It was a good trip for the Martin’s men

It is a long way from the hills of Muckalee to the plains of Mooncoin, a trip somewhat unfamiliar to St Martin’s, but after a concerted effort they returned home with a share of the spoils, and maybe a share of the contentment too, after this All County junior hurling league clash (2-14 each), writes Barrie Henriques.

It is a long way from the hills of Muckalee to the plains of Mooncoin, a trip somewhat unfamiliar to St Martin’s, but after a concerted effort they returned home with a share of the spoils, and maybe a share of the contentment too, after this All County junior hurling league clash (2-14 each), writes Barrie Henriques.

For a long period, Martin’s were the better team, and it would be fair to say that the Mooncoin support feared for the shortfalls of their heroes.

But the men in green flogged themselves into the fray, and were rewarded for their courage and dedication.

At half-time, the visitors had established a foothold in the game as they led by 1-11 to 1-6. Kieran Kelly was their main man during the half. He grabbed 1-3 from play. He got good assistance from David Breen, Luke Maher and Michael Mulhall.

Eric Wall gave his Mooncoin colleagues a real fillip when slotting home a grand goal in the ninth minute, but straight from the puck-out, Kelly nullified the effort with a similar score for Martin’s.

Mooncoin tore into the task of reducing the deficit, and nearly won the game with their efforts. Mind you, they had to contend with a hammer-blow goal from David Breen inside the opening second half minute.

However, they stuck to the task gallantly, and three unanswered points in the final three minutes by Stephen Crowley and Ethan Ryan (2) earned them parity.

Scorers: Mooncoin - Stephen Crowley (0-5); Ethan Ryan (0-4, three frees); Eric Wall (1-1);Liam Walsh (Bull) (1-0); John Phelan (0-2); J.P. Purcell, Cormac Fleming (0-1 each). St Martin’s - Kieran Kelly (1-5, one pointed free); David Breen (1-2); Brian Byrne (0-3); Luke Maher, Michael Mulhall (0-2 each).

Mooncoin - Owen Purcell, Niall Blanchfield, Ian Dunphy, Eoin Crowley, David Kearns, Sean Wall, Conor Brophy, Stephen Crowley, Niall Madden, John Phelan, Eric Wall, Cormac Fleming, Ethan Ryan, Liam Walsh, Niall O’Hanlon. Subs - J.P. Purcell, Richie Doyle, Liam ‘Shorty’ Walsh, Chris Walsh.

St Martin’s - Jason Shore, Brian Cadogan, Brendan maher, Aidan Murphy, Thomas Walsh, Aidan Lalor, Mick Morrissey, Luke Maher, Bryan Byrne, David Breen, Michael Mulhall, Conor Kinsella, Kieran Kelly, Martin Dowling, Eugene Maher.

Forward power key for ’Whites

Blacks and Whites1-15

John Lockes0-14

This postponed junior hurling league/championship clash in Páirc Eamon Ris produced plenty to enthuse about, especially if you were a Skeaughvosteen supporter – and there were many.

The better team won. They showed a far greater commitment, greater courage and a better will to win. Their forwards were much more clever than the opposition, and they drove for goal whenever the opportunity presented.

Sean Kealy was a tower of strength at full-back, while the two Michael Maloneys, ‘Crow’at centre-back and ‘Mo’ in midfield were immense leaders. At the other end, only Brendan Grace (goal), Eoghan Fahy, Jack McDowell and Owen McGrath, at times, delivered on a similar scale.

While J.P. Corcoran and Paddy Kennedy did their best to stop the rot at midfield, too often their option-taking left much to be desired.

The disparity in the performances of both sets of attackers was clear for all to see. Kevin Fitzpatrick, Paul Murphy, John Lennon, Niall Kennedy in particular and young Jamie Byrne never took their feet off the throttle. They showed tremendous determination when in possession.

On the Callan side of the equation, only Simon Burke, Shane Bergin and Josh Haines showed anything like the desired commitment.

After 15 minutes, the home side were in front by 0-5 to 0-2, thanks to the accuracy of Simon Burke, who shot all five from placed balls. By the break, the visitors had caught and passed the locals, leading by 0-7 to 0-6.

Niall Kennedy created havoc, clattering five successive points.

By the 43rd minute, Blacks and Whites had stretched their lead to seven points. ‘Mo’ Maloney had slammed home a penalty in the 34th minute, adding a huge point from a free. Kennedy grabbed two more from placed balls.

The same player exchanged points with Callan’s Burke by the 45th minute, and then John Lockes hit a four-point spin to reduce the lead to a manageable four points by the 54th minute.

Callan lost a defender to a direct red card in the midst of all that, and with that went their chance of pulling the game out of the fire.

Scorers: Blacks and Whites - Niall Kennedy (0-8, five frees); Michael ‘Mo’ Maloney (1-1, point free, goal penalty); Paul Murphy (0-2); Mark Kelly, John Lennon, Kevin Fitzpatrick, Jamie Byrne (0-1 each). John Lockes - Simon Burke (0-9, six frees); Ger Shelly (0-2); Jack McDowell, Paddy Kennedy, Josh Haines (0-1 each).

Blacks and Whites - John O’Grady, Pauric Joyce, Sean Kealy, Charlie Ryan, Eddie Murphy, Michael ‘Crow’ Maloney, John Lawlor, Mark Kelly, Michael ‘Mo’ Maloney, Peter “Chap” Cleere, Kevin Fitzpatrick, Paul Murphy, John Lennon, Niall Kennedy, Jamie Byrne.

John Lockes - Brendan Grace, Eoin Fahy, John O’Neill, Bill McCormack, Jack McDowell, Owen McGrath, Liam Kennedy, J.P. Corcoran, Paddy Kennedy, Shane Bergin, Jim Power, Josh Haines, Mark Shelly, Simon Burke, Ger Shelly. Subs - Jason Corcoran, Liam Kennedy, Bill Mc Dowell.

Refereer - J. Kennedy (Ballyhale).

Brave Rower go down fighting

Erin’s Own (Carlow)3-9

Rower Inistioge2-10

The Rower-Inistioge played 55 minutes of this junior ‘A’ hurling league game in Bagnalstown against Erin’s Own with 14 men having had a player red-carded. Nevertheless, they nearly came home with the points despite the difficulties presented by the numerical disadvantage.

Shortly after the red card, Erin’s Own scored the first of their three goals, courtesy of centre-forward, Eoin Minchin. By the 29th minute, the losers were just that goal in arrears, thanks in the main to some sterling defending by Nicky Kenny and Neil Lyng. Of course, the accuracy of men like Danny Cottrell and Michael Doyle also assisted.

Just before the break, the Rower were rocked by a second Bagnalstown goal when corner-forward, Alan McDonald slipped in behind the defence to force the ball over Shane Foskin’s goal line.

At half-time, Erin’s Own led by 2-4 to 0-5.

With tremendous resolve and spirit, the visitors clawed their way back to within a point of the Bagnalstown men. Michael Doyle was missing nothing, and Pauric Ryan delivered a 50-yard shot that slipped unawares directly into the Carlow net.

Craig Doyle came to the rescue of stuttering Erin’s Own’s when he clattered the third goal for his side, but the resilient Rower kept plugging away. They were instantly rewarded with a Tom Murphy blaster immediately after Doyle’s effort.

Michael Doyle added two points, and the deficit was down to a single point. It was a slugging match to the wire, with the Bagnalstown men jut keeping their noses in front, thanks to a late John Corcoran long-range free.

Dermot Sommers, John Rogers, John Corcoran, Craig Doyle were the men for Erin’s own, while Nicky Kenny, Neil Lyng, Pauric Tierney, J.J. Kenny and Michael Doyle cut the mustard for the losers. The Rower face Glenmore in the semi-final shortly.

Scorers: Erin’s Own - Craig Doyle (1-3, two pointed frees); Alan McDonald (1-1); Eoin Minchin (1-0); John Corcoran (0-3, frees); John Rogers, David Corcoran (0-1 each). Rower-Inistioge - Michael Doyle (0-7, five frees); Pauric Ryan, Tom Murphy (1-0 each); Danny Cottrell (0-2, one free); Pauric Tierney (0-1).

Erin’s Own - Des Dowling, Pat Abbey, Dermot Sommers, Brian Horohan, John Rogers, John Corcoran, James Geoghegan, James Doyle, Alan Corcoran, Craig Doyle, Eoin Minchin, David Corcoran, Joe Dermody, David Miley, Alan McDonald.

Rower-Inistioge - Shane Foskin, John Murphy, Nicky Kenny, Neil Lyng, Paudie Fleming, David Tennyson, Sean Grace, Pauric Tierney, Pauric Ryan, Michael McDonald, JJ.Kenny, Tom Murphy, Michael Doyle, Conor Lyng, Danny Cottrell.

Cold weather, but it was a warm battle

Carrickshock2-14

Mullinavat3-11

Overcoats, and good ones at that, were the order of the evening when Mullinavat and Carrickshock manned up in Hugginstown in the junior hurling league.

It was a bitterly cold evening, but the elements did not prevent the warriors from both sides producing a solid confrontation, which deserved ended all square.

The action flowed, with some passion, even though there was little at stake of any consequence for either side. John Power and Kevin Farrell gave the home side a touch of the whip early on to get them going.

Their early points gave their side confidence, and that confidence was further expanded when the evergreen Larry O’Shea crashed home a mighty goal midway through the half. Mullinavat were not for flopping, and a late surge, spearheaded by David Murphy and Eoin Maher, was responsible for the visitors retiring at the break upsides with the opposition: Carrickshock 1-8, Mullinavat 2-5.

The second half action resumed with the same intent, and the placed ball expertise of John Power and Eoin Maher was to be influential in this period. Both raised the green flags from close in frees to give their team a temporary edge, but as the game switched direction many times during the half, it was difficult to ascertain which of them might end up winners.

As it panned out, neither side lost, the clock beating both to the winning line.

For Carrickshock, Darren Dwyer and Kieran Holden held the rear guard together, while up front though, John Power was the main score getter. He was ably assisted by Dan O’Brien and Kevin Farrell.

For Mullinavat, Eoin Maher and Michael Jones proved the most dangerous.

Scorers: Carrickshock - John Power (1-8, 1-4 frees); Kevin Farrell (0-4); Larry O’Shea (1-0); Dan O’Brien, Seanie Gibbons (0-1 each). Mullinavat - Eoin Maher (2-4, 1-3 frees); David Murphy (1-1); Mick Jones (0-3); Shane Frisby, C. Boyle, Joey Holden (0-1 each).

Carrickshock - Cleeve Cuddihy, Edward Power, Darren O Dwyer, Gary Fitzpatrick, Paddy Foran, Kieran Holden, Dylan Halligan, John Power, Tommy Hearne, Dan O Brien, Larry O Shea, Kevin Farrell, Ger Power, Andy Power, Sean Gibbons.

Mullinavat - J. Reade, D. Aylward, N. Jones, C. Duggan, K. Aylward, J.T. Murphy, B. Phelan, E. Maher, D. Murphy, S. Frisby, B. Kenneally, C. Boyle, M. Duggan, S. Ryan. Subs - M. Jones, J. Holden.

Slieverue get winning hat-trick

Slieverue1-20

Windgap3-6

IT HAS been a while since Slieverue glued three adult wins together, but they completed the hat-trick in the junior hurling ‘B’ league with this merited and convincing win over Windgap in Slieverue on Saturday.

The winners of the game stood to wrest top spot in the table away from the Rower-Inistioge, and depending on the result, the losers could also qualify for the play-offs if their scoring differences was better than others.

Slieverue won because they had the greater willingness to work hard for each other. They also enjoyed a distinct advantage in physical power and experience, with many of their players experiencing junior championship fare over a number of years.

Slieverue jumped into an early four-point lead which settled them. However, doughty Windgap, never ones to shirk a challenge, came storming back, and their corner-forward, Seamie Hennessy had the ball in the net to give his side some hope of coming out on the right side at the finish.

An unimpeded run of eight points by the winners in the middle of the first half really pushed the Slieverue cause into a forlorn cause as far as the trailing Windgap lads were concerned. But again, they are courageous if nothing else, and some points by James Murray, and Hennessy left them trailing by 0-11 to 1-3 at the break.

Again, gutsy Slieverue had the better of the early second half exchanges, with three unanswered points by Bill Irish, Martin Dowling and free-taker, Ricky Hogan. Windgap hung on to their coat tails. Martin Dowling (0-4), Robbie Roche, Cian Tyler, Oliver Mullally slipped over some delightful points, but the evergreen P.J. Barron and J.J. Phelan mustered some optimism in the Windgap resolve with goals in the 50th and 58th minutes. It was never going to be sufficient to get their noses in front, and it was surely an impossible ask when Martin Knox slammed home the Slieverue goal in the dying minutes.

The better team won, and poor Windgap’s losing margin denied them a place in the play-offs. They needed a deficit of no more than seven points.

Scorers: Slieverue - Martin Dowling (0-6); Ricky Hogan (0-5, frees); Cian Tyler (0-4); Martin Knox (1-1); Bill Irish, David Dowling, Robbie Roche, Oliver Mullally (0-1 each). Windgap - Seamie Hennessy (1-0); Steven Purcell (0-3); PJ.Barron, JJ.Phelan (1-0 each); James Murray (0-2, frees); Peter Hennessy (0-1).

Slieverue - Donnacha Griffin, Steven Dolan, Alan Atkins, David Dowling, Richie Roche, Ricky Hogan, Jamie Murphy, David Walsh, Robbie Roche, Bill Irish, Martin Dowling, Aaron Cullinane, Cian Tyler, Martin Knox, John Rellis. Sub - Oliver Mullally.

Windgap - Michael Power, Darren Walsh, Shane Walsh, Edward Cunningham, Garry Lyons, Ger Purcell, Darragh O’Shea, Adrian Landy, Peter Hennessy, Steven Purcell, JJ.Phelan, Paul McKenna, Brendan Power, James Murray, Seamie Hennessy. Subs - Paul Comerford, Kieran Purcell, P.J. Barron.

Referee - Tom Duggan (Mullinavat).

Kenny and Murphy lead Piltown home

Piltown 0-16

John Lockes 1-11

It WAS a case of swap free-takers and we will play you again as far as John Lockes (Callan) were concerned in their game against Piltown on Saturday in Pairc Eaman Ris in the ‘B’ junior hurling league.

Philly Kenny was inch-perfect for the winners in a well contested encounter, even though the Callan outfit had already qualified for the play-offs. In the final analysis, the result didn’t matter too much to Callan, but there would be a certain element of pride involved whenever these sides meet.

The early advantages were with the home side as they led by 0-7 to 0-2 after 20 minutes. But the visitors slowly got to grips with the situation, forcing John Lockes into unnecessary errors, and with a sharpshooter of the ilk of Kenny around, you can expect to pay a price. At half-time, John Lockes led by 0-8 to 0-5.

The losers’ defence was very strident with most efforts they attempted. It was great to see Keith Doheny back in the fold, and he never put a foot wrong, with his touch simply awesome given his long lay-off. Good too to see Robbie Jackman back, as his confidence and experience would be a huge assist to this young outfit. They both put in tremendous efforts, and the team can only improve for their presence.

At 41 minutes, with John Lockes still clinging on to a one-point lead, Robbie Jackman drove a 70-metre free all the way to the Piltown net. James Power added a point, and it seemed that the writing was on the wall for Piltown.

But the departure of Jim Power from the midfield area certainly didn’t help the Callan cause. Slowly Piltown found life in that area a little less crowded, and demanding. Adam Murphy, Philly Kenny and David Kinsella won plenty of ball there, and had the courage and good fortune to convert every chance that came their way.

Two successive frees by Kenny had the sides level by the 51st minute. Two further unanswered points by Kenny and Adam Murphy saw Piltown hit the front and stay there. It might have been different if only… But at the end of the day, the winners were the lads in front on the scoreboard.

Scorers: Piltown - Philly Kenny (0-11, nine frees); David Kinsella, Adam Murphy (0-2 each); Shane Aherne (0-1). John Lockes - Josh Haines (0-4); Robbie Jackman (1-1 frees); James Power (0-3, one free); Mark Shelly (0-2); Martin O’Connell (0-1).

Piltown - David Burchill, Tom Kenny, Pa Connolly, Michael O’Dwyer, Tomás Talbot, Conor O’Shea, Peter Kelly, Andrew Norris, Philly Kenny, Adam Murphy, David Kinsella, David Norris, Dean Brophy, Shane Aherne, Donal Ryan.

John Lockes - Sean Bryan, David Phelan, Eoghan Fahy, Keith Doheny, Bill McDowell, Robbie Jackman, Mark Nolan, Jim Power, Mark Shelly, Josh Haines, Niall Hennessy, Martin O’Connell, Brian McCann, James Power, Sean Power. Subs - Chris Walsh, J.J. Corrigan, James Power, Patrick Holden.

Referee - Podge Butler.

A ’Cup of cheer for the ’Vat men

Mullinavat ............................3-14

Naomh Brid0-14

First half goals by Pat Mulhearn and Mossy Murphy all but scuttled the ambitions of game Naomh Brid in this Paddy Cahill Cup tie (hurling) in Mullinavat on Friday.

The home side proved to be the more competent and skilful outfit. The glaring difference was their respective abilities to master and control the sliothar, which was fairly flying around on the hardening ground. The abilities of Mullinavat to co-ordinate the movement of ball, eye and hand were more comprehensive, and better expedited than the visitors.

In fairness, the observation could not be levelled at the Naomh Brid players in their entirety, as men like the peerless Johnny Nevin, Sean Watchorn, Colin Brennan, Jimmy Kane and Michael Cowman had no problems. In goalkeeper, James Keogh they had a real gem. But for him, I feel, the concession of further goals was a sure thing.

Mullinavat were excellently served by Richie Raftice, Brian Phelan, Brian Kenneally, Paddy Raftice, Joey Gahan, Davy Murphy, Pat Mulhearn, Mossy and John Reid. Once Joey Gahan shot Mullinavat into a lead after two minutes, his side were never to be headed. At half-time, Mullinavat led by 2-8 to 0-5.

The Carlow side made a stout effort in the second half, and whilst Mullinavat shot seven scores in that half, Naomh Brid bagged nine. The damage had been done in the first half.

A full-hearted, competitive game, with the spoils deservedly going to the Rod Iron men.

Scorers: Mullinavat - Mossy Murphy (2-1, pointed free); Pat Mulhearn (1-2, two pointed frees); Joey Gahan (0-3); Davy Murphy, Brian Kenneally (0-2 each); Paddy Raftice (0-2, one free, one ’65); John Reid, Mikie Jones (0-1 each). Naomh Brid - Jimmy Kane (0-6, three frees, one ’65); Colin Brennan (0-3); Danny Quirke (0-2); Michael Cowman, Ayrton Gleeson, Jamie O’Brien (0-1 each).

Mullinavat - Paddy Jones, Ryan Bland, Richie Raftice, Conor Duggan, Robbie Malone, Brian Phelan, Derek Aylward, Brian Kenneally, Paddy Raftice, Pat Mulhearn, Joe Gahan, Michael Jones, Davy Murphy, Mossy Murphy, John Reid. Sub - Conor Frisby.

Naomh Brid - James Keogh, Garry Dunne, Sean Watchorn, Kevin Rogan, Jimmy Cahill, John Nevin, Sean Whelan, Ayrton Gleeson, Colin Brennan, Darren Kavanagh, Jimmy Kane, Alan Brennan, Michael Comerford, Michael Cowman, Jamie O’Brien. Subs - Michael Whelan, Danny Quirke.

Referee - D. Connolly (Mooncoin).