They say that a good start is half the battle! That was certainly the case for determined St Lachtain’s (Freshford) on Sunday when they proved too strong for Glenmore by 2-15 to 1-12 in this lively and entertaining intermediate hurling league second round tie in cold Bennettsbridge.
By the 13th minute the Freshford side had raced into a 1-5 to no score lead after playing some fine hurling. Their forwards were getting quality ball, and they were making good use of it.
Glenmore simply couldn’t cope, and after the concession of that early ground, they were always playing catch up afterwards.
John Fitzpatrick opened St Lachtain’s account when he took advantage of a weak clearance out of the Glenmore defence by shooting a point in the second minutes. Shane Donnelly and Bill Beckett followed with similar scores as Lachtain’s hit the ground running.
Crashed ball to net
James Maher floated in a long centre shortly afterwards and Donnelly collected the ball and crashed it to the net from close range. Additional points from Donnelly and Beckett left the winners 1-5 to no score ahead, and they were flying.
Glenmore hit back for a point from a free by Alan Murphy and one from play by Ger Aylward at around the mid-way stage. Noel McGree and Alan Murphy exchanged points before Shane Donnelly, who was causing all sorts of problems for the Southerners, and Paul Guinan landed points.
Alan Murphy replied at the other end with another pointed free before Robbie Dowling saved brilliantly in the Freshford goal.
Stephen Farrell closed the first half scoring with a point from a free in added time to leave St Lachtain’s leaders by 1-9 to 0-4 at the break.
Glenmore had the assistance of the wind to come after the change. Ger Aylward fired over an early point to get them going. This was quickly replied to by points from Liam Hickey and Paul Guinan.
Alan Murphy fried for a goal from a close in free shortly afterwards, but the effort was well saved by Robbie Dowling in the winners goal. At the other end Ger Aylward pointed, and that drew a response from Stephen Farrell to leave Glenmore still trailing badly, 0-6 to 1-12.
Glenmore on top
During the following 10 minutes Glenmore got on top and enjoyed their best spell of the game. They landed four unanswered points through Mark Aylward, Michael Phelan, Eoin and Alan Murphy to pile the pressure on the opposition as they got within striking distance.
That was as good as it was to get for Glenmore. St Lachtain’s steadied the ship by shooting a brace of points.
Game wrapped up
Then in the 56th minute the game was wrapped up as a contest when Shane Donnelly cut through the Glenmore defence before laying off the ball to Paul Guinan, who tapped it into the roof of the net from close range.
Ger Aylward replied with a point and Eoin Murphy closed the scoring when he shot the Southerners goal on the call of time.
The points were in the St Lachtain’s bag, and they were well deserved.
Scorers: St Lachtain’s - Shane Donnelly (1-3); Paul Guinan (1-2); Bill Beckett (0-4, one free); Noel McGree (0-2); Stephen Farrell (0-2, frees); John Fitzpatrick, Liam Hickey (0-1 each). Glenmore - Alan Murphy (0-5, frees); Ger Aylward (0-4); Eoin Murphy (1-1); Mark Aylward, Michael Phelan (0-1 each).
St Lachtain’s - Robbie Dowling, Michael Cormack, Michael Kavanagh, Tommy Flynn, Mark Kavanagh, Brian Kennedy, James Maher, Noel McGree, Barry Hughes, Bill Beckett, John Fitzpatrick, Liam Hickey, Paul Guinan, Stephen Farrell, Shane Donnelly. Sub - Philip Campion.
Glenmore - Davy Aylward, James Cody, Michael Cody, Mark Phelan, Philip Roche, John Cody, Shane Doherty, Emmet Vereker, Ciaran Foran, Patrick Murphy, Eoin Murphy, Michael Phelan, Mark Aylward, Ger Aylward, Alan Murphy. Sub - James Aylward.
Referee - Paddy Neary (James Stephens).