Blackwater secure status
BLACKWATER SURVIVED a possible relegation battle after they put in a spirited performance to beat Monageer-Boolavogue in this crucial The Courtyard Ferns Intermediate hurling championship Group A game in Farmleigh on Sunday.
Having failed to register a win from their four previous outings, victory was badly needed for Blackwater and they stepped up to the challenge in commendable fashion, dominating proceedings for most of the game and seeing off a late comeback to hold on.
It was actually Monageer-Boolavogue who started brightest, with Pádraig Flynn, Mark Gahan and Matthew Dunne giving them a two-lead midway through the half, while Mick Lillis and Richard Blake did the honours for Blacwater.
At this juncture things began to swing to the seasiders’ advantage, with Lilllis continuing his deadly accurate form from placed balls and Kevin Corrigan hitting two excellent long-range efforts before Lar Lacey rattled the net after receiving an excellent pass from Diarmuid Murphy.
Lillis hit four more before the break and, with help from Dean Whelan and Lar Lacey, the eventual winners went in at the break with a strong nine-point lead.
Monageer-Boolavogue needed a big half and, with the wind at their backs, they began to chip away at the lead with Flynn, Dunne and Tommy Breen getting them back to six points behind.
But Blackwater meant business, and with Darren Byrne in fine form at the back and Diarmuid Murphy playing his part in the forwards, they added two points before a high ball from Mick Lillis that hit the net was disallowed for a square ball.
Monageer-Boolavogue were working hard to get themselves back into things and it was paying off as Pádraig Flynn hit three without reply to leave a goal in it and five minutes remaining.
But, thanks to a stubborn defence and with the ever-dependable Lillis on hand to hit two near the end, Blackwater held on to remain safe from relegation, and, in doing so, put Monageer-Boolavogue into a relegation final with Craanford.
Blackwater: Peter O’Brien; Aaron Culleton, Ennae Carroll, Eoin O’Neill; Ben Redmond, Darren Byrne, Denis Carroll; Paul O’Leary, Richard Blake (0-1); Kevin Corrigan (0-2), Dean Wright (0-1), Mick Lillis (0-9, 8 frees, 1 ’65); Lar Lacey (1-1), Diarmuid Murphy (0-1), Dean Whelan (0-2). Subs. - Jake Nobbs for Lacey (HT), Robbie McGuiness for Carroll (41), James Dooley for Wright (55).
Monageer-Boolavogue: Morgan Gahan; Shane Gahan, Chris Daly, Liam Gahan; Ian Hawkins, Stephen Murphy, Niall O’Reilly; Damien Fenlon, Micheál Gahan (0-1); Tommy Breen (0-1), Pádraig Flynn (0-11, 10 frees), Matthew Dunne (0-2); Mick Sweeney, Mark Gahan (0-1), Cathal Walsh. Subs. - Larry Murphy for Fenlon (35), Patrick Walsh for Walsh (57).
Referee: Paddy Brady (Ballygarrett).
Seamus Carroll (Crossabeg-Ballymurn) and Niall Berney (Craanford) exchanging pleasantries in their Group B game on Sunday.