Shels sur­vive come­back to claim sec­ond vic­tory

Enniscorthy Guardian - - SPORT - DEAN GOOD­I­SON


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).

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