Mean-looking Martin’s demolish Dunna’ challenge

St Martin’s 3-16

St Martin’s 3-16

Dunnamaggin 1-12

A FOUR-GOAL first half flurry provided plenty of highlights as St Martin’s ran out comfortable winners against Dunnamaggin to stay in the hunt for senior hurling league honours.

The Martin’s forwards looked dangerous in the first half. Their movement causing real problems in the Dunnamaggin defence, with John Maher pulling all the strings.

The result was a blow for Dunnamaggin, who now find themselves in real relegation trouble. They started the better team on Saturday afternoon in Bennettsbridge, as a quickly-taken point from full-forward Anthony Kearney saw them take the lead for the only time in the game.

Martin’s responded with a superb goal. A John Maher pass set up Eoin McGrath, who flicked the ball over David Herity’s head. Maher shot over his first free before two scores from Darren Fitzpatrick and Andrew Hickey closed the gap.

It didn’t stay that way for long, as Brian Mulhall stretched Martin’s lead before another lay off by John Maher set up Joe Maher to finish the ball in the corner of the goal. Two more points from John Maher and McGrath pushed Martin’s further ahead before Kieran Bergin replied with a well-taken point.

Scent of goals

Martin’s had the scent of goals in their nostrils and went looking for more big scores. Canice Maher flitted through the Dunna’ defence but saw his kick clatter off the underside of the crossbar before being cleared. Kearney and Canice Maher traded scores before a Kenneth Moore free gave Dunnamaggin a chance when he bounced his shot into the bottom of the Martin’s goal.

Twenty seconds later though and Martin’s had restored their six point advantage, Joe Maher burying his second goal past Herity. The two Canices, Maher (SM) and Hickey (D) traded scores, but that still left Martin’s ahead by six at half-time (3-6 to 1-6).

The second half started with Martin’s firing over two more points to stretch their advantage, but Dunnamaggin responded with like scores from Canice Hickey and Kieran Bergin. Canice Maher piled on another, pouncing on a rare mistake by ’keeper Herity before John Mulhall shot over another. Dunnamaggin refused to yield, with Canice Hickey grabbing another point, but Mulhall and John Maher (free) struck to push their side 12 points clear.

Bergin and Brian Mulhall traded scores before another Canice Hickey free split the Martin’s posts. Newly-introduced sub Brian Byrne got in on the act with a sweetly-struck point before veteran Seaghan O’Neill returned fire for Dunnamaggin. It wasn’t enough to halt the inevitable however, as Joe Maher rounded off his tally with two fine points to see Martin’s run out comfortable 10-point winners.

Another total performance in the final round means Martin’s could still top their group. As for Dunnamaggin, they need a win in their final game to ensure their senior safety.

SCORERS: St Martin’s - Joe Maher 2-2, Eoin McGrath 1-2, Canice Maher, John Mulhall (0-3 each), John Maher 0-3 frees, Brian Mulhall 0-2, Bryan Byrne 0-1. Dunnamaggin - Canice Hickey (0-4, frees); Kenneth Moore (1-0, free); Kieran Bergin (0-3); Anthony Kearney (0-2); Darren Fitzpatrick, Andrew Hickey, Seaghan O’Neill (0-1 each).

St Martin’s - C. McGrath, O. Walsh, R. Maher, S. Cadigan, N. Moran, P. Nolan, J. Dowling, P. Maher, T. Breen, Joe Maher, B. Mulhall, C. Maher, E. McGrath, John Maher, J. Mulhall. Sub: B. Byrne.

Dunnamaggin - D. Herity, M. Dowling, N. Hickey, M. Heffernan, A. Donovan, K. Moore, W. Phelan, C. Hickey, A. Hickey, D. Fitzpatrick, J.J. Dunphy, B. McCormack, K. Bergin, A. Kearney, P. Kenneally. Subs: S. O’Neill, P. Kirwan.

Referee - P. Dunphy (Carrigeen)