Mac on fire for six-goal Gorey
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.