Rocks and GOH advance
TARA ROCKS GER. O’HANRAHANS 1-23 2-10
TARA ROCKS assumed control after the interval to see off Geraldine O’Hanrahans and take top spot in Group B of the Top Oil Intermediate ‘A’ hurling championship in St. Patrick’s Park on Sunday.
The sides were deadlocked at 1-7 apiece at half-time, but with the accurate Dean O’Toole pointing the way, the north county outfit pulled away at a canter in the second period.
Tommy Boland grabbed the opening score inside 20 seconds, but Geraldine O’Hanrahans were handed the opportunity to make an early statement when Kevin Grangel was taken down for a penalty.
Goalkeeper Brandon Gardiner made the long walk forward, but his opposite number Tom Hughes was equal to the effort, getting down well to his right to save the shot.
Tara Rocks were shading it 0-4 to 0-3 by the twelfth minute, and they twice went close to raising a green flag in the space of three minutes, with both Fionn Doyle and Patrick Fortune failing to get firm enough connections on their efforts on goal.
The Geraldines did manage to hit the back of the net at the other end, but it was only after an almighty scramble, with Brian Haberlin sweeping a ground stroke to the net to put the New Ross side ahead (1-5 to 0-6).
However, after Eoin Kelly stretched the lead to three, Brendan Hobbs showed his strength to burst through the defence and apply the finish to draw Tara Rocks level.
The Gorey District outfit upped the ante after the interval and built up a 1-15 to 1-9 lead by the midpoint in the half, with Dean O’Toole, Brendan Hobbs, Richard Hughes, Fionn Doyle and Tommy Boland all doing the needful.
Dylan Egan re-ignited hope for Geraldine O’Hanrahans when he drove a blistering 20-yard shot low and hard to the net in the 47th minute, but it didn’t ruffle the Tara Rocks feathers and they closed out the game in style, with Dean O’Toole knocking over a succession of scores from frees and play.
The result left Tara Rocks sitting pretty at the top of the group, while the draw between Shelmaliers and Liam Mellows meant Geraldine O’Hanrahans scraped into the last eight.
Tara Rocks: Tom Hughes; Aidan Jones, Edward Hughes, Cillian O’Toole; Jim Hughes, Niall Hughes, Mossy Owley; Niall Breen (capt.), Mark Boland (0-1); Fionn Doyle (0-3), Tommy Boland (0-2), Richard Hughes (0-1); Dean O’Toole (0-12, 7 frees), Brendan Hobbs (1-4), Patrick Fortune. Sub. - Peter Hughes for Fortune.
Geraldine O’Hanrahans: Brandon Gardiner; Gerry Cash, Tony Murphy, Michael Cleere; Enda Kelly, Dylan Egan (capt., 1-1), Conor Cleere; Barry Kelly (0-1), Jack Foran (0-1); Brian Haberlin (1-0), Stephen Somers (0-1), Eoin Kelly (0-5, 3 frees); Kevin Grangel, David Crowdle, Barry Roche (0-1). Subs. - Shane Murray for Somers, Dylan Wickham for Roche.
Referee: John O’Loughlin (Monageer-Boolavogue).
Kevin Ryan (Rapparees) racing away from Rory Jacob and Eoin Moore of Oulart-The Ballagh in the SHC game.