Oulart remain unbeaten

Oulart-The Ballagh 1-21 St. Patrick's 1-14

David Medcalf

Stephen Ryan of St. Patrick's is closed down by Oulart-The Ballagh defender Ian Storey
Stephen Ryan of St. Patrick's is closed down by Oulart-The Ballagh defender Ian Storey

Oulart-The Ballagh's merry unbeaten progress through the Top Oil Intermediate 'A' hurling championship Group A was extended on Saturday in Bellefield with a seven-point win over a game St. Patrick's side.

The victors' relentless pursuit of scores eventually wore down opponents who shared the honours in the first-half, only to subside in the second.

The Camolin men set the early pace with three unanswered points, including a couple from their Under-21 star and chief playmaker John Doyle.

Hearts must have been in mouths among the mentors when the centre-forward went down injured clutching his hand, but Doyle picked himself up and knocked over his free.

Early gains were thrown away when enterprising wing-back Kevin Sheridan bustled deep into enemy territory to spank home a goal on ten minutes.

The pendulum swung sharply in favour of the red and black for the following quarter hour, with Sheridan frequently to the fore once more.

The attack-minded defender knocked over two more points and had a hand in a move which ended in 'keeper Stuart Quinn having to make a good save from Tomás Dunne.

After that Oulart-The Ballagh withdrew into their shell and allowed St. Pat's claw their way back into contention, with Tynan Flynn's volleyed goal underlining the strength of their challenge.

The teams turned around level at 1-9 apiece but the Gorey District outfit were doomed never to be on level terms again after Darren Nolan split the posts with a marvellous sideline cut.

Though John Doyle continued to pick up an occasional score and Tynan Flynn always looked busy until he tired, they simply hadn't the firepower to outgun their relentless rivals.

Oulart-The Ballagh also benefited greatly from the remarkable services of Billy Dunne who seemed to pop up on cue wherever he was needed on the pitch as well as firing over the frees.

St. Patrick's clung to hopes of causing an upset when they were just three points adrift on 47 minutes, but they had run themselves to a near standstill and were picked off by Dunne, Nolan and company down the closing straight.

Oulart-The Ballagh: James O'Toole; Seán Murphy, Ben O'Connor, Ian Storey; Dennis Morton, Eamon Murphy (0-2), Kevin Sheridan (1-2); Billy Dunne (0-9, 4 frees, 1 '65), Darren Nolan (0-3, 1 line ball); Pad Mythen, Tomás Dunne, Adam Nolan (0-2); Cormac Finn (0-1), Niall Redmond (0-1), Gary Murphy (0-1). Sub. - Peter Sutton for G. Murphy (19).

St. Patrick's: Stuart Quinn; Joe Cousins, Michael O'Brien, Brian Cadigan; Hughie Doyle, Dermot O'Leary, James Cousins; Richie Flood (0-1), Tommy Morris; Tommy Dunne (0-1), John Doyle (0-9, 4 frees), Peter Roche; Eamonn O'Leary, Tynan Flynn (1-2), Tommy Morris (0-1). Sub. - Stephen Ryan for E. O'Leary (45). 

Referee: Shane Quinn (Ballygarrett).

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