Attacker unstoppable in the first-half
DUNBRODY GAELS C’BEG-B’MURN 2-13 1-12
A FIRST-HALF scoring masterclass by full-forward Jamie Myler secured victory for the home side in Horeswood on Saturday when Dunbrody Gaels advanced to the semi-final of the Greenstar Under-20 football Division 2 championship at the expense of Crossabeg-Ballymurn.
The ace attacker was virtually unmarkable before the break, with 1-5 of his 1-7 haul coming from play as the locals opened up a convincing 2-8 to 0-5 lead.
And although Crossabeg-Ballymurn held their own throughout the second period, the real damage had been done by that stage and their late penalty goal only served to put a better gloss on the final scoreline.
The one bright spot for the losers - minus key man Ronan Devereux - was the outstanding marksmanship of corner-forward Mark Byrne who finished with a 1-10 haul, and his pointed free put them ahead inside one minute.
However, the Horeswood/St. James’ combination hit 1-6 without reply before they registered again, with Myler goaling in the 20th minute after a long ball by Seán Nolan broke into his path via a defender’s hands.
He had also kicked five points, three from play, by that juncture, even though Crossabeg-Ballymurn sought to limit the damage by bringing corner-forward Conor Murphy back for extra protection in that troublesome area.
The margin stood at nine points by half-time, with Tommy Walsh finishing good work by Jack Kehoe and Seán Nolan to add the second Dunbrody goal in the 29th minute.
Crossabeg-Ballymurn netminder James White had also made a couple of good saves to deny James Walsh, and his side seemed incapable of mounting any sort of comeback
To their credit, though, they kept plugging away and outscored the victors by 1-7 to 0-5 in the second-half, although the outcome was never in doubt.
Darragh Lyons, Seán Nolan and Jamie Myler in particular were able to step it up whenever they needed to, and their side led by 2-12 to 0-10 at the end of the third quarter.
Mark Byrne’s dead ball accuracy was first rate for the visitors, and he slotted home their goal from a spot-kick in added time after netminder Aaron Mythen was penalised for overcarrying in his own square.
There will be no repeat of the county final appearance of their hurlers in Division 4 in September when they lost to Liam Mellows, whereas Dunbrody Gaels will be at home again when Castletown make the long journey south on November 17.
Dunbrody Gaels: Aaron Mythen; Nigel Dunne-Sheriff, Eamonn O’Sullivan, Dean Roberts; Cathal Mernagh (0-1), Darragh Lyons (0-1), David Murphy; Danny Byrne, Tommy Walsh (1-0); Seán Nolan (capt., 0-2), James Fitzgerald, Barry Walsh-Howlin; Jack Kehoe, Jamie Myler (1-9, 0-2 frees), James Walsh. Subs. - Owen Whitty for Byrne (41), John Chapman for J. Walsh (46), Conor Dalton for Walsh-Howlin (49).
Crossabeg-Ballymurn: James White; Michael Cullen, Conor Barlow (capt.), Joe Kelly; Conor Gormley, Evan Kinlough, Robbie Murphy; Davy Kehoe, Cathal Devereux; Jacob English, Oran Maddock (0-2), James Dixon; Conor Murphy, Lorcan Cummins, Mark Byrne (1-10, 0-7 frees, 1-0 pen., 0-1 ’45).
Referee: James Mullally (Gusserane).
THE NAOMH Eanna hurlers have been lauded for their brilliant breakthrough, and rightly so, but it’s a shame that some of those queueing up to bestow praise seem to be intent on re-writing history.
There was a glaring example last week when AIB, sponsors of the club championships, released an interview with defender Eoin Conroy.
Everything was going fine until near the end when the journalist made the astonishing claim that Oulart-The Ballagh are the only Wexford team to have won a provincial Senior hurling title.
This glaring error was quickly seized upon by several Slaneyside readers who took to social media to voice their disgust.
It was a gross insult to Rathnure, winners of six Leinster championships between 1971 and 1998, and to Buffers Alley, who collected the honours in 1985, 1988 and 1992. Of course, the Alley went on to claim the county’s sole All-Ireland title in 1989, but all of that seemed to be lost on the author of that bizarre article.
Staying with Naomh Eanna, we feel that the claim that they were only a Junior club six years ago also requires clarity.
Technically, it’s true, given that they lost the Leinster Junior semi-final to Thomastown of Kilkenny by 1-24 to 0-10 in 2012.
However, that was the first year of the county Intermediate ‘A’ championship, and it was decreed that the Wexford winners would be entitled to play at Junior level in the province, something that prevails to this day.
Therefore, the important distinction to be made is that Naomh Eanna were never Junior within the county itself.
They lost an Intermediate play-off to determine status for the new structures to Blackwater in 2011, and that’s how they ended up in Intermediate ‘A’, winning it at the first attempt versus Marshalstown-Castledockrell.
By the way, their trainer, Willie Cleary, was a mentor with the Ireland Under-21 panel that played Scotland in a hurling-shinty international in Abbotstown on Saturday, with Damien Reck of Oylegate-Glenbrien in action.
Meanwhile, two brothers could yet end up meeting in the AIB Leinster Club final, given that Malachy Travers - older sibling of Brendan and ex-Gorey stalwart - came on for Ballyboden St. Enda’s in their victory in the Dublin decider versus Kilmacud Crokes.
Diarmuid Kehoe of Geraldine O’Hanrahans tries to break away from Mark Doyle (St. Mary’s, Maudlintown) in their Greenstar Under-20 football Division 4 championship semi-final in The Rocks on Saturday.