Martin's ease to big victory
St. Martin's 0-22 Taghmon-Camross 0-8
St. Martin's simply sauntered to victory against a shell-shocked Taghmon-Camross in their Tom Doyle Supplies Senior football championship Group B opener in Innovate Wexford Park on Saturday.
The winners were missing influential county man Daithí Waters, who was red-carded in last season's semi-final defeat to Glynn-Barntown, through suspension, but it mattered little as they tore Taghmon-Camross to shreds, giving them a harsh lesson that the step up to Senior ranks can be far from a seamless one.
It wasn't all rosy in the garden for St. Martin's though, and there was slight cause for concern for their mentors, as the underdogs did manage to carve open their defence to create a few chances to raise a green flag, although the killer instinct in front of goal was lacking.
Against better opposition those defensive frailties could prove costly, although the Murrintown and Piercestown outfit will surely have plenty of time to put those blemishes right in an expected extended stay in the competition.
From the moment Ciarán Lyng split the posts with a free on 90 seconds, they never looked like losing their grip on the contest, although it wasn't until the ninth minute that Barry O'Connor doubled their advantage.
Then came a flurry of scores, with three points in as many minutes. Ciarán Lyng collected a pin-point pass from Jamie Carty and popped over a point, Jake Firman went on a lung-bursting run up the right wing before cutting inside and floating the ball over the bar with his left boot, and Carty added a booming effort seconds later.
Seamie McLoughlin got Taghmon-Camross off the mark in the 15th minute, but it was quickly back to business as usual with points from Jack O'Connor and Barry O'Connor giving St. Martin's a 0-7 to 0-1 advantage.
However, last season's Intermediate champions fired a warning shot at the men in maroon and white in the 20th minute when Stephen O'Gorman sluiced through the defence but saw his effort on goal blocked.
At the other Ciarán Lyng finished off a free-flowing move with a lovely point, but the hearts were again racing in the St. Martin's rearguard seconds later when Taghmon-Camross threatened to plunder a much-needed goal.
Seamie McLoughlin played in Luke Sinnott, who in turn found Michael O'Gorman in space, but the shot on target was blocked by Jack O'Connor.
St. Martin's continued to pick off points at their leisure, with Rory O'Connor steering over two good scores before the interval and Barry O'Connor adding another, while Seamie McLoughlin grabbed his second point after linking up well with Luke Sinnott, to leave Taghmon-Camross trailing by 0-11 to 0-2 at the break.
Ciarán Lyng opened the second-half scoring with a free, but again Taghmon-Camross created a goalscoring opportunity, this time forcing netminder Tomás Hayes into a fine save.
Stephen O'Gorman worked the ball to Eoin Doyle, who fed Michael O'Gorman, but Hayes spread himself well to block the effort.
St. Martin's comfortably kept their opponents at arm's length thereafter and would have to be happy with the spread of scores from their side.
Conor Firman chipped in with an eye-catching point on the run, while Edward O'Byrne added a couple, with Jamie Carty, Darren Codd, Aaron Maddock, Ciarán Lyng, substitute Joe Coleman, Jack O'Connor and Rory O'Connor all grabbing second-half scores in a decent all-round team performance.
Seamie McLoughlin was certainly the bright light for Taghmon-Camross, adding four second-half points to take his tally to six, while substitute Ian Carty and Michael O'Gorman (free) contributed their other scores.
St. Martin's: Tomás Hayes; Mikey Coleman, Willie Devereux, Conor Firman (0-1); Paudie Kelly, Aaron Maddock (0-1), Jack O'Connor (0-2); Rory O'Connor (0-3), Jamie Carty (0-2); Jake Firman (0-1), Edward O'Byrne (0-2), Darren Codd (0-1); Ciarán Lyng (0-5, 2 frees), Patrick O'Connor, Barry O'Connor (0-3). Subs. - Joe Coleman (0-1) for Lyng, Harry O'Connor for Firman.
Taghmon-Camross: Seán O'Gorman; David O'Keeffe, Mark O'Gorman, Stephen Stafford; Darren Hayden, Alan Nolan, Darren Carty; Barry O'Gorman, Stephen O'Gorman; Michael O'Gorman (0-1 free), Chris Cullen, Eoin Doyle; Seamie McLoughlin (0-6, 2 frees), Luke Sinnott, Shane Doyle. Subs. - Ian Carty (0-1) for S. Doyle, Stuart Murphy for Hayden.
Referee: Billy Dodd (Sarsfields).