Higgins trio keep it in the family

Rathnure 1-16 Our Lady's Island 0-14

Jason Goodison

Higgins was certainly the surname to possess on Saturday in Cushinstown, as three impressive scoring performances powered Rathnure to victory over Group A opponents Our Lady's Island in the Top Oil Intermediate 'A' hurling championship.

Registering every score but one, the Higgins trio of Eoin, Nigel and Rory provided 1-15 between them as Rathnure climbed to third in the table with their first championship win.

Indeed, the latter was probably the pick of the three, producing the game-defining moment late in the first-half after a fine piece of individual skill.

The teams traded scores in the opening ten minutes before a couple of Dean Maloney frees gave Our Lady's Island the game's first two-point lead.

Nigel and Eoin Higgins answered swiftly back to tie the game before another Maloney free was negated by Rory Higgins, setting the stage at seven points apiece for the game's only goal.

What an important goal it was too, ushering Rathnure into their first substantial lead, one their opponents would never be able to overturn.

Rory Higgins creatively beat defender Brian Moore and tore inside, sending his low shot unexpectedly to Alan Kinsella's near post and raising the green flag.

Rathnure closed out the half stronger after the goal. Rory Higgins pointed twice more with Nigel adding another to extend the half-time gap to five.

After the break, both sides registered six points each. Our Lady's Island never really threatened a comeback but hung on in there mostly through Maloney.

Rathnure kept them at bay easily, with five more minors from the Higgins trio. The clean sweep was ruined by Fran Murphy earlier in the half. He probably knew little about it then, but his well-taken point was the only score from a Rathnure player without the Higgins surname. 

Rathnure: Seán Nolan; Eoin Boggan, Teddy O'Connor, M.J. Murphy; Thomas Furlong, James Flynn, Alan Ronan (capt.); Shane Murphy, Eoin Higgins (0-4); Rory Higgins (1-7, 0-5 frees, 0-1 '65), Fran Murphy (0-1), Michael Martin; Seán O'Neill, Nigel Higgins (0-4), Ben Ronan. Subs. - Kiall Byrne for B. Ronan (49), Eoin Byrne for Martin (58).

Our Lady's Island: Alan Kinsella; Brian Moore, Eamon Maloney (capt.), Rory Reville; Davy Corish, Liam Kinsella (0-1 free), Cathal Devereux; Quinn Saunders (0-2), Gary Walsh; Cian Meyler, Nicky Keane (0-1), Fintan Mullins (0-1); Dean Maloney (0-8, 6 frees, 1 '65), Colm Kinsella, Darragh Sinnott (0-1). Subs. - Robbie Reville for Corish (50), Eoin Wright for D. Maloney (57).

Referee: Eric Molloy (St. James').

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