’Stephens had too much know how for city rivals

James Stephens 3-15

James Stephens 3-15

Dicksboro 2-12

JAMES Stephens made their experience pay when they proved too good for intermediate champions, Dicksboro in this senior hurling league tie at Nowlan Park on Saturday.

Dicksboro played well against their city rivals, but they were a mite unlucky when conceding goals. Eddie O’Donoghue pointed after 30 seconds with the first free of the game before Eoin Larkin struck over after a blazing run from midfield.

David Walton tapped over two frees for The Village before Adrian Stapleton pointed sweetlyfrom the shadows of the new stand. O’Donoghue and Walton traded frees before Matthew Ruth, now operating at centre-forward, slipped away after receiving a pass from Richie Hayes to shoot his first point.

Ruth now started to dominate the game completely. After winning one scrappy ball he charged up the field to shoot his second score, leaving the Dicksboro defence stranded.

On the ball again

A minute later Ruth was on the ball again, this time pointing from in front of the old stand. Dicksboro struck back through their most reliable attacker, Eddie O’Donoghue. When he found himself in space after a pass from David Ryan he finished the move smartly by shooting the ball into the bottom corner past Derrick Brennan.

Matthew Ruth plundered his fourth and final point of the game in reply, all his scoring coming within the space of five minutes. The ’Boro management team switched Michael Fagan from the wing to centre-back, which helped quieten the rampant Ruth. O’Donoghue tapped over another free before Larkin burst through the centre and popped the ball to Eoin McCormack, who buried it in net after 25 minutes.

Eddie O’Donoghue won another free and duly pointed it to leave the half-time score at 1-9 to 1-6 in favour of The Village.

Dicksboro had played well and their forwards looked dangerous, but with Matthew Ruth and Eoin Larkin in particular good form, their half back line was in serious trouble. The majority of The Village scores came from their half forward line.

Walton and O’Donoghue traded frees before Shane Maher tapped in an easy ball that could just as easily have been cleared, putting Dicksboro in the lead for the first time since the fifth minute. Walton tapped over another free before getting his first from play.

Eoin McCormack switched with brother David before pointing his first from the full-forward position. David McCormack then struck home a well finished goal after a long ball wriggled its way past the ’Boro backs to leave McCormack through on goal one on one with ’keeper Cillian Breathnach. He drilled the ball low and hard into the net.

Superb point

Martin Gaffney and Eddie O’Donoghue struck over two points before wing back David Glynn shot a superb point from long range. Newly introduced sub Shane Egan finished the ’Stephens third goal with his first touch when he found himself alone in space in the ’Boro goalmouth.

O’Donoghue tapped over another free before David McCormack got his second score to make sure of a Village win.

Eddie O’Donoghue was again solid for the ’Boro side while Kieran Cuddihy and Philip Hogan were outstanding in defence.

The Village half back line of Jackie Tyrrell, Donnacha Cody and Graignamanagh man Ray Coady were strong and influential, and with Ruth and the McCormacks’ good in attack they simply had too much power for the opposition.

Scorers: James Stephens - David Walton(0-8, seven frees); David McCormack, Eoin McCormack (1-1 each); Matthew Ruth (0-4); Shane Egan (1-0); Eoin Larkin (0-1). Dicksboro - Eddie O’Donoghue (1-9, points frees); Shane Maher (1-0); Martin Gaffney, David Glynn, Adrian Stapleton (0-1 each).

James Stephens - Derrick Brennan, Niall McQuillan, Tomas Keogh, Shane Campion, Ray Coady, Jackie Tyrell, Donnacha Coady, Conor McQuillan, Eoin Larkin, David Walton, Richie Hayes, Matthew Ruth, Eoin McCormack, David McCormack, Niall Tyrell. Subs - John Comerford, Shane Egan.

Dicksboro - Cillian Breathnach, David Glynn, Kieran Cuddihy, Philly Hogan, Michael Fagan , Danny Kenny, Enda Malone, Derek O’Gorman , Adrian Stapleton, Shane Maher, Martin Gaffney, Ollie Walsh, David Ryan, Paul O’Flynn, Eddie O’Donoghue. Subs - Cillian Starr, Conor O’Loughlin.