Is­land shine in must-win clash

Mar­shal­stown de­part race

New Ross Standard - - SPORT - ALAN AH­ERNE


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.

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