A scoring burst at the right time helped Emeralds get their intermediate hurling league campaign off to a winning start.
Last year’s beaten county finalists, the Urlingford men shrugged off a sluggish start in solid fashion as they blasted past a misfiring Dunnamaggin at a chilly Tom Ryall Park on Saturday evening.
Dunnamaggin made a good start, taking a quick lead through two early points from Darren Fitzpatrick and Anthony Kearney, but their advantage was wiped out almost as quickly as they had built it up.
Ian Grant provided the blow, marking his return to the side in style when he won possession outside the square and picked his spot in the Dunna’ net.
Dunnamaggin were shaken by the concession of that score but two points from Kenny Moore, their best performer in attack, had them level as the game moved into the second quarter.
It was in attack that Dunnamaggin’s evening faltered. In defence they more than held their own, the half-back line of Michael Cody, Aidan Donovan and Willie Phelan winning plenty of their duels against their Emeralds.
The trouble for Dunna’ was that while their backs won plenty of ball and cleared it downfield, it was forced back on them almost immediately as their own attackers failed to convert possession into scores.
It didn’t help that Emeralds weren’t having such problems. While Aidan Fogarty and Alan Guilfoyle were able to snipe points, they hit another hammer blow when Francis Clohessy netted a second goal, firing home from the right side of the square.
By half-time the Urlingford men were seven points to the good and seemingly out of reach (2-5 to 0-4).
Emeralds did well to keep that advantage for most of the second half. Helped by some solid performances from Padraig Phelan, who ended the evening with a burst of points from midfield, and Fogarty they kept moving in the right direction.
The Emeralds took their foot off the gas in the latter stages, letting their guard down when the game was safe. That allowed Kenny Moore to pilfer two late goals, one via a free, but his side’s chance to bag at least a share of the spoils was gone by then.
SCORERS: Emeralds - Aidan Fogarty (0-5, 0-2 frees); Ian Grant (1-1); Francis Clohessy (1-0); Padraig Phelan (0-3); Alan Guilfoyle (0-2); Jamie Ryan, Conor Martin (0-1 each). Dunnamaggin - Kenny Moore (2-3, 1-2 frees); Eoghan Kearney, Darren Fitzpatrick, Anthony Kearney, Peter Kenneally (0-1 each).
Emeralds - Shane Moriarty, Tom Moriarty, Damien Fitzgerald, Joey Doheny, Eoin Moriarty, Pa Doheny, Brian Troy, Shane Norton, Padraig Phelan, Conor Martin, Francis Clohessy, Ian Grant, Aidan Fogarty, Alan Guilfoyle, Jamie Ryan. Subs: Brian Campion for F. Clohessy, Joe Clohessy for E. Moriarty.
Dunnamaggin - David Herity, Paul Kerwin, Noel Hickey, Eoghan Kearney, Michael Cody, Aidan Donovan, Willie Phelan, Mark Heffernan, Darren Fitzpatrick, Mark Dowling, Kenny Moore, Kieran Bergin, Tommy Maher, Anthony Kearney, Seaghan O’Neill. Sub: Peter Knneally for O’Neill.
Referee - Julian O’Dwyer (Windgap).