Mel­lows locked in rel­e­ga­tion bat­tle

New Ross Standard - - SPORT - BRIAN CARTY


LIAM MEL­LOWS must pro­duce their best per­for­mance of the year in the up­com­ing rel­e­ga­tion fi­nal against Rath­nure af­ter a 2-11 each draw with Shel­maliers in the fi­nal round of Group B games in the Top Oil In­ter­me­di­ate ‘A’ hurl­ing cham­pi­onship at Mon­ageer on Sun­day wasn’t enough for the north county men to avoid par­tic­i­pa­tion in the de­cider no club wants to play.

The dam­age was done from their per­spec­tive by a cou­ple of heavy de­feats to Tara Rocks and Fethard ear­lier in the cam­paign which gave them a far in­fe­rior score dif­fer­ence to every other team in the group, mean­ing only a win would have suf­ficed.

But they will de­rive pos­i­tives from the man­ner in which they fought back to share the spoils, as a close-range goal late on from Conor Carty, and a free from Colin Kennedy from the last at­tack of the game, saw them deny Shel­maliers.

The Over The Water side knew a draw would do as they sought to pre­serve their own In­ter­me­di­ate ‘A’ sta­tus, and they were in­debted to the ac­cu­racy of young­ster Seán Keane-Car­roll who fin­ished with an im­pres­sive haul of 1-9.

His goal ar­rived on ten min­utes when he wrig­gled free and goaled from a seem­ingly dif­fi­cult an­gle, and his propen­sity to find a score at op­por­tune mo­ments was the stand-out fea­ture of his per­for­mance.

In­deed, he ac­counted for Shel­maliers’ last four scores, in­clud­ing three from play, while Ro­nan Ka­vanagh swiped home their sec­ond goal as they looked in busi­ness by 2-11 to 1-10 by the 59th minute.

But sub­sti­tute Gavin Stamp had ear­lier replied with a goal for Liam Mel­lows, and they even­tu­ally fought back for par­ity, which was aca­demic in the end.

Liam Mel­lows: Dar­ragh Mur­phy; Frank Roche, Conor Cleary, Ris­teárd Kin­sella; Aaron Con­dren, Danny Gar­diner, Andy Mer­ri­gan; Colin Kennedy (0-4, 3 frees, 1 ‘45), Stephen Moloney (0-1); Ross Cody (0-1), Joe Gar­diner, Marc Halpin; Conor Carty (1-0), Richard Far­rell (0-3), Eoin Cullen (0-2 frees). Subs. - Gavin Stamp (1-0) for Halpin, Stephen Raf­ferty for Cullen, Colm Mor­ris for J. Gar­diner.

Shel­maliers: Adam Howlin; Eoghan Fitzger­ald, Kevin O’Leary, Graham Sta­ples; Craig Parker (0-1), Eoin O’Leary, Cathal Gaule; Denis Kelly, Cian Man­ley; Stephen Whe­lan (0-1), Wil­lie O’Shaugh­nessy, Seán Keane-Car­roll (1-9, 0-3 frees, 0-1 ’65); Aod­hán Fo­ley, Ro­nan Ka­vanagh (1-0), Kyle Roche. Subs. - Joe Red­mond for Fo­ley, Niall Hearne for Gaule.

Ref­eree: David O’Leary (Rath­nure).

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