Top team accounts for bottom side with late clinching goal
BALLYGARRETT DIDN’T produce the form likely to lead to a county title down the line in Monamolin on Saturday, although a lovely first-time flicked goal by young Killian Doyle with 50 seconds of normal time left finally put paid to a hard-trying Marshalstown-Castledockrell side in this Top Oil Intermediate ‘A’ hurling championship Group B game.
In mitigation, the victors were through beforehand, but they will realise that vast improvement is necessary, particularly in defence, before playing Duffry Rovers.
Marshalstown-Castledockrell needed a win to have any chance of advancing in fourth spot, but instead they are destined for the relegation final against Our Lady’s Island after Geraldine O’Hanrahans claimed a precious point against Oulart-The Ballagh.
Although the 35 scores might suggest otherwise, in truth it wasn’t a great contest given that the points and goals were peppered with 33 wides, 18 for the winners.
While Ballygarrett led by 0-6 to 0-2 after ten minutes, the impressive James Finn landed his second point before a long John Cullen line ball from the right led to the equalising goal.
Colm Quigley got the initial touch in the danger zone before Diarmuid Doyle flicked home from close range, and a solo point from Finn 30 seconds later put the Enniscorthy District side in front.
The lead was shortlived though, as Killian Doyle forced the ball into the net at the other end before Jack Hobbs hammered home the rebound after a fine initial save by Mark Quigley from goal merchant Eoin Corcoran (2-6 to 1-4).
Marshalstown-Castledockrell didn’t lie down all the same, hitting the last three points of the half via Colm Bennett (free), Diarmuid Doyle (free) and a Bennett ’65 - amid a flurry of wides at either end - to reduce the gap to 2-7 to 1-8.
And the advantage swung back in their favour thanks to 1-3 without reply between the 42nd and 46th minutes, with Diarmuid Doyle catching and dispatching an Eoin Bennett clearance for a levelling goal before Michael Morris and the ageless Micheál Jordan added points (2-11 to 2-9).
Ballygarrett had the knack of getting goals when they were most needed, and they hit the front again in the 47th minute when captain Jack Hobbs soloed in from the left and netted for the second time even though Mark Quigley got his stick to the shot.
A spirited Marshalstown-Castledockrell responded with points from Diarmuid Doyle (free), Michael Morris and Micheál Jordan, but they were dealt a major blow when Patrick Naughter flicked a Cormac Moore delivery to the net in the 52nd minute (4-10 to 2-14).
The clinching goal was created by Naughter, with his floated cross from the left finished off with a clever mid-air strike by Killian Doyle. Substitute Mark Brennan did manage a consolation major for Marshalstown-Castledockrell who now have one chance left to avoid the drop to Junior ranks.
Ballygarrett: Shane Quinn; John Doyle, Eddie Redmond, John Sinnott; Tom Sinnott, Brian O’Connor, Colm Kennelly; Seán O’Brien, Stephen Redmond (0-4, 1 ’65, 1 free); Harry Byrne, Patrick Naughter (1-1), Jimmy Murphy (0-1); Eoin Corcoran (0-2), Jack Hobbs (capt., 2-4, 0-4 frees), Killian Doyle (2-0). Subs. - Cormac Moore for O’Brien (HT), Brendan Corcoran for Murphy (48), Aidan Murphy for J. Sinnott (50), Sinnott for J. Doyle (53), Oisín Dunbar for K. Doyle (60+2).
Marshalstown-Castledockrell: Mark Quigley; Eoghan Ryan, Michael Kelly, Ken Doyle; John Cullen, Colm Bennett (0-2, 1 free, 1 ’65), Eoin Bennett; Joe Kelly, James Farrell; Michael Kinsella, Michael Morris (capt., 0-2), James Finn (0-3); Colm Quigley, Micheál Jordan (0-3), Diarmuid Doyle (2-5, 0-3 frees). Subs. - Mark Brennan (1-0) for C. Quigley (41), Johnny Frayne for J. Kelly (55), Jack Quigley for Kinsella (57), Tom Bennett for Jordan (58).
Referee: John O’Loughlin (Monageer-Boolavogue).