Blistering start was key
A blistering start propelled Monageer-Boolavogue to the semi-finals of the Junior A hurling Championship at the expense of Ballyhogue in Camolin on Saturday afternoon last.
Monageer-Boolavogue 2-18 Ballyhogue 3-09
The victors were strong favorites going into this contest, having topped the Group A table, and wasted little time asserting themselves with a James Gahan goal in the opening few minutes.
Just a fourth minute Mick Parker point is all Ballyhogue had to show for their efforts and endeavours in the first 25 minutes. Yet with Diarmuid Fenlon purring from dead-balls, Sean McCabe, Sean Roche and Colm O'Loughlin all on target, Monageer didn't have any such problems.
Monageer went even further ahead in the 18th minute when a long ball broke perfectly for James Sweeney and the diminutive corner-forward pulled to the net from close range. With Conall Nolan in top form and McCabe having a stormer there seemed to be only one winner.
Ballyhogue made some positional changes with Shane Byrne dropping deeper while James Parle moved into midfield and slowly they started to assert themselves. Sandwiching a Byrne point and a Mick Parker free was their first goal.
Graham Parker finished to the net with Parle setting the move in motion. It meant that the Bree boys had something to build on, trailing 2-12 to 1-3 at the interval.
And build on it they did. Darragh Doyle had added his name to the list of Ballyhogue scores by the time Graham Parker sent a free from his own '65 into the Monageer net. With Sean Roche excelling at full-ball, the Monageer scores were drying up.
Suddenly there was belief in Ballyhogue. They closed within four points when James Parle picked up the sliother on the twenty and buried it to the rigging, and again when Mick Parker pointed in the 53rd minute to make it 2-16 to 3-9. However, Diarmuid Fenlon, who score all of Monageer's second half points, closed out the game with the final two overs to ensure that his side went into the hat for the Junior A championship semi-final draw.
Monageer-Boolavogue: Morgan Gahan; Patrick Walsh, Conall Nolan, Ray O'Brien; Liam Gahan, Paddy Breen, Sean McCabe (0-2); Ian Hawkins, Sean Roche (0-1); Brian Dwyer, Colm O'Loughlin (0-1), Diarmuid Fenlon (0-12, 9 frees); James Sweeney (1-1), Declan Kelly, James Gahan (1-1). Subs. - Stephen Lacey for Dwyer, James Donohoe for Kelly.
Ballyhogue: Paddy Carr; David Byrne, Sean Rochford, Shane Fenlon; Shane Doyle, Eddie Galavan, James Parle (1-0); Dylan Dalton, Graham Parker (2-1, 1-1 frees); Sean Ring, Denis Leacy, Mick Parker (0-5, 4 frees, 1 '65); Shane Roche, Shane Byrne (0-2), Mick Condon. Subs. - Conor Byrne for D. Byrne (18), Darragh Doyle (0-1) for Ring (35).
Referee: Pat Kehoe (Rathgarogue-Cushinstown).