Galmoy’s long journey to Slieverue on Sunday for this junior hurling league/championship clash proved fruitless as the home side showed the greater hunger for victory.
The locals deservedly took the spoils after a thrilling game.
Indeed, had some of Slieverue’s second half shooting been more accurate, they would have won by more.
Their free taking, in particular, proved troublesome as they employed three different free takers after the break. That said, at least they were winning the frees.
Galmoy, on the other hand, will be searching for a big overall improvement for the knock-out championship game this weekend.
Their first half tally of 1-4 was a poor return and their concession of needless frees in defence will be punished with greater effect should it continue.
Phil Russell’s early point drew three replies in succession from Slieverue, who were the more accurate in the early stages and had eight different names on the scoresheet by game’s end.
Niall Walsh and Eoin Kenny were two shining performers for the hosts and they lead the fight all through.
After 10 minutes Slieverue led by 0-4 to 0-3. They could have been further ahead but for the intervention of Eddie Kelly on two occasions from goal bound shots by the hard working Gary Walsh, who was winning a lot of ball.
Galmoy got a break in the 17th minute when Tom Phelan sent in a delivery which Frank Phelan flicked on to Donnacha Gray. Gray pulled first time from 10 metres out to edge the sliotar past Jamie O’Brien for the first goal of the game, Galmoy 1-3 Slieverue 0-4.
But from here to the break Slieverue split the Galmoy posts on six occasions, three of them from Eoin Kenny frees.
Galmoy’s lone reply was from Phil Russell in the 20th minute to leave Slieverue ahead by 0-10 to 1-4 at the break.
After the rest Galmoy’s Noel Doherty was employed in a deeper role and he showed the way to his younger team mates with some pure hard work and intelligent use of the ball.
He won two frees which Phil Russell converted. Indeed, by the end of the third quarter Russell had hit four second half points, with Eoin Kenny replying with two for Slieverue.
Kenny though was very strong at centre-forward and although now policed by Jason Stanley, he continued to run the show up front for the hosts.
Slieverue’s Niall Walsh, who is a former member of Brian Cody’s panel, was having a huge influence on proceedings also.
He was dropping back in behind his half back line and seemed to pick up the world of ball, setting up many telling clearances.
A Galmoy point from Brendan Phelan from midfield levelled the game in the 53rd minute, and the game was still there for the taking.
Substitute Paul Rockett put Slieverue ahead again with five remaining when he pointed off his hurley after a good solo.
And then there was the big one. Slieverue’s Martin Dowling’s shot for a point was dropping short in to the Galmoy goalmouth. Eddie Kelly appeared to have it covered.
But at the last second two players crossed his path, causing the sliotar to sneak into the net, Slieverue 1-15 Galmoy 1-11.
This appeared to be it for the visitors, but Phil Russell pointed once more which drew a reply from Eoin Kenny, who fielded a huge ball turned, soloed in and pointed (1-16 to 1-12).
However, there was to be one more twist.
Donnacha Gray won a ball for Galmoy in the left corner and soloed in along only to see his shot blocked by Jamie O’Brien.
Stephen Murphy stretched out and with one hand on the hurley turned the sliotar into the net.
That left just the minimum between the sides, but time ran out for Galmoy.
Slieverue will fancy their chances next weekend in the championship against Blacks and Whites, especially if Niall Walsh and Eoin Kenny can exert the same influence. They are a young team. They ended the game with four minor players in action.
For Galmoy, Phil Russell and Noel Doherty could have done very little else , but more players will have to stand up and be counted when they face Mooncoin next weekend.
SCORERS: Piltown - Eoin Kenny (0-7, five frees); Niall Walsh (0-3); Martin Dowling (1-0); Sean Roche (0-2); Ollie Mullally, Gary Walsh, Eamon Phelan, Paul Rockett (0-1 each). Galmoy - Phil Russell (0-8, four frees); donncha Gray (1-1); Stephen Murphy (1-0); Kevin Duggan (0-2); Brendan Phelan (0-1).
Slieverue - Jamie O’Brien; Jack Frisby, Ross Kelly, Stephen Dolan; Adrian Rockett, Michael Hoynes (capt), Cillian Power; Niall Walsh) Ollie Mullally; Martin Dowling, Eoin Kenny, Gary Walsh; Eamonn Phelan, Sean Roche, Aaron Cullinane. Sub: Paul Rockett.
Galmoy - Eddie Kelly; Joe Dollard, Jason Stanley (capt), Sean Phelan; Michael Murphy, Kieran Phelan, Martin Duggan; Brendan Phelan, Frank Phelan; Kevin Duggan, Tom Phelan (Bawn), Phil Russell; Stephen Murphy, Donnacha Gray, Noel Doherty.
Referee - John Bennett (Tullogher Rosbercon).
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