St LACHTAIN’S (Freshford) battled their way through a stiff Mooncoin challenge in a gloomy and dank Bennettsbridge on Sunday to reach the semi-finals of the intermediate hurling championship.
Bill Beckett shot the first point before Mooncoin’s Michael Grace landed a reply. Beckett then put over his first from play before a Diarmuid Mackey free levelled the sides for the second time.
Beckett and Hughes pointed for Freshford before Michael Grace cut over a great sideline ball from the 40 metre line. Beckett pointed another 65 before Barry Hughes broke through on the ‘40’ and struck over under pressure.
Michael Grace got his third point before Diarmuid Mackey landed his first from play. Beckett and Mackey traded frees before the Freshford breakthrough came on 18 minutes. A great save from goalie Niall O’Hanlon after a Robbie Dowling shot left the unmarked John Fitzpatrick to tap in the breaking ball.
Fitzpatrick got his first point a minute later after a great strike from midfield. Diarmuid Mackey and Keith Kirwan both pointed before half-time whistle to leave Mooncoin leaders by 0-11 to 1-7 at the break.
Fast and skilful hurling in the first half meant that both sides had registered some fine scores, while the strong breeze favoured Freshford after the turn. Bill Beckett and Brian Kennedy had played very well for Freshford while Michael Grace and Diarmuid Mackey were causing all sort sof problems in the Freshford defence.
Bill Beckett pointed a free before an Eoin Guinan burst of pace through the heart of the Mooncoin defence found Beckett with a hand-pass. A goal was the end result. McGree scored his first point from midfield before a lucky strike from a long range Brian Kennedy free ended with the ball sneaking in under the Mooncoin crossbar to push St Lachtain’s seven points ahead.
McGree pointed his second with another long range strike before Alan Walsh pointed after an excellent save by Freshford goalie, James Meagher. Keith Kirwan and Eoin Guinan traded scores before substitute Paul Guinan pointed after coming on two minutes earlier.
Mackey and Beckett pointed twice each to leave the final score 3-15 to 15 points. This was a tense and exciting game, but the final score didn’t do justice to Mooncoin, who would have had more goals had ’keeper James Meagher not been in brilliant form. He made three vital save.
The in-form Bill Beckett and Brain Kennedy will be looked to again if Freshford are going to progress to the final.
Scorers: St Lachtain’s - Bill Beckett (1-8, 0-4 frees, one 65); John Fitzpatrick (1-2); Brian Kennedy (1-0, free); Noel McGree (0-2); Eoin Guinan, Barry Hughes, Paul Guinan (0-1 each). Mooncoin - Diarmuid Mackey (0-7, four frees, one 65); Michael Grace (0-3); Keith Kirwan (0-2); Eoin Henebury, Aidan Walsh, Alan Walsh (0-1 each).
St Lachtain’s - James Meagher, Michael Kavanagh, Seamus Hayes, Tomas Flynn, Michael Cormack, Niall Phelan, Paul Mullan, Noel McGree, Brian Kennedy, Bill Beckett, Davy Brennan, Robbie Dowling, John Fitzpatrick, Eoin Guinan, Barry Hughes. Subs - Noel Hickey, Paul Guinan, Steven Farrell.
Mooncoin - Niall O’Hanlon, Alan Walsh, Cormac Daly, Niall Mackey, P.J. Rowe, Eddie Mackey, Sean Wall, Thomas Henebury, Seamus Kearns, Diarmuid Mackey, Aidan Walsh, Keith Kirwan, Stephen Crowley, Eoin Henebury, Michael Grace. Subs - Thomas O’Hanlon, Danny Purcell, Ray Wall, Eamonn Henebury.