Ballymurn move into 'B' semi-final

Crossabeg-Ballymurn 4-15 HWH-Bunclody 1-14

Brian Carty

Crossabeg-Ballymurn had ten points to spare over home side HWH-Bunclody in the quarter-final of the newly-devised Greenstar Under-21 hurling Premier 'B' championship in Bunclody on Tuesday.

The eventual victors enjoyed the brighter start as clever efforts from Robert Byrne, Ronan Devereux and Oisín Foley heralded a 0-3 to 0-1 lead after seven minutes.

But the locals fought back into contention when a dropping free from Eoin Kelly fell into the path of Darren Murphy. The wing-forward first-timed to the net for a 1-2 to 0-3 lead after ten minutes, and Murphy also tagged on a point to increase the cushion to three points.

However, when Sam Kelly sped clear to stitch a brilliant goal on 17 minutes, the advantage swung back in Crossabeg-Ballymurn's favour, and things got even better for them a minute later.

HWH-Bunclody netminder Jamie Farrell got caught in no man's land, and Ronan Devereux was left with the simplest of tasks to finish to the empty net for a 2-4 to 1-3 transformation.

Luke Redmond also goaled for the leaders despite the best prevention efforts of the HWH-Bunclody rearguard as the gap grew to 3-5 to 1-6 at the interval.

HWH-Bunclody's penultimate score from play arrived courtesy of wing-back Conor Thorpe three minutes into the new half, while two of the three placed balls converted by Crossabeg-Ballymurn across the entire game came from the stick of Foley in the third quarter, by which stage they led by 3-12 to 1-10.

Meanwhile, the latter powered through to slap home their fourth goal eight minutes from time to complete an impressive double-digit 4-15 to 1-14 victory for the Over The Water lads on a night when the industrious Ronan Devereux was the king of all he surveyed.

Crossabeg-Ballymurn: Noel Scallan; Eoin O'Connor, Paul Larissy, Stephen Dempsey; Conor Barlow (0-1), David Kehoe, Robert Byrne (0-2); Paddy Devereux (0-1), Ronan Devereux (1-2); James White (0-1), Sam Kelly (capt., 1-2), Luke Redmond (1-0); Lorcan Lacey, Oisín Foley (1-5, 0-3 frees), Evan Kinlough. Subs. - Alex Sludds (0-1) for Lacey, Lorcan Cummins for Dempsey, Tony Laffan for White.

HWH-Bunclody: Jamie Farrell (capt.); Diarmuid Crean, Josh Martin, James Kavanagh; Conor Thorpe (0-1), John Dunne, Paddy Dunbar; Eoin Kelly (0-10, 8 frees, 2 '65s), Martin O'Connor; Darren Murphy (1-1), Brendan Kavanagh, Cathal Doyle (0-1); Mark O'Connor, Edward Dunbar (0-1), Tadhg O Ceallaigh.

Referee: John O'Loughlin (Monageer Boolavogue).

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