Rathnure bring an end to Oylegate’s winning run
THE traditional order of things was eventually asserted at Bellefield on Saturday where the aristocrats of Rathnure ended the evening two goals ahead of the upstarts from Oylegate.
The boys in blue displayed much to admire in the first three-quarters of a match which was tied after 45 minutes of enterprising play.
However, they were then given a lesson in how to close out a contest by the canny gentlemen from the Blackstairs who pulled relentlessly away at the death.
Once behind, Oylegate showed all the symptoms of panic and found that there is more to tactics than putting your best player on the edge of the square and lumping the ball in his general direction.
On a night when a decent size crowd came to Enniscorthy to admire two sides already sure of their places in the quarter-finals, that player Podge Doran was at the heart of much of the first half action.
The big man, with the nippier Seamus Casey and Jamie Reck as his allies, had Rathnure on the defensive and living off the free-taking of Jack Guiney for much of the first half.
Then, shortly before the interval, much of Oylegate’s good work was un-done as corner forward Brendan O’Leary was allowed the freedom of the park to pick his spot in the net behind John Foley.
After being four points adrift and clearly struggling, the eventual winners found themselves a mere one behind at the break, having registered just three scores from play.
They re-emerged with much greater purpose and clearly intent on upping their game, trading point for point throughout the third quarter which ended with a balanced scoreline of 1-13 to 0-16.
Then came the goal which tilted the balance emphatically Rathnure’s way, Ben Ronan taking the ball at speed through a back-pedalling defence to give Foley no chance with a smartly struck shot.
The purposeful approach which had marked their opponents’ play then disintegrated and, given room to run riot, Michael Redmond suddenly looked like a world beater as he struck a brace of late points with gusto as Rathnure extended their advantage to six.
Nothing witnessed at Bellefield suggested that Oulart or the Martin’s should be quaking in their boots but this was a decent exhibition of hurling all the same.
Rathnure: Dermot Flynn, Denis Maher, Brian Quigley, Anthony O’Connell; Paddy Whitley, Eoin Boggan, Aidan Redmond; Richie Flynn, Declan Foley; Ciaran O’Connor, Jack Guiney (0-9, 7 frees and 2 65’s), Shane Lawlor (0-1); Brendan O’Leary (1-0), Micheál Redmond (0-5), Syl Barron. Subs: Ben Ronan (1-0) for Redmond 15 minutes; Seanie Redmond for O’Connor 45 minutes; Rory Higgins (0-1) for O’Leary 45 minutes; Rory Higgins (0-1) for Lawlor 45 minutes.
Oylegate-Glenbrien: John Foley, Ciaran Hourihane, Michael Heffernan, Mike Kelly; Bryan McCormack, Damien Reck, Shane Reck; Mark Kavanagh, Fergus Heffernan; Podge Doran (0-4), Jamie Reck (0-2), Marty Kelly (0-1); Conor Heffernan, Jim White (0-3), Seamus Casey (0-6, 3 frees and a 65). Subs: Conor Doyle for C Heffernan 30 minutes; Tom White (0-1) for F Heffernan.
Referee: John Carton (Monageer-Boolavogue).
Rathnure’s Eoin Boggan launches a bomb during the Pettitt’s SHC clash with Oylegate-Glenbrien.
Rathnure’s Ciaran O’Connor collides with Oylegate-Glenbrien’s Mike Kelly at Bellefield.