This Junior A encounter in Mooncoin on Friday evening last was a mixed bag of good to mediocre exercise in hurling skill, with the end game favouring the winners.
On balance the scoreline does not lie - Mooncoin were the better side. They were the more frugal side when it came to matters of converting possession, and certainly when it boiled down to affording space and time to an opponent.
The game started tentatively, and one wondered if it might elevate the intensity into a higher torc. It did, a little, but it took some time to ratchet up some excitement.
The early times were used to do some shadow boxing, with both sides rather timorous to show their worth, or intent. Paddy Murphy set the match under way with a pointed free after a couple of minutes.
Liam Walsh levelled matters with Mooncoin’s first, but Eoin Aylward shot a 65 to move Glenmore to the fore after seven minutes. Shane Murphy shot a point, Aylward another free, and by the mid point of the first half, Glenmore were out in front leading by 0-8 to 0-4.
By the 23rd minute, Glenmore were in cruise mode, leading by 1-10 to Mooncoin’s 0-4. However, the slumbering Mooncoin suddenly awoke, and thanks to a fortuitous goal from Ethan Ryan, to which he added a couple of points to a minor score from Sean Walsh, the home side were just a manageable three points adrift at the break Glenmore 1-10, Mooncoin 1-7.
The home side were to put the visitors to the sword in a second half where Glenmore were only able to augment their score with a mere brace of points. It was never going to be quite enough.
Points by Alan Walsh and Ethan Ryan narrowed the gap to one. Further points within nine minutes of the restart by Jamie McGrath, Sean Walsh, and J.P. Purcell handed Mooncoin a slim lead. That lead was to be extended as the half worn on.
More points by Ryan, ‘Mossy’ Walsh, Sean Walsh, Seamus Kearns, and Liam Walsh had Mooncoin out of sight, and home in the winners enclosure.
Mooncoin - Niall O’Hanlon, Nicky Henebery, Dick Mackey, Liam Henebery, Benny Mackey, Shane ‘Mossy’ Walsh (0-1), Shane Walsh (Ballygorey), Alan Walsh (0-1), Ethan Ryan (1-7, 0-6 frees), Sean Walsh (0-3), Seamus Kearns (0-1), Jamie McGrath (0-1), Johnny Phelan, Liam Walsh (0-2), J.P. Purcell (0-1). Sub: A.J. Wall (0-1).
Glenmore - Steven Cody, Niall Dunne, James Irish, James Cody, Ciaran O’Connor, Michael Phelan, Darren Aylward, James Aylward, Colin Doherty, Michael Burke, Shane Murphy (0-1), Ben Doherty (0-3), Eoin Aylward (0-5, 0-1 65, 0-1 free), Emmett Vereker (0-2), Paddy Murphy (1-1). Sub: Eoin Heffernan.