Mellows locked in relegation battle
LIAM MELLOWS SHELMALIERS
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).