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Saturday 21 October 2017

Fethard go to Wall

Gusserane 4-17 Fethard 1-6

Brendan Furlong

Fethard defender Colm Ryan in the act of clearing his lines as Jack Culleton of Gusserane moves in
Fethard defender Colm Ryan in the act of clearing his lines as Jack Culleton of Gusserane moves in

Sam Wall with a personal tally of 0-14 was the key difference as Gusserane fashioned a comfortable 20-point victory over a disappointing Fethard outfit in this Greenstar Under-21 hurling Premier championship opening round game in Gusserane on Tuesday.

In a game that was totally one-sided from a very early stage, county Minor Wall was the star turn from the centre-forward position as he punished every indiscretion in the opposing defence through his accuracy from frees and open play.

And his ability to create scores led to some splendid efforts from the inside forwards as they totally overwhelmed the opposition, whose depleted forces were struggling throughout the 60 minutes.

The first of Wall's points came from a free inside the opening minute, while he followed with a second point from play one minute later, all of which set the tone for what was to follow.

While Mikie Dwyer's pointed '65 reduced the deficit to the minimum, Wall restored his side's two-point advantage with another effort from a 50-metre free.

Twelve minutes into the game the opening goal arrived.

Wall cut through the centre of the defence and saw his attempt for goal brilliantly saved by Martin Doyle, but corner-forward Kevin O'Donohoe was on hand to flash the rebound to the roof of the net, giving his side a 1-3 to 0-1 lead.

With Wall continuing to show accuracy from frees along with a long-range free from Mark Rossiter, they went on to lead by 1-7 to 0-2 at the interval, with the second Fethard point courtesy of Brian Dillon.

When Daire Barden pointed a free within 60 seconds of the re-start it gave Fethard some hope, particularly when he added another from a '65 after 35 minutes, but Gusserane regained the initiative with Wall firing over a point from distance. 

Almost immediately Fethard struck back for a 42nd-minute Chris Molloy goal to reduce the deficit to 1-12 to 1-5.

However, when O'Donohoe fired home his second goal, to be followed by a Martin Fitzharris major at the end the third quarter, the result was never in doubt as the eventual winners led by 3-13 to 1-5 at this stage.

Gusserane sealed a fine display when Mark O'Neill shot a splendid goal five minutes from the end to secure their passage to the second round.

They will meet the winners of St. Martin's and Shelmaliers, while Fethard will take on the losers in the 'B' championship.

Gusserane: Micheál Ryan; Donal Kinsella, Gavin Sheehan, Eoin Foran; Tommy Ryan, Mark Rossiter (0-1 free), Jack Burford; Adrian Redmond, Donal Kiely; Mark O'Neill (1-2), Sam Wall (0-14, 9 frees, 1 '65), Martin Fitzharris (1-0); Jack Culleton, John Roche, Kevin O'Donohoe (2-0). Subs. - Martin Stafford for O'Donohoe, inj., Seán O'Connor for Culleton.

Fethard: Martin Doyle; Seán Sutton, Richard Waters, Colm Ryan; Aaron Murphy, Daire Barden (0-3, 2 '65s, 1 free), James Dillon; Chris Molloy (1-0), Seán Donohoe; Brian Dillon (0-1), Joe Sutton, Seán Dunne; Adam Waters, Mikie Dwyer (0-2, 1 '65), Peter Sutton.

Referee: Gearóid McGrath (St. James').

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