Shels survive recovery
SHELMALIERS 4-18 OUR LADY’S ISLAND 4-9
SHELMALIERS SURVIVED an Our Lady’s Island second-half recovery to eventually emerge with a nine-point victory from this Top Oil Intermediate ‘A’ hurling championship Group A game in Tagoat on Sunday.
While a 13-point half-time lead was reduced by a resurgent Island outfit on the resumption, with centre-forward Fintan Mullins leading the comeback with two splendid goals, the south county side fell short in their efforts for what would have been a morale-boosting victory ahead of their relegation decider with Marshalstown-Castledockrell.
For the Shels it was only a matter of fulfilling the fixture as they had already qualified for the quarter-final stage and couldn’t be dislodged from second place, but they will realise that considerable improvement is needed on that second-half display before facing Liam Mellows.
The Island got off to a bright start with opening points through Nicky Keane and Darragh Sinnott, but once the Shels got back level thanks to Johnny Campbell and a Benny Barron free, the floodgates soon opened.
Thirteen minutes into the game full-forward Ronan Kavanagh blasted to the net from close range, and with further goals from Kyle Roche and Liam Rockett, the Over The Water side went in with a 3-8 to 0-3 interval lead, the Island managing just a further solitary point after that bright opening from Darragh Sinnott.
Although the Island opened the second-half with a Nicky Keane point, the Shels responded with an excellent Kyle Roche goal to extend their lead to 4-8 to 0-4 after 33 minutes.
With points from Keane and Mullins, the Island upped the tempo of their game, and Mullins moved through the centre to shoot two excellent goals.
Suddenly just eight points separated the sides (4-13 to 3-8), as Daragh Sinnott also got in on the scoring act with nine minutes remaining.
The Shels managed to lift the siege and, with Kyle Roche and Benny Barron extending their side’s lead with further points, the issue was beyond doubt when Dean Maloney finished to the net in additional time. The Island now face their second relegation battle in three years.
Shelmaliers: Jack Watters; Graham Staples, Kevin O’Leary, Aaron Doyle; Chris Cowman, Aaron O’Neill, Johnny Campbell (0-1); Liam Rockett (0-1), Benny Barron (0-8, 5 frees); Denis Kelly, Willie O’Shaughnessy, Ryan Hanrahan; Kyle Roche (3-5), Ronan Kavanagh (1-1), Dan Campbell. Subs. - Aodhán Foley (0-2) for O’Leary, Stephen Whelan for Doyle, Joe Redmond for Hanrahan.
Our Lady’s Island: Alan Kinsella; Josh Burke, Colm Kinsella, Rory Reville; Davy Corish, Cathal Devereux, Aaron Corish; Cian Meyler, Noel Dempsey; Nicky Keane (0-3), Fintan Mullins (3-1), Darragh Sinnott (0-3); David Pettit, Dean Maloney (1-2, 0-1 free), Dean Corish.
Referee: Billy Dodd (Sarsfields).