An ATTACKING master-class from St Martin’s (Muckalee/Ballyle/Coon) saw them blow Fenians (Johnstown) out of the water, 1-16 to 0-3 in the first round of the senior hurling league in Conahy on Sunday.
This was the complete performance from St Martin’s and they will head into their second round fixture brimming with confidence. The Fenians, however, have a lot of improving to do if they are to have any hope this season.
Fenians started in promising fashion. After St Martin’s were reduced to 14 men with just three minutes showing on the clock following an off the ball incident, Fenians looked to be in an advantageous position. John Maher, however, didn’t take things lying down and he inspired all in the Martin’s shirt.
His opening three points from frees helped his colleagues settle back into the game and to find their direction. It wasn’t until the 13th minute that Conor Tobin pointed a free from centre-back for the losers. By that stage Martin’s were well back on track.
Fouls on Canice Maher and Eoin McGrath allowed John Maher to shoot over two more placed balls before John Mulhall got the game’s first from play after he had been picked out by Breen before shooting over comfortably.
Maher then slotted over his first from play when he pointed from the right hand sideline. On the half hour mark, Maher struck again. A long ball dropped into the Fenians defence and it was flicked on by Eoin McGrath. Maher was first to react. He gathered the ball on the ‘21’ before rifling a whistling shot past advancing goalie, Damien Delaney.
Maher pointed his second from play just before the half-time whistle to leave his side leading well at the interval, 1-9 to 0-1.
Maher pointed three more efforts from placed balls after the break before John Maher got his name on the scoresheet after his pacy run along the Fenians end line ended with him tapping over from close range. Mulhall pointed with a great strike along the left sideline before Conor Tobin got Fenians second, this time from a 65.
One score from play
Canice Maher then set up John Maher, who pointed again. At the other end a long delivery into the Fenians full-forward line was won by substitute Jason Ryan, who laid off the ball to county minor Willie Brennan. The latter slapped over Fenians only score from play.
Martin’s substitute then finished off the scoring for his side, when his deflected shot looped over the Fenians crossbar to leave them 16 point winners. This was a sure-footed performance from last year’s championship semi-finalists, and if they drive on confidently from here, who knows where they might end up this time round.
Scorers: St Martin’s - John Maher (1-10, 0-7 frees); John Mulhall (0-3); Joe Maher (0-2); Podge Haughney (0-1). Fenians - Conor Tobin (0-2, one 65, one free); Willie Brennan (0-1).
St Martin’s - Colin McGrath, James Maher, Ronan Maher, Niall Moran, James Dowling, Paddy Nolan, Damien Maher, Tomas Breen, Paul Maher, John Mulhall, Eoin McGrath, Joe Maher, Canice Maher, John Maher, Robert Shore. Subs - Shane Cadigan, Brian Mulhall, Podge Haughney.
Fenians - Damien Delaney, Declan Brennan, J.J. Delaney, Cathal Ryan, John Henderson, Conor Tobin, Eoin Phelan, Kieran Grehan, Declan Garrett, Darragh Tobin, Kevin Power, Eoin Shiel, Willie Brennan, Kevin Reid, Ciaran Beehan. Subs - Jason Ryan, Donal Wilson.