Conahy Shamrocks 1-7
Glenmore made no mistake at the second time of asking when they easily disposing of the challenge of Conahy Shamrocks in Saturday’s intermediate hurling championship quarter-final replay.
Conditions in Ballyhale were dreadful with the pitch barely playable following the incessant rain of the previous 24 hours. In fact, it took a pre-match inspection of the playing surface by referee, Denis O’Sullivan, who, after consulting both teams, decided to allow the game to proceed.
Not surprisingly, the surface deteriorated further during the course of the game.
Conahy started well and led by three points to no score after seven minutes with scores from Paul Buggy (free), Gavin Nolan and Alan Healy.
The impressive Eoin Murphy got Glenmore off the mark in the ninth minute with a pointed free. By the 18th minute the sides were level, but more importantly for the Southerners, they were starting to get a firm grip on the game.
Good half-back line
This was particularly evident on their half-back line where the return of Richie Mullally from injury boosted a sector that had other superb performers in Paddy Mullally and John Cody.
The turning point in the game came in the 21st minute when Michael Phelan availed of slack marking in the Conahy defence to score the first of his side’s three goals. It turned out to be a defining moment.
The winners led by four points at the interval. They increased that to five within 30 seconds of the restart. That point was to herald a period of total dominance by Glenmore.
When Ger Aylward slipped past a stagnant Conahy defence for his side’s second goal moments later, the Southerners were now odds-on to reach the semi-finals.
Conahy’s play became ragged and the concession of a number frees was punished by the unerring Eoin Murphy. Despite the conditions, Murphy’s accuracy from placed balls was very impressive.
The Northerners were given some hope in the 47th minute when Gavin Nolan finished superbly to the back of the Glenmore net after a Paul Buggy free had been saved. A pointed free from Conahy’s best player, Kieran Mooney followed this score, but that was as good as it got for the losers.
Free leads to third goal
Yet another needlessly conceded free by Conahy led to Glenmore’s third goal when the delivery broke kindly for Ger Aylward to grab his second major score. There was no chance of a comeback for Conahy after that score.
The ability of the winners to master the dreadful conditions was ultimately the difference between the teams.
A superb half-back line and two ace attackers in Ger Aylward and Eoin Murphy were at the heart of the Glenmore side’s success. That blend of experience and youth will make the Southerners tricky opponents for Danesfort in the semi this weekend.
Conahy never mastered the conditions, and neither could they match the determination of the winners. Kieran Mooney was the side’s star performer. He got most assistance from Thomas Nolan, Denis Kelly, Gavin Nolan, Gary Kavanagh and Declan Buggy.
Scorers: Glenmore - Eoin Murphy (0-10, eight frees, one 65); Ger Aylwsard (2-2); Michael Phelan (1-0); Ciaran Foran (0-1). Conahy Shamrocks - Gavin Nolan (1-1); Kieran Mooney (0-2, frees); Paul Buggy (0-2, frees); Micheal Lawler, alan Healy (0-1 each).
Glenmore - Paul Fitzgerald, Michael Cody, Fergal Freyne, David Beirne, Paddy Mullally, John Cody, Colm Foran, Ciarán Foran, Richie Mullally, Eoin Murphy, Ken Cottrell, Ger Aylward, Mark Aylward, Michael Phelan, Sean Kirwan. Subs - Mark Phelan for C. Foran (inj); Ben Doherty for K. Cottrell; Darren Aylward for C. Foran; Shane Doherty for M. Aylward.
Conahy Shamrocks - Andy O’Keeffe, Seamus Óg Brennan, David Healy, Thomas Nolan, Kieran Mooney, Denis Kelly, Paraic Harding, John Wallace, Gary Kavanagh, Peter Vickery, Declan Buggy, Gavin Nolan, Micheál Lawler, Paul Buggy, Alan Healy. Subs - Paraic Nolan for P. Vickery.
Referee - Denis O’Sullivan (John Lockes).