Black­wa­ter se­cure sta­tus

Wexford People - - SPORT - MICHAEL HEF­FER­NAN in Farm­leigh

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.

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