Martin’s do it the hard way

Win­ners re­duced to 13 men

New Ross Standard - - SPORT - DAVE DEV­EREUX


ST. MARTIN’S cer­tainly had to do it hard way to book their place in the Per­ma­nent TSB Ju­nior ‘A’ hurl­ing cham­pi­onship final as they doggedly edged out Kil­more in a ten­sion-filled en­counter in Hol­ly­mount on Sun­day.

With the men in ma­roon and white lead­ing 2-8 to 1-7, John Cole­man was dis­missed af­ter re­ceiv­ing a sec­ond yel­low card just be­fore the in­ter­val.

That ad­van­tage was down to the min­i­mum when they were re­duced to 13 men, with ref­eree Seán Slaven show­ing Richard Dev­ereux a straight red card with just over ten min­utes re­main­ing.

How­ever, they some­how man­aged to pull it out of the fire, show­ing guts and com­po­sure to de­ter­minedly get over the line.

Af­ter Tommy Cousins popped over an early point for Kil­more, St. Martin’s be­gan to build up a head of steam with scores from Seán Stafford (two) and Kyle Fir­man giv­ing them a 0-3 to 0-1 ad­van­tage.

Tom Byrne ar­rowed over an eye-catch­ing point in the sixth minute to re­duce the deficit, but the Pierces­town and Mur­rin­town men quickly stamped their author­ity on the con­test, plun­der­ing the open­ing goal mo­ments later.

Ben Maddock floated a de­liv­ery into Seán Stafford, which he gath­ered su­perbly be­fore ri­fling the ball be­yond Noel Casey.

In the ninth minute Aaron Goff judged the strong wind to per­fec­tion to fire over a ‘65 but they were again quickly rocked back on their heels by a sec­ond St. Martin’s ma­jor.

Conor Cole­man robbed pos­ses­sion on the right wing and fed Richard Dev­ereux, and the cen­tre-for­ward made no mis­take, con­fi­dently driv­ing the ball to the net.

Kil­more needed a break and af­ter Aaron Goff had con­verted a free they got just that.

Tom Byrne played a hope­ful ball into the dan­ger zone and Paul Mur­phy got the vi­tal touch to help it over the goal line to drag them back within two (2-3 to 1-4).

Aaron Goff’s radar was work­ing well, and he ar­rowed over two more frees, ei­ther side of a Conor Cole­man placed ball, be­fore Adam Cantwell got his name on the score­sheet with a fine point.

St. Martin’s stretched the lead out to four points with Conor Cole­man adding three more to his tally and Tom Byrne re­ply­ing, but some of the pep was taken out of their step when John Cole­man was dis­missed sec­onds be­fore the half-time whis­tle.

Kil­more looked to be mak­ing the most of their nu­mer­i­cal ad­van­tage af­ter the turn­around and they quickly clawed their way back to within a point, with Shane Goff, Aaron Goff and Paul Mur­phy all rais­ing white flags.

St. Martin’s re­sponded well to feel­ing the breath on the back of their necks though, with Conor Cole­man slot­ting over two frees, Richard Dev­ereux see­ing his shot de­flected over the bar and Seán Stafford split­ting the posts to stretch the lead to five (2-12 to 1-10) by the mid­way point of the half.

Tommy Cousins pared one point off that lead and the game was right back in the melt­ing pot when Tom Byrne gath­ered a Paul Mur­phy hand pass and drove a shot in­side the near post de­spite the best ef­forts of goal­keeper Dy­lan Byrne.

St. Martin’s suf­fered a fur­ther blow two min­utes later when Richard Dev­ereux was red-carded but substitute Edward O’Byrne gave them a lift by plun­der­ing a point with five min­utes re­main­ing.

Aaron Goff con­verted a 58th minute free to again leave the min­i­mum be­tween the sides, but St. Martin’s refused to buckle and Seán Stafford steered over the final point to seal the deal.

St. Martin’s: Dy­lan Byrne; Pádraig Ros­siter, Tony Kelly, Philip Dempsey; Adrian Ryan (capt.), John Cole­man, Ryan Mur­phy; Ben Maddock, Johnny Hamil­ton; Conor Cole­man (0-6, 5 frees), Richard Dev­ereux (1-1), Adam Cantwell (0-1); Kyle Fir­man (0-1), David Cuth­bert, Seán Stafford (1-4). Subs. - James Bog­gan for Cuth­bert, Donal Kelly for Ros­siter, Edward O’Byrne (0-1) for Cantwell, Kevin Price for Fir­man.

Kil­more: Noel Casey; Paddy Scallan, Eoin Cooney, De­nis Kenny; Pádraig Reville, Ste­vie Cousins (capt.), Aaron Kielthy; Tommy Cousins (0-2), Robie Bar­den; Tom White, Philip Sut­ton, Aaron Goff (0-6, 5 frees, 1 ‘65); Paul Mur­phy (1-1), John Mer­nagh, Tom Byrne (1-2). Subs. - Shane Goff (0-1) for Sut­ton, Rory Cardiff for Cooney, Robert Cousins for Scallan.

Ref­eree: Seán Slaven (Faythe Har­ri­ers).

Richie Fo­ley of Rap­pa­rees puts pres­sure on Daithi Wa­ters of St. Martin’s dur­ing their Se­nior hurl­ing cham­pi­onship match.

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