Double Dicksboro goalscorer Andy Gaffney eyes up an attack against Graigue Ballycallan. Pic: Willie Dempsey
After losing their opening league game, Dicksboro have bounced back in style with three wins on the bounce and that momentum continued on Saturday evening with a dominant display against Graigue-Ballycallan.
All of 16 points separated the sides come the final whistle as the city team controlled the contest for its entirety.
After returning from a serious hamstring injury that ruled him out of Kilkenny’s All-Ireland under-20 success, Harry Shine made his first competitive start at senior level for Dicksboro. He took to it like a duck to water as he scored 1-2.
The talented youngster was one of a number of the Dicksboro forward line that scored at will with Liam Moore, Andy Gaffney and Mark Nolan all knocking over scores for fun.
Of that quartet, it was Andy Gaffney who got the Boro’s other two goals. That attacking threat really scuppered the Graigue-Ballycallan effort.
Ballycallan relied heavily on the free-taking accuracy of Sean Ryan after his namesake Billy was well-marshalled over the course of the 60-plus minutes.
Dicksboro came into the game as heavy favourites and they were 0-4 to 0-0 up after only six minutes of play through points from Harry Shine, Andy Gaffney, Liam Moore and Eoin Fennelly.
Sean Ryan then pointed Graigue Ballycallan’s opener in the eighth minute. With Aaron Brennan and Conor Murphy also finding the target, they remained in touch.
Gaffney and Mark Nolan responded for the ’Boro and with only three points separating the sides by the 20th minute, it appeared as if we were set for a competitive contest.
That competitiveness largely disappeared over the course of the rest of the half as Dicksboro’s expert point taking from play helped them ease clear on the scoreboard.
Both teams also had chances for goal with Harry Shine denied by Ciaran Hoyne in the 19th minute when the former St Kieran’s College star shot on the turn. Minutes later Graigue-Ballycallan had an opportunity when Billy Ryan got a rare bit of space but he could only direct his shot wide of the goal.
After that Dicksboro went into overdrive and through further points from Moore, Nolan and Gaffney they led by 10 points near the break.
A pair of Sean Ryan frees finished the scoring for the half as Dicksboro maintained control on a 0-15 to 0-7 scoreline.
Any chance Ballycallan had disappeared when the ’Boro scored 1-4 without reply upon the resumption. Points from Nolan, Gaffney and Chris Kavanagh were followed up by a goal from Harry Shine after the corner-forward scored on the rebound when Gaffney was initially denied by Ciaran Hoyne in the Graigue-Ballycallan goal.
Liam Moore then knocked over another point before Graigue-Ballycallan mustered a response when Conor Murphy expertly split the posts from a difficult angle.
Thomas Kenny appeared to have got a second goal for the ’Boro in the 41st minute but the midfielder hit the ball with such ferocity that it actually hit the side-netting rather than the actual net.
Dicksboro didn’t have to wait long for the second major though with Gaffney scoring in the 46th minute after being assisted by sub Conor Doheny.
By that stage the ’Boro led 2-21 to 0-9. They still had time to score a third goal with Gaffney finding the target again in the final few minutes.
They were very much outclassed on the night, but Ballycallan did at least produce something of a decent finish with Oisin Egan getting a late goal as they put some bit of respectability on the scoreboard.
The final whistle soon followed from Raymond Byrne and it appears that the two clubs are going in very different directions ahead of the beginning of the championship in a couple of weeks time.
Teams and Scorers
Dicksboro - Andy Gaffney (2-6, 0-5 frees); Liam Moore (0-6); Mark Nolan (0-5); Harry Shine (1-2); Chris Kavanagh (0-3); Eoin Fennelly (0-1).
Graigue-Ballycallan - Sean Ryan (0-7, 0-6 frees); Oisin Egan (1-2); Conor Murphy (0-2); Aaron Brennan, Billy Dowling (0-1 each)
Dicksboro - Darragh Holohan; Alan Phelan, Evan Cody, Niall Rowe; Ollie Walsh, Cillian Buckley, Padraig Moylan; Thomas Kenny, Eoin Fennelly; Liam Moore, Aidan Nolan, Chris Kavanagh; Harry Shine, Mark Nolan, Andy Gaffney.
Subs: Stevie Dermody for Buckley, 42 mins; Conor Fitzpatrick for Fennelly, 46 mins; Aran Murphy for Shine, 46 mins; Conor Doheny for Walsh, 50 mins; James Carroll for A Nolan, 52 mins.
Graigue Ballycallan - Ciaran Hoyne; Bob Murphy, Conor Flynn, Killian Egan; Stephen Keoghan, Aaron Brennan, Simon O’Dwyer; Tommy Ronan, Aaron Brennan; Oisin Egan, Billy Ryan, Tom Dunphy; Conor Murphy, Sean O’Dwyer, Sean Ryan.
Subs: Jesse Roberts for Keoghan, h/t; Dara Egan for S O’Dwyer, 38 mins; Jack Butler for S O’Dwyer, 50 mins; Billy Dowling for Ronan, 52 mins.
Referee - Ray Byrne (Glenmore)
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