Holders enjoy comfortable win
SHELMALIERS BOUNCED back from the disappointment of an opening round defeat to cruise past Shamrocks in the Pettitt's Senior hurling championship Group B at windy Oylegate on Sunday.
The county champions last narrowly to Oulart-The Ballagh first time out and began this game slowly too. However, once they found their feet there was only one winner and the Over The Water side will be confident of qualifying with a bit to spare if they can replicate this performance in the coming weeks.
For Shamrocks it was the second heavy defeat since they moved up to the Senior ranks. The learning curve is a steep one and with games against Oulart-The Ballagh, Ferns and finally Faythe Harriers to come, their hopes of avoiding a relegation decider already look forlorn.
The Enniscorthy town side actually flew out of the blocks against the breeze, scoring the first three points. Maurice Casey grabbed the opener and that was followed by a brace of frees from Bob Jacob as the Shamrocks eased ahead after eight minutes.
The next 22 minutes weren't so good for the Intermediate champions as Shelmaliers outscored them by 1-12 to 0-1. Joe Kelly had four points of his ten on the board and Ciarán O'Shaughnessy had a brace when Eoghan Nolan played an inviting ball in from the left and Brian Doyle doubled on it overhead to the net from the edge of the square.
Simon Donohoe marauded forward to grab a double for himself before the break and when the whistle did go for the change-around Shelmaliers had build a healthy 1-12 to 0-4 lead.
Any hopes Shamrocks had of starting a fightback with the elements at their backs ended within 60 seconds of the re-start when Brian Murphy drove a free from just inside his own half into the goalmouth. The sliothar broke for James Cash and, while his initial shot was blocked, he pulled quickly on the rebound, drilling it past Daithí Murphy.
Maurice Casey scored his second point early in the second-half - his two efforts proved to be the only scores from play for his side. Joe Kelly added four points as the half wore on while Stephen Banville also registered as Shelmaliers eased to victory over 14-man Shamrocks who lost Karl Cullen late in the game.
Shelmaliers: Brian Murphy; Andre O'Brien, Aidan Murphy, Simon Donohoe (0-2); Conor Walsh, Benny Barron, Aidan Cash; Eoin Doyle (0-1), Brian Doyle (1-0); Stephen Banville (0-1), Brian Malone, Joe Kelly (capt., 0-10, 5 frees, 1 '65); James Cash (1-0), Ciarán O'Shaughnessy (0-3), Eoghan Nolan. Sub. - Aaron Murphy for E. Doyle, inj. (53).
Shamrocks: Daithí Murphy; Barry Dobbs, Mick Weafer (capt.), Philip Freeman; Lar McDonald, George Jacob, Emmet Quirke; Bob Jacob (0-5 frees), Karl Cullen; Seán Wildes, Anthony Wallace, Jim Jacob; Maurice Casey (0-2), Cyril Thorpe, Harry Goff. Subs. - Ronan Gahan for J. Jacob (45), Graham Denton for Thorpe (46), Jack Moorehouse for Wildes (50), Jim Jacob for Dobbs, inj. (56).
Referee: David O'Leary (Rathnure).