Duffry off the mark
Duffry Rovers got themselves back into contention for a quarter-final place in The Courtyard Ferns Intermediate hurling championship with a fully-deserved Group A victory over Askamore in St. Patrick's Park on Saturday.
Duffry Rovers 1-16 Askamore 1-13
The Coolree club came into the game on the back of defeats to Ballygarrett and Oulart-The Ballagh but impressed against a previously unbeaten opponent in Askamore.
They will now rightly fancy their chances of getting out of the group with games against Corssabeg-Ballymurn and Oylegate-Glenbrien to come.
The losers, who were without P.J. Nolan until the last few minutes owing to injury, will be worried about their lack of dynamic play in the attacking third. Only in the opening couple of minutes, when Billy Nolan was hauled down for a penalty, did they stretch a sterling Duffry defence.
Shane Tomkins scored the resulting penalty and Askamore moved into a 1-3 to 0-3 lead at the end of the opening quarter, but their opponents slowly grew in confidence and began to impose their will.
Brian Clince was on fire, both from frees and in game-play, and scored five points as the Duffry scorched 0-9 to 1-4 ahead in the 29th minute.
However, better was to come for his side when Johnny Flynn-O'Connor's ball into the danger area fell to Eamonn Doyle and he kicked to the net at the second attempt to up the lead to five at the break.
The Duffry continued to drive on and extended their lead to 1-12 to 1-5 after 40 minutes. Askamore slowly but surely found pockets of space in their opponents' half and looked like they might nick a result when a Frank Boggan point narrowed the gap to two in the final minute.
Yet the Duffry responded with a quick brace from Aidan Byrne and Alan O'Neill to wrap up the win. Askamore, on three points at the moment, will fancy their chances of making the quarter-finals but have tough contests against Oulart-The Ballagh and Ballygarrett to come and will need to improve.
Duffry Rovers: Niall Maher; Cathal Clince, Donie Doyle, James Nolan; Feargal Kenny, Paul Nolan (capt., 0-1), Aidan Byrne (0-1); Brian Clince (0-9, 7 frees), Johnny Flynn-O'Connor; Liam Pender, Stephen Watchorn (0-1), Thomas Dunne; Eamonn Doyle (1-0), Alan O'Neill (0-2), Jason Rackard (0-2). Subs. - Robert Frayne for Rackard (52), Doine O'Connor for Pender (58).
Askamore: Brian Hayden; Martin Hayden, Frank Lancaster (capt.), David Travers; Tom Kavanagh, Tommy Devereux, James Lancaster (0-1); Conor Levingstone, Eoin Murphy; Gavin Sunderland, Ray Lancaster, Shane Tomkins (1-7, 0-5 frees, 1-0 pen.); Frank Boggan (0-2), Billy Nolan (0-2), Pádraig Byrne (0-1). Subs. - Colm Buttle for R. Lancaster, temp. (13-17), Buttle for R. Lancaster (41), Conor Travers for Nolan, temp. (45-48), Travers for Levingstone (53), P.J. Nolan for Sunderland (57).
Referee: Dan Crosby (Kilmore).