Great scoring start leads Glen' to victory

Trevor Spillane

Reporter:

Trevor Spillane

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tspillane@kilkennypeople.ie

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A polished start which delivered a glut of scores did the trick helped Glenmore get their intermediate hurling league campaign off to winning ways.

A first half in which they shone about the pitch, rattling off 1-8 for their troubles, did a lot of the legwork as they got the better of Dunnamaggin in their group opener at Mooncoin on Friday.

In truth, at one stage things looked grim for Dunna ’, who struggled to get to grips with the game. They failed to find any real rhythm in the first half, picking off just three points for their troubles, but were a changed side after the restart.

Key to their reversal in fortunes was the switch to a four-man half-forward line. With an extra body there to force possession towards the posts Dunnamaggin finally found their game click into gear. Sub Ronan Coffey sent their new-found confidence surging when he latched on to Eoin Kearney’s clever 55th minute pass, shrugged off his marker, and rifled the sliotar to the net.

That goal was quickly followed by more scores, as Dunna ’ began to narrow the gap. Darren Fitzpatrick split the posts with a neat point from the left, before sub Seaghan O’Neill converted a free. Suddenly, the gap which had tormented them for so long was back to three points (1-13 to 1-10).

The last quarter was completely at odds to how Dunnamaggin had performed in the early stages. They did have a chance to storm into an early lead when John Fitzpatrick saw his bustling run ended with an illegal challenge in the square.

Bill McCormack stepped up to take the penalty, drilling the sliotar towards the bottom left corner, but David Aylward made a superb save to turn the ball to safety.

The save did more than leave Dunnamaggin feeling flat – it sparked Glenmore on to bigger things. Alan Murphy led the way with a 65 and long range free, but they really hit top gear in the 15th minute.

Incredible Skill

Shane Murphy was the architect, showing incredible skill to kill David Aylward’s clearance on his hurley and, in one fluid motion, take the sliotar down and set Eoin Aylward free.

The corner-forward hared along the right touchline, sprinting free before cutting in to fire the sliotar past netminder Mark Dowling.

That goal was followed by a string of Glenmore points, the pick of which saw Alan Murphy and Eoin Aylward team up to work the ball back to Emmett Vereker, who confidently swept it over the bar from distance.

Dunnamaggin were reeling. Before the goal, they had been a point behind. Now, 12 minutes later, they trailed by nine (1-8 to 0-2). They did pull a point back before the break, John Fitzpatrick ending a 14-minute barren spell with a fine score, but they looked well out of the race at half-time (1-8 to 0-3).

Stung into action, Dunna ’ raised their game in the second half. They found the target with greater regularity; only trouble was that they couldn’t get the goal they craved. Bill McCormack had nothing but the net on his mind when he picked up Kieran Bergin’s pass and shaped to shoot, but goalkeeper David Aylward sprinted from his line to smother the danger.

Dunnamaggin were growing in confidence, picking off points through the pacy Michael Cody and hard-working Victor Costello, but anything they could do so too did Glenmore.

They remained unruffled and in front, Shane Doherty highlighting his side’s confidence when he coolly picked off a 51st minute free from well inside his own half.

The mood changed a little when Dunnamaggin finally found their scoring touch late on. Glenmore were under pressure, but Eoin Murphy stemmed the tide when he snapped up a loose ball and raised a white flag.

It may have been just one point, but it was enough to check Dunna’s stride and keep them at arm’s length until the final whistle.

SCORERS: Glenmore – Alan Murphy (0-7, 0-5 frees, 0-1 65); Eoin Aylward (1-1); Eoin Murphy (0-3); Emmett Vereker, Shane Murphy, James Aylward, Shane Doherty (0-1 each).Dunnamaggin – Ronan Coffey (1-1); Seaghan O’Neill (0-2, 0-1 free); Victor Costello, John Fitzpatrick (0-2 each); Tommy Maher, Michael Cody, Darren Fitzpatrick, Eoin Kearney, Willie Phelan (0-1 each).

Glenmore – David Aylward; Sean Duggan, Mark Phelan, James Aylward jnr ; Steven Cody, Philip Roche, Shane Doherty; Richie Hennessy, Shane Murphy; Emmett Vereker, Eoin Murphy, James Aylward; Eoin Aylward, Alan Murphy, Tommy Dunne. Subs: Ethan Phelan for Vereker, 43 mins; Liam Hennessy for J. Aylward, 47 mins; Patrick Murphy for Dunne, 50 mins.

Dunnamaggin – Mark Dowling; Paddy Delaney, Noel Hickey, Mark Heffernan; Aaron Doherty, Willie Phelan, Michael Cody; Victor Costello, Eoin Kearney; Tommy Maher, Darren Fitzpatrick, Kieran Bergin; Bill McCormack, Canice Hickey, John Fitzpatrick. Subs: Brian Farrell for Maher, 39 mins; Ronan Coffey for Bergin, 39 mins; Seaghan O’Neill for McCormack, 49 mins; Sean Connery for C. Hickey, 55 mins.

Referee – Eddie Crowley (Mooncoin).