Derby delight for Blues
The local bragging rights were only of secondary importance in Monamolin on Saturday as Oylegate-Glenbrien simply had to win this derby tie with Crossabeg-Ballymurn in Group A of The Courtyard Ferns Intermediate hurling championship after two losses on the trot.
O'Gate-G'brien 2-14 C'beg-Ballymurn 1-10
And they duly delivered in emphatic fashion, building on a double scores interval lead of 0-10 to 0-5 with a brace of Marty Kelly goals which left them very comfortable winners.
Kelly had missed the defeat to Askamore as he was helping Shamrock Rovers to win a first-ever Wexford Soccer Cup title on the same day, but the ex-Monageer-Boolavogue man killed off any prospect of a Crossabeg-Ballymurn comeback just 40 seconds after the break when an Eoin O'Mahoney handpass put him through.
One of the losers' defenders was too slow to clear his lines with the turnover proving costly, and Kelly's second goal in the 42nd minute was a carbon copy.
On that occasion a Crossabeg-Ballymurn back was hooked and Jamie Reck's subsequent delivery found Kelly who rattled the net again to make it 2-11 to 0-8.
Last year's Intermediate 'A' champions had won one and lost one prior to this contest, but they never looked like bridging that big gap despite the best efforts of Sam Kelly who was their stand-out performer.
They did manage a late consolation goal, with David Jackman helping the sliothar towards the line and Barry Murphy appearing to get the very last touch, but Oylegate-Glenbrien deservedly claimed the win that puts them back into the mix for qualification.
The boys in blue were fired up from the off and raced into a 0-3 to nil lead through free-taker Jamie Reck, the speedy Mark Kavanagh and Podge Doran whose positioning in the left corner prompted Crossabeg-Ballymurn to move Billy Roche back at an early stage in an effort to keep tabs on him.
Solid Oylegate-Glenbrien defending ensured that their rivals' two-man full-forward line rarely got a look in, while some of Crossabeg-Ballymurn's seven first-half wides were sloppy to say the least.
It was 0-6 to 0-2 midway through the half and Oylegate-Glenbrien had stretched their lead to 0-10 to 0-5 by the break, with Reck, Doran, Kavanagh and county Minor Seamus Casey all keeping the scoreboard ticking over.
Mark Dempsey made one superb save from Casey while a chance for Marty Kelly resulted in a '65 at an earlier stage which Reck converted.
These incidents suggested that goals were in the Oylegate-Glenbrien armoury and so it proved.
Indeed, they might have ended with more than two as Kelly didn't fare as well with a couple more chances while Podge Doran raced in from the left in the 41st minute but his piledriver was expertly turned over the bar by an alert Dempsey.
Oylegate-Glenbrien: John Foley; Robert O'Connor, Fergus Heffernan (capt.), Pádraic O'Connor; Bryan McCormack, Adrian Nolan, Damien Reck; Jim White, Anthony Doyle; Seamus Casey (0-2, 1 free), Jamie Reck (0-6, 5 frees, 1 '65), Mark Kavanagh (0-2); Eoin O'Mahoney, Marty Kelly (2-0), Podge Doran (0-4).
Crossabeg-Ballymurn: Mark Dempsey; Martin Redmond, Paul Larrissy, Matt Sludds; Cormac O'Rourke, Pádraig Foley, Billy Roche; Bill Eviston, Conor Devereux; Oisín Foley, Barry Murphy (capt., 1-2, 0-2 frees), Eoin McDonald (0-2); Niall Murphy (0-5, 3 frees), Sam Kelly (0-1), David Jackman. Subs. - Andy Butler for O. Foley, temp. (4-8), T.J. Parle for Sludds, inj. (24), Butler for O. Foley (37), Mark Campbell for McDonald (54).
Referee: Damien Donovan (St. John's).