Safe Conahy defence helps break Glenmore

Conahy Shamrocks 3-10

Conahy Shamrocks 3-10

Glenmore 1-11

CONDITIONS were always going to have a big say in the destination of the points in this intermediate hurling league tie between Conahy Shamrocks and Glenmore at Ballyhale on Sunday. A wind blew down the pitch towards the country end. Glenmore were backed by it in the opening half.

It was Conahy who raised the first flag when Paul Buggy shot a point. However, for the most part the play was towards the Conahy goal but their defence played superbly against the elements.

Eoin Murphy and Ger Aylward were the key players in the Glenmore attack. They managed to escape the vice-like grip of the Conahy defence to shoot some excellent points from play and frees.

Midway through the opening half Glenmore had opened up a four point lead, but it was clear that they would need to be leading by a lot more if they were to win.

Conahy kept in touch with points from Declan Buggy, Kieran Mooney and John Wallace, but it was the work rate of the defence and midfield which ensured that losses were restricted.

Major blow

The Southerners were dealt a major blow close to half time when Micheál Lawler ran on to a breaking ball to shoot a good goal. A point separated the sides at the interval. The pendulum now swung back in favour of Conahy.

It was a strange second 30 minutes. Conahy were quickly into their stride with points from Alan Healy and Kieran Mooney to which Michael Phelan replied for Glenmore. The winners went on to dominate the next 20 minutes with goals from Paul Buggy in the eight and 12th minutes.

Then inexplicably Conahy began playing defensively, leaving Paul Buggy as the lone attacker during the closing 10 minutes. The defence came under increasing pressure, but stood up manfully to the challenge.

Given the sustained pressure from the Southerners, a Glenmore goal was inevitable. It duly arrived, courtesy of an Eoin Murphy close in free. It was no more than their efforts deserved.

Such was the dominance of Conahy for 20 minutes of the half that an easy win looked in prospect for long periods. The closing 10 minutes, though, were nerve-racking for their supporters.

It was now Glenmore who were applying the pressure. They might well have got closer had they not over-played the ball on a number of occasions. Conahy’s concession of acres of space in their attack and midfield almost led to their downfall.

Deserved success

Over the 60 minutes Conahy was the better side and deserved the success. Each one of the seven defenders played superbly. Gary Kavanagh was excellent at midfield, where Gavin Nolan also played impressively.

Despite a satisfactory return of 3-10, Conahy’s work rate in attack must improve. The display of the Buggy brothers, Declan and Paul was crucial to the side gaining their first brace of points.

Glenmore needed a bigger lead at the interval. It was always going to be a tough challenge leading by a single point when facing the strong wind.

Eoin Murphy, Ger Aylward and Michael Phelan worked solidly throughout for Glenmore, but the defence deserves credit for that late fightback with John Cody, Mark Phelan and Colm Foran particularly prominent.

Scorers: Conahy Shamrocks - Paul Buggy (2-2); Micheal Lawler (1-1); Declan Buggy, Alan Healy (0-2 each); Kieran Mooney (0-2, one free); John Wallace (0-1). Glenmore - Eoin Murphy (1-5, 1-4 frees); Michael Phelan, Ger Aylward (0-3 each).

Conahy Shamrocks - Kieran Brennan, Padraig Harding, Brian Healy, Thomas Nolan, Denis Kelly, Kieran Mooney, David Healy, Gavin Nolan, Gary Kavanagh, Micheál Lawler, Declan Buggy, John Wallace, Peter Vickery, Paul Buggy, Alan Healy. Sub - Paraic Nolan.

Glenmore - Paul Fitzgerald, Michael Cody, Fergal Freyne, Mark Phelan, Colm Foran, John Cody, Paddy Mullally, Ciarán Foran, Darren Aylward, James Cody, Eoin Murphy, Emmet Vereker, Paddy Murphy, Michael Phelan, Ger Aylward. Subs - Kenneth Cottrell, Anthony Phelan.

Referee - Pascal Connolly (Shamrocks).