Mac on fire for six-goal Gorey

Wexford People - - SPORT -

A SCORE of 3-12 would be good enough to win many a game, but Oyle­gate-Glen­brien found them­selves 14 points light in Belle­field as they were blitzed by the ea­ger hurlers of Naomh Eanna.

Satur­day’s vic­tory for the Gorey lads se­cured them top spot in Group B of the Pet­titt’s Se­nior hurl­ing championship at the ex­pense of op­po­nents who wilted in the face of Conor McDonald’s one-man hur­ri­cane.

The county player ram­paged on the edge of the square through­out the evening, bash­ing in three goals and forc­ing ‘keeper John Fo­ley into a se­ries of fine saves.

With Podge Doran serv­ing as a sim­i­larly im­pos­ing tar­get man at the other end of the pitch, a size­able crowd at the En­nis­cor­thy venue was treated to a goal ev­ery five min­utes on av­er­age dur­ing the first-half.

The pace slack­ened in the driz­zle un­der the flood­lights af­ter the changeover but three more ma­jors were added be­fore the end of the hour.

At times the hurl­ing was ex­hi­bi­tion stuff as both sides were al­ready as­sured their places in the quar­ter-fi­nals, with frees few and far be­tween through­out.

Oyle­gate-Glen­brien used the op­por­tu­nity to de­ploy 20 play­ers, with all the chop­ping and chang­ing do­ing lit­tle to help them im­pose any pat­tern on pro­ceed­ings.

Mean­while, Naomh Eanna’s more ruth­less ap­proach yielded de­ci­sive div­i­dends as they har­vested a help­ful wind to build up an eleven-point in­ter­val lead and then con­tin­ued to run their ri­vals ragged af­ter the break.

The tone was set on five min­utes when McDonald claimed the ball from a Jack Cullen shot which dropped short.

A des­per­ate de­fender wrapped him­self around the full-for­ward’s neck and ref­eree Dan Crosby awarded the penalty, dis­patched low to the net be­hind Fo­ley by Dar­ragh Hughes.

McDonald notched the first goal of what proved to be a hat­trick shortly af­ter­wards with an over­head smash.

Though Podge Doran re­sponded in kind, Oyle­gate-Glen­brien were clearly strug­gling to keep pace.

McDonald ti­died up af­ter Cathal Dun­bar’s side­line cut to claim his sec­ond.

Again Doran re­tal­i­ated with a blis­ter­ing daisy-cut­ter on 25 min­utes, but there was no re­sponse af­ter Dun­bar’s goal left them be­hind by 4-11 to 2-6 at the end of the open­ing half.

They must have be­lieved that the eleven-point deficit was not in­sur­mount­able as they looked for­ward to hav­ing the wind at their backs.

The prob­lem was that by the time Doran added their first point of the sec­ond-half they had al­ready con­ceded a fur­ther 1-3 to turn mis­sion un­likely into mis­sion im­pos­si­ble.

Gorey’s fifth goal, by the way, was rolled in ca­su­ally by David O’Brien af­ter some hard run­ning by Pádraig Doyle had drawn the cover.

Though Daithí O’Ma­honey thumped home a de­fi­ant strike to Kin­sella’s net, the los­ing team then went 15 min­utes with­out adding to their tally while Conor McDonald bull­dozed his way through to beat sub­sti­tute ‘keeper Kevin Cos­grave and com­plete his hat-trick.

Naomh Eanna: Barry Kin­sella; Peter Travers, Lee Kin­sella, Eoin Con­roy (0-1); Jack Cullen, Seán Doyle, Jack Cushe; Aod­hán Doyle (0-3), Gary Mol­loy (0-1); Char­lie McGuckin, Pádraig Doyle (0-3), Dar­ragh Hughes (1-3, 1-0 pen.); David O’Brien (1-1), Conor McDonald (3-4), Cathal Dun­bar (1-1). Sub. - Wil­liam Cullen for O’Brien (36).

Oyle­gate-Glen­brien: John Fo­ley; Ciarán Houri­hane, Fer­gus Hef­fer­nan, Bryan McCor­mack; Mike Kelly, Michael Hef­fer­nan, Peter Row­ley; Mark Ka­vanagh, Fer­gal Doran; Tom White, Sea­mus Casey (0-9, 6 frees), Daithí O’Ma­honey (1-1); Fi­achra Houri­hane, Podge Doran (2-2), Conor Hef­fer­nan. Subs. - Conor Doyle for C. Hef­fer­nan (30), Rob­bie O’Con­nor for Row­ley (35), Niall Parker for C. Houri­hane (36), Brian Doran for White (36), Kevin Cos­grave for Fo­ley (49).

Ref­eree: Dan Crosby (Kil­more).

Eoin Mur­phy of Ferns flicks the ball away from Pádraig Don­nelly.

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