Gorey set up dream meet­ing

Bal­ly­hale next in Wex­ford af­ter Camross bid thwarted

Wexford People - - SPORT - ALAN AHERNE in Port­laoise

THE NAOMH Eanna men were se­verely de­pleted for their maiden voy­age into the AIB Le­in­ster Club Se­nior hurl­ing cham­pi­onship in O’Moore Park, Port­laoise, on Sun­day, but they bounced back em­phat­i­cally from a shaky start to de­feat Camross with more com­fort than the five-point mar­gin may sug­gest and set up a mouth-wa­ter­ing home semi-fi­nal clash with Bal­ly­hale Sham­rocks on Novem­ber 18.

Cor­ner-backs Peter Travers and Eoin Mol­loy joined Cathal Dun­bar on the list of sus­pended play­ers as a re­sult of in­ci­dents af­ter their dis­al­lowed late goal against Tul­logher-Ros­ber­con in foot­ball eight days ear­lier, with the at­tack­ing ace hav­ing to serve a one-game ban in this com­pe­ti­tion – not next year’s first round in Wex­ford – af­ter the DRA re­ceived the clar­i­fi­ca­tion they sought from county semi-fi­nal ref­eree Justin Heffernan.

And while Wil­liam Cullen was a straight swap for Dun­bar in at­tack, with Dar­ragh Hughes mov­ing back out to the left flank from the cor­ner, only stal­wart cap­tain Bren­dan Travers re­tained his start­ing po­si­tion in de­fence from their tri­umphant last out­ing.

Tom Stafford came in for Peter Travers in the right cor­ner, with Eoin Con­roy op­er­at­ing on the left.

Eoin Mol­loy’s re­place­ment, Lee Kin­sella, lined out at cen­tre-back, with Seán Doyle go­ing to the right flank to pick up the dan­ger­ous Zane Keenan while Jack Cullen moved wings to the left.

It was a game to re­mem­ber for one of their un­sung at­tack­ers, David O’Brien, who availed of all the Camross at­ten­tion af­forded to Conor McDon­ald to pick off an im­pres­sive 2-2 in the first-half.

His con­tri­bu­tion to the vic­tory was im­mense, while mid­fielder Aod­hán Doyle did a su­perb job link­ing de­fence to at­tack, with Bren­dan Travers mak­ing up for the ab­sence of his usual full-back col­leagues with a storm­ing dis­play.

Al­though O’Brien put Gorey ahead af­ter 27 sec­onds, they looked ner­vous over the next seven min­utes as Camross re­sponded with five points on the trot, in­clud­ing three placed balls from Keenan who was held score­less from play.

A good in­ter­cep­tion and pass by Bren­dan Travers set up Char­lie McGuckin for a set­tling point, and it was a dif­fer­ent Naomh Eanna team en­tirely once they struck for an equal­is­ing goal in the twelfth minute.

Dar­ragh Hughes aimed a de­liv­ery to­wards Conor McDon­ald who gath­ered pos­ses­sion at the sec­ond at­tempt, and his hand­pass was flicked to the net by David O’Brien un­der the body of net­min­der Thomas Dun­phy (1-2 to 0-5).

A Pádraig Doyle free then put Gorey ahead for the first time, but they were caught nap­ping in the 15th minute when their five-man line was beaten by a Zane Keenan placed ball taken from just out­side the 20-me­tre mark (1-5 to 1-3).

There was a first rate re­sponse, though, with Naomh Eanna outscor­ing their more sea­soned ri­vals by 2-7 to 0-3 over the re­main­der of the half. In­deed, they reg­is­tered 3-8 of their 3-10 tally up to the in­ter­val from play, whereas a mere 0-3 of the 1-8 Camross haul ar­rived from the same source.

A big turn­ing point ar­rived just af­ter that goal for the two-in-a-row Laois cham­pi­ons when a Lor­can Burke de­liv­ery was bro­ken by Mark Dowl­ing to­wards full-for­ward Dean De­laney whose first time pull was su­perbly saved by Barry Kin­sella.

Keenan did add the next point from a long-range free, but Naomh Eanna thun­dered into the game there­after and never looked back af­ter adding two ex­cel­lent goals.

David O’Brien pointed from an Aod­hán Doyle pass be­fore a long free by Seán Doyle was tipped into his path by the third of the broth­ers, Pádraig, and he duly added his sec­ond goal (2-4 to 1-6).

Naomh Eanna’s tails were up as Dar­ragh Hughes, Conor McDon­ald and Pádraig Doyle (free and play) added points, with Camross cap­tain Niall Holmes pulling one back be­fore their net rat­tled again in the 26th minute.

Goal num­ber two had ar­rived be­cause the Laois team’s de­fend­ers were all drawn to­wards McDon­ald for that Seán Doyle free, but they couldn’t get close enough to him to pre­vent a smash­ing strike in the 27th minute.

There was a slight block on a Jack Cullen de­liv­ery, and McDon­ald read the flight of the ball bet­ter than any­one else as he raced out in front of Malvin Moloney be­fore re­fus­ing the op­tion of a handy point by crash­ing a piledriver to the net past Thomas Dun­phy (3-8 to 1-7).

Char­lie McGuckin and Pádraig Doyle points were sand­wiched by one from a Zane Keenan free, and all Naomh Eanna had to do was keep their side of the score­board tick­ing over on the re-start.

And they ac­com­plished this with­out ever look­ing in any sort of trou­ble, shar­ing 16 points with their ri­vals who did also man­age a con­so­la­tion goal in added time when Oisín Ben­nett swept home the re­bound af­ter an ini­tial shot by fel­low sub­sti­tute Dar­ren Gil­martin was saved by Barry Kin­sella.

The lively Char­lie McGuckin could have fin­ished the con­test com­pletely in the 34th minute when a beau­ti­ful floated pass by Aod­hán Doyle found him un­marked to the right of the posts, but he fired across goal for one of his side’s nine wides (Camross had seven).

It was 3-14 to 1-12 by the end of the third quar­ter, with Pádraig Doyle (’65 and play), Gary Mol­loy and Dar­ragh Hughes (free) adding the Gorey points.

And al­though that Doyle score from long range in the 44th minute was their last from play, they al­ways kept Camross at arm’s length as the cen­tre-for­ward con­verted three more late frees while Hughes also reg­is­tered again from a placed ball.

Naomh Eanna: Barry Kin­sella; Tom Stafford, Bren­dan Travers (capt.), Eoin Con­roy; Seán Doyle, Lee Kin­sella, Jack Cullen; Aod­hán Doyle, Gary Mol­loy (0-1); Char­lie McGuckin (0-2), Pádraig Doyle (0-9, 5 frees, 1 ’65), Dar­ragh Hughes (0-3, 2 frees); David O’Brien (2-2), Conor McDon­ald (1-1), Wil­liam Cullen. Subs. - Jack Cushe for W. Cullen (44), Conor Hughes for O’Brien (56), John O’Brien for D. Hughes (60+1).

Camross: Thomas Dun­phy; An­drew Mor­timer, Malvin Moloney, Joseph Phe­lan; Lor­can Burke, An­drew Col­lier, Dwane Palmer; Matthew Col­lier, Tomás Burke; Ciarán Col­lier (0-1), Niall Holmes (capt., 0-3, 1 free), Zane Keenan (1-8, 1-7 frees, 0-1 ’65); Mark Dowl­ing (0-1), Dean De­laney, Eoin Gaughan (0-1). Subs. - Oisín Ben­nett (1-1) for De­laney (HT), Liam De­laney for M. Col­lier (49), Gearóid Burke for T. Burke (50), Dar­ren Gil­martin (0-1) for Dowl­ing (54).

Ref­eree: Seán Cleere (Kilkenny).

Bren­dan Travers (front, right) gave a storm­ing dis­play at full-back in the ab­sence of his sus­pended col­leagues, Peter Travers and Eoin Mol­loy.

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