Shels sur­vive re­cov­ery

New Ross Standard - - SPORT - BREN­DAN FUR­LONG


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).

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