Mellows for District final

Liam Mellows 1-21 Askamore 0-13

Brian Carty

Liam Mellows combined determination with some occasional sublime score-taking as they advanced to the Gorey District Under-21 hurling Roinn 1 championship final with a comprehensive 1-21 to 0-13 victory over Askamore in Coolgreany on Tuesday.

The visitors actually enjoyed a brighter start, as an opening free from Tom Byrne after 45 seconds was added to by John Kavanagh and James Byrne as they eked out a 0-3 to 0-1 lead after six minutes.

However, the locals turned the tables with five unanswered points in a row by the 14th minute, including three frees from top scorer Eoin Cullen, and a nice point from play from Yusuf Frih.

Three James Byrne frees made it 0-6 each after 18 minutes, but Joe Gardiner soon found Cullen inside and the county Minor panel member saw his rasper fly into the top corner for a 1-8 to 0-7 lead after 23 minutes.

Askamore actually out-scored Liam Mellows by three to two in the remainder of the half, although Gardiner registered the last point before the interval as the home side held a 1-10 to 0-10 advantage.

The same player resumed with a free from midfield some 26 seconds after the re-start, but Askamore strung together three points on the trot for the last time in the contest to move to within 1-12 to 0-13 after 40 minutes.

But they failed to score again as instead the victors picked off points at will, with four from Cullen (three frees), a clever brace from Frih, and a point apiece from Darragh Brooks and Chris Callanan setting up a District decider against Craanford or Ferns St. Aidan's whose semi-final has been re-fixed.

Liam Mellows: Frank Kavanagh; Luke Murphy, Frank Roche, Oisín Condren; Shane Halpin, Ross Cody, Liam Condren; Robbie Brooks, Rory Heffernan (0-1); Yusuf Frih (0-3), Joe Gardiner (capt., 0-4, 3 frees), Darragh Brooks (0-2); Chris Callanan (0-1), Eoin Cullen (1-10, 0-7 frees), Frankie Kavanagh.

Askamore: Darragh Kinsella; Liam O'Rourke, Tom Kavanagh, Gareth O'Connor; Jim Sharry, Tom Byrne (capt., 0-2, 1 free, 1 '65), Ciarán Lancaster; Seán Bookey (0-1), John Kavanagh (0-1); Jamie Quinn (0-2), Fionn Fortune, Conor Travers (0-1); Conor Byrne, Conor Butler, James Byrne (0-6, 5 frees). Subs. - Peter O'Neill for Bookey, Seán Kirwan for J. Byrne, John Doyle for J. Kavanagh, Pádraig O'Rourke for O'Connor.

Referee: Pádraig Byrne (Tara Rocks).

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