Teddy O’Connor (0-8 frees), Alan Ronan; Shane Murphy, Michael Martin; Anthony Westnott, Fran Murphy, Ben Ronan; Mick O’Leary, Nigel Higgins (0-2), Kiall Byrne. Subs. - Jason Lawlor for Westnott, Paddy Flynn (1-0) for Ronan, Paul Murphy (0-1) for Martin, Jamie Miller for Byrne.
Referee: Pat Kehoe (Rathgarogue-Cushinstown).
Conor McDonald of Naomh Eanna gets to the ball a split second before county colleague Aaron Maddock (St. Martin’s) in their Pettitt’s SHC encounter in Bellefield on Sunday.