Oulart shake off Geraldines

Top Oil Intermediate 'A' Hurling Championship: Oulart-Ballagh 2-10 Ger O'Hanrahans 1-9

Dave Devereux at Kilurin

Oulart-The Ballagh produced a strong final ten minutes to finally shake off the brave resistance of Geraldine O'Hanrahans in an intriguing Top Oil Intermediate 'A' hurling championship quarter-final in a blustery Kilurin on Saturday

Oulart were ahead by the minimum at the break (2-5 to 1-7), but incredibly the second-half was almost 20 minutes old before another score was registered, with Pad Mythen finally ending the drought and the men in red and black kicked on from there.

Barry Kelly and Eoin Kelly converted long-range placed balls, either side of a Pad Mythen free, to give underdogs Geraldine O'Hanrahans a 0-2 to 0-1 advantage on five minutes, but they were hit by a sucker-punch when Oulart-The Ballagh pounced for the opening goal. Adam Nolan ran straight at the heart of the defence and picked out Cormac Finn, who arrowed the ball to the corner of the net in the eighth minute.

The major was a big boost and they rubbed salt into the wounds, with Pad Mythen floating over a fine effort from the sideline and Peter Sutton doing the needful to stretch the lead to 1-3 to 0-2.

Geraldine O'Hanrahans showed plenty of character though and after two Eoin Kelly points were followed by a Pad Mythen free they struck for the equalising goal in the 20th minute.

Kelly went for goal from a free, and, after his effort was blocked on the line, Barry Roche picked up the pieces and finished past netminder James O'Toole.

However, after Pad Mythen and Stephen Somers had exchanged scores they were again rocked back by a blow to the solar plexus when Oulart plundered their second goal three minutes before the interval.

Mythen floated a free into the danger zone, and Ben O'Connor got a stick to it to divert the ball past Brandon Gardiner (2-5 to 1-5).

The New Ross town men showed admirable battling qualities though and got themselves back to within a point thanks to an Eoin Kelly free and a Barry Kelly '65 in injury time.

Scores were hard to come by in the second-half, but after Pad Mythen finally stopped the rot in the 50th minute they were like London buses, with Gary Murphy doing likewise seconds later and Mythen quickly adding two more to make it 2-9 to 1-7 and effectively put the game to bed.

Geraldine O'Hanrahans didn't throw in the towel though, with Barry Kelly and Dylan Egan pointing either side of a Mythen free, but Oulart-The Ballagh deservedly booked their place in the final four.

Oulart-The Ballagh: James O'Toole; Seán Murphy, Nicholas Cullen, Ian Storey; Kevin Nimmo, Dennis Morton, Darren Nolan (capt.); Pad Mythen (0-8, 4 frees), Niall Redmond; Peter Sutton (0-1), Tomás Dunne, Adam Nolan; Cormac Finn (1-0), Ben O'Connor (1-0), Gary Murphy (0-1). Sub. - Eamon Murphy for Nolan.

Geraldine O'Hanrahans: Brandon Gardiner; Gerry Cash, Enda Kelly, Michael Cleere; Barry Kelly (0-3, 2 '65s, 1 free), Dylan Egan (capt., 0-1), Conor Cleere; Matt Crowdle, Jack Foran; Brian Haberlin, Stephen Somers (0-1), Eoin Kelly (0-4, 2 frees, 1 '65); Kevin Grangel, David Crowdle, Barry Roche (1-0). Subs. - Shane Murray for M. Crowdle, Dylan Wickham for Roche.

Referee: Seán Whelan (St. Martin's).

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