St Martin’s (Muckalee) went on a scoring spree, with goalie Colin McGrath shooting three points, when winning well in Jenkinstown on Sunday.
The winners finished smartly. After defender James Maher was stretchered off with a hip injury there was a delay in the play, which finished Tullaroan’s rhythm. Martin’s then lashed over the closing five points without reply to register their first win of the season in the senior hurling league.
A strong wind blowing right down the field towards the river end had a fair influence on proceedings. The winners opened with it and did well, building up a decent half-time lead of 0-12 to 0-6 after shooting five wides before opening their account.
Tullaroan did okay when they got the backing of the elements. They had the arrears back to 0-14 to 1-9 after Mark Walsh scored a good individual goal in the 43rd minute, but thereafter they began to fade and they never threatened seriously afterwards as they suffered their second defeat.
Tullaroan, with former county favourite Tommy Walsh playing at midfield and inching back towards better form, looked threatening enough when they opened with points from Padraig Walsh, the best player on view, and Mark Walsh, following a foul on Martin of the same name. After St Martin’s eventually found their range, John Maher hit a brace of score to level.
Wing-back Brian Byrne pointed from near midfield in the 13th minute to put Martin’s in front, and there they stayed to the finish. With James Dowling, Canice Maher and Paul Maher hurling particularly well during this period, they rolled off the points per the said Paul Maher, John Maher and the towering Brian Maher to lead by 0-8 to 0-2 passing the 20 minute mark.
If Tullaroan looked troubled, they picked up things again. Late scores from Mark Walsh (2), Shane Walsh and Paul Buggy left them within shooting distance of the opposition at the break (0-12 to 0-6).
Martin and Peter Walsh slotted over Tullaroan point early in the new half to suggest they were ready to charge. They surrendered the next three scores to goalie Colin McGrath (free), Paul and John Maher to lose traction. Then they came again after Paul Buggy shot a minor and Mark Walsh burst through the Martin’s defence to shoot a good goal (0-14 to 1-9).
As good as it got
Alas, that was as good as it was to get for Tullaroan. In the next big play Michael Morrissey picked off a nice point for Martin’s. That was followed by one from Paul Maher, with an assist by Morrissey. John Maher then slotted over a free (0-17 to 1-10). Suddenly the game was going from Tullaroan again.
A terrific Padraig Walsh did all he could - he tried too hard, actually - to save Tullaroan, but with Brian Mulhall producing some big plays for the winners, and Patrick Nolan and John Maher doing likewise, they saw things out without too much bother.
SCORERS: St Martin’s - John Maher (0-10, six frees); John Mulhall, Paul Maher (0-4 each); Colin McGrath (0-3, frees); Brian Byrne, Michael Morrissey, Brian Mulhall (0-1 each). Tullaroan - Mark Walsh (1-5, points frees); Paul Buggy (0-2); Peter Walshe, Tommy Walsh, Padraig Walsh, Shane Walsh, Martin Walsh (0-1 each).
St Martin’s - Colin McGrath, James Maher, Ollie Walsh, Patrick Dowling, Brian Byrne, Patrick Nolan, James Dowling, Canice Maher, Michael Morrissey, Eoin McGrath, Brian Mulhall, John Mulhall, Shane Kinsella, John Maher, Paul Maher. Subs - David Breen, Thomas Breen, Aidan Murphy.
Tullaroan - Richie Butler, Shane Cuddihy, Paddy Campion (capt), Diarmuid Doheny, David Dowling, Stephen Maher, Richie Maher, Tommy Walsh, Padraig Walsh, Mark Walsh, Martin Walsh, Jack Keoghan, Peter Walshe, Paul Buggy, Shane Walsh. Sub - Jimmy Coogan.
Referee - Eugene Ryan (Fenians).