Four wins from four for well-fancied team
Crossabeg-Ballymurn made it four wins from four in Group B of The Courtyard Ferns Intermediate hurling championship as they comfortably saw off the challenge of bottom side Blackwater in St. Patrick's Park on Saturday.
Crossabeg-Ballymurn 3-21 Blackwater 0-9
Last year's beaten finalists were always in control, with three first-half goals, two from Niall Murphy and one from Tony Murphy, firmly laying the foundations for a bloodless victory.
After Niall Murphy and his brother Barry had shared the opening four points, they hit Blackwater with a sucker-punch on 15 minutes when the former got on the end of a David Jackman delivery to touch the ball to the net.
The corner-forward turned provider seven minutes later when he ran at the Blackwater defence before picking out Tony Murphy, who beat goalkeeper Robert O'Leary with aplomb.
Three minutes later Crossabeg-Ballymurn had the green flag waving again when Tony Murphy returned the favour, finding Niall Murphy with a pinpoint crossfield ball and the number 13 made no mistake, burying it in the corner of the net.
Blackwater's first point from play didn't come until the 29th minute when James Dooley found the range, but it was quickly followed by two scores from county Minor Darren Byrne to leave Crossabeg-Ballymurn with a 3-5 to 0-6 half-time advantage.
Blackwater were dealt a further blow on 40 minutes when free-taker Michael Lillis was shown a red card and the extra space allowed Crossabeg-Ballymurn to pick off points almost at will.
A number of their scores came from out near the right sideline, with Oisín Foley, Sam Kelly, Barry Murphy and Shane O'Rourke all on the money as they wrapped up a convincing win.
Crossabeg-Ballymurn: Mark Dempsey; Ronan Devereux, Billy Roche, Matthew Sludds; Alan Byrne, Pádraig Foley, Bill Eviston; Seamus Carroll, Barry Murphy (0-5, 2 frees); Oisín Foley (0-3), Sam Kelly (0-4, 1 free), Shane O'Rourke (0-2); Niall Murphy (2-5, 0-1 line ball), Tony Murphy (1-1), David Jackman (0-1). Subs. - Paddy Devereux for Carroll, Cormac O'Rourke for Eviston, Eoin McDonald for O. Foley, David Murphy for Roche, Andy Butler for B. Murphy.
Blackwater: Robert O'Leary; Anthony Roche, Lar Leacy, Kevin O'Brien; Shane Wright, Diarmuid Murphy, Richard Blake; Denis Carroll, Michael Lillis (0-4 frees); Dean Whelan, James Dooley (0-2), Seánie Purcell; Dillon Dixon, Darren Byrne (0-2), Shane O'Leary. Subs. - Brian Dooley (0-1) for Carroll, Dean Wright for Dixon, Kerril Sutton for Wright, Dixon for J. Dooley.
Referee: John Tobin (Geraldine O'Hanrahans).