EXPLODING from the blocks, a high octane performance saw Glenmore race away with the intermediate hurling league shield. The Glen were simply too hot for Mooncoin to handle, blitzing their Southern opponents with a storming first half that all but wrapped up the title with 30 minutes to spare.
In truth, the game looked done and dusted by the 21st minute. At that stage Tommy Shefflin’s side had carved out a 12-point lead against opposition who had yet to open their account.
Started on their way by an Eoin Murphy free, Glenmore took just three minutes to raise the first green flag of the evening in Mullinavat. Michael Phelan provided the delicate touch, batting down a Paul Fitzgerald puck-out for Mark Aylward to pick up.
The corner-forward sped off towards the posts and shimmied past his marker before crashing the sliotar into the Mooncoin net.
Two Murphy scores from placed balls were followed by one from play by the lively Ger Aylward, before Glenmore struck their second hammer blow after just 15 minutes.
Sent on his way by Darren Aylward’s hand-pass, Murphy moved through the gears as he soloed towards goal. He blitzed down the right, pausing only to rifle the sliotar inside the angle of the right post and crossbar.
Glenmore were in full flow by now, with their half-back line doing everything to keep the Mooncoin attack quiet. Their own forwards were just as industrious, as Murphy (free) and Aylward kept the one-way scoring traffic flowing.
The winners did hit a little speed bump in the closing stages of the half, taking their foot off the gas when they lost Richie Mullally to injury – the influential back seemed to get knocked out following a hefty clash but was able to leave the field on his feet after treatment.
With Glenmore’s stride checked Mooncoin were finally able to get out of the traps. Michael Grace got their first score in the 24th minute when he latched on to P.J. Rowe’s free and turned it over the bar.
That point turned out to be their only one from play, but Diarmuid Mackey kept Mooncoin moving with two frees in the closing stages. Following hot on the heels of a Ger Aylward point, it meant they trailed by ten at the interval (2-7 to 0-3).
Scores were a little harder to come by in the second half, but by the three-quarters stage Glenmore had stretched their lead to 12 points (2-10 to 0-4) thanks to three Eoin Murphy frees from varying ranges.
While Mooncoin’s tally was raised thanks to two Diarmuid Mackey frees, it looked like they had kept a lot in reserve for the championship. They did grab the only big score of the half when, in the 49th minute, goalkeeper Niall O’Hanlon came forward and drilled a bullet-like penalty to Glenmore’s net after Mackey had been tripped up en route to goal.
There was very little for Mooncoin to cheer about after that, however. Mark Aylward and Eoin Murphy finished the scoring for the winners, who will be hoping to replicate that form in the championship. SCORERS: Glenmore – Eoin Murphy (1-8, 0-7 frees, 0-1 65); Michael Phelan (1-0); Ger Aylward (0-3); Mark Aylward (0-1). Mooncoin – Diarmuid Mackey (0-4, frees); Niall O’Hanlon (1-0, pen); Michael Grace (0-1).
Glenmore – P. Fitzgerald, M. Cody, F. Freyne, Mark Phelan, P. Mullally, John Cody, R. Mullally, C. Foran, Darren Aylward, E. Vereker, G. Aylward, Michael Phelan, M. Aylward, E. Murphy, S. Doherty. Subs: C. Foran, James Cody, B. Doherty, Davy Aylward.
Mooncoin – N. O’Hanlon, T. O’Hanlon, C. Daly, N. Mackey, A. Walsh, E. Mackey, S. Wall, P.J. Rowe, M. Fitzgerald, D. Mackey, A. Walsh, S. Crowley, D. Purcell, E. Henebery, M. Grace. Subs: S. Kearns, R. Wall, T. Henebery, K. Kirwan, J.P. Purcell.
Referee – T. Duggan (Mullinavat).