Shels survive comeback to claim second victory
SHELMALIERS 2-12 DUFFRY ROVERS 1-13
SHELMALIERS EDGED closer to a quarter-final spot in the Top Oil Intermediate ‘A’ hurling championship with a hard-earned Group A victory over Duffry Rovers in St. Patrick’s Park, Enniscorthy, on Friday.
The Hollymount side came into the contest with three points from a possible four under their belts. It was a salvo that gave them a bit of freedom to take a cut at high-flying Duffry Rovers, and a right go they did give it.
This game bore a striking resemblance to their opening round draw with St. Patrick’s.
They were excellent for almost three-quarters, building a ninepoint lead (2-11 to 0-8), but they were left hanging on in the final moments as the Duffry threw everything they had their way.
Yet this time, vitally, they were able to hold on and take the win.
The Coolree side prospered in the first 13 minutes as they opened a 0-4 to 0-2 lead, with Johnny Flynn-O’Connor notching a brace of those scores.
However, right at the end of the quarter, Dan Campbell sent Michael Feeney into the clear and the Shelmaliers attacker made no mistake with his finish past Stephen Watchorn.
It was nip and tuck for the remainder of the half, with Shelmaliers grabbing a sneaky late point when Páraic O’Leary and Dan Campbell worked a quick line ball and registered with the Duffry still arguing that it should have been their cut.
A 1-7 to 0-7 interval lead was significantly enhanced in a powerful third quarter.
The second goal came just three minutes after the resumption when Conor Byrne’s drive forward deflected wickedly off the outstretched fingers of Ronan Kavanagh on the edge of the square, giving Watchorn no chance.
Feeney and Byrne eased Shelmaliers 2-11 to 0-8 ahead but the comeback started when Johnny Flynn-O’Connor emerged from a scrum with the ball and flashed it high past Paul McCleane to the Shelmaliers net.
There was just three points in it when Colm Redmond fizzed a rasping shot across the face of goal and narrowly wide with seven minutes left.
Rovers couldn’t find the scores they needed, despite dominating the remaining minutes, as the Wexford District side held strong at the back to claim the spoils and make it five points from a possible six.
Shelmaliers: Paul McCleane; Aaron Doyle, Eoin O’Leary (capt.), Adam Hearne; Johnny Campbell, Craig Parker, Chris Cowman; Liam Rockett (0-1), Benny Barron; Conor Byrne (0-6, 3 frees), Páraic O’Leary (01), Ryan Hanrahan; Michael Feeney (1-1), Ronan Kavanagh (1-1), Dan Campbell (0-2). Subs. - Aaron O’Neill for E. O’Leary (53), Denis Kelly for Hanrahan (60).
Duffry Rovers: Stephen Watchorn; John Dunne, Thomas Dunne, James Nolan; Aidan Byrne, Cathal Clince (0-4, 3 frees, 1 ‘65), Mattie O’Connor; Johnny Flynn-O’Connor (capt., 1-2), Alan Doyle; Colm Redmond, Liam Pender, Robert Frayne (0-1); Cian Fitzhenry (0-4, 3 frees), Joe Coleman (0-1), Gavin Watchorn (0-1).
Referee: Aiden O’Brien (Cloughbawn).