Safe passage to semi-finals
A second half surge in Monamolin from Oylegate-Glenbrien on Saturday afternoon last gave them a relatively comfortable victory over Shamrocks and safe passage through to the Courtyard Ferns Intermediate hurling championship semi-finals.
Oylegate-Glenbrien 2-18 Shamrocks 1-12
The victors, who were trailing 1-9 to 1-5 at the break, were aided by having a spare man after three red cards in the first half saw both sides finish without the full complement of players.
However, the energy and power with which Oylegate ended the match suggests that the Enniscorthy Town side would have been doing exceptionally well to last the pace with them, regardless of the numerical disadvantage.
This looks like an Oylegate team that has their arrow well and truly pointing upwards. They didn't panic when trailing in the first half and worked their way out of trouble by mixing up their game-plan with accurate long and short balls.
They started brightly too. When Jamie Reck and Seamus Casey combined to release Damien Reck for a clinically taken opening goal, Oylegate led 1-1 to 0-1. However, Shamrocks didn't win this title in 2014 by chance.
With typical gusto, they rallied, outscoring their opponents 1-5 to 0-1 in the next fifteen minutes. Great work by Sean Wildes created the goal that Harry Goff took with nerves of steel under intense pressure from two Oylegate defenders.
With 22 minutes on the clock the drama was only just starting. Emmet Quirke picked up his second yellow of the afternoon for a wild pull, Jim Jacob was a tad fortunate to get away with just a yellow for a reckless pull across the helmet of Conor Heffernan before Michael Heffernan and Wildes received straight reds for an off-the-ball scuffle.
The interval came at just the right time. The sides regrouped and knuckled down to hurling although Shamrocks had not only lost two men but also their mojo. John O'Connor countered an early Podge Doran free but his side would not score again for 21 minutes.
Doran drilled home a 36th minute penalty after Robert O'Connor was fouled in his new, advanced position. Casey scored five of the next six points including a sublime line-ball as Oylegate raced away.
Podge Doran picked off a pair of late points and rebuffed a childish late grasp at his groin area by an opponent. Casey brought his tally to twelve for the afternoon in added-time as Oylegate booked their place in the semi-final in style.
Oylegate-Glenbrien: John Foley; Robert O'Connor, Bryan McCormack, Ciaran Lambert; Jim White (0-1), Michael Heffernan, Shane Reck; Damien Reck (1-0), Podge Doran (capt, 1-3, 1-0 pen); Seamus Casey (0-12, 8 frees, 1 '65, 1 lineball), Jamie Reck (0-1), Conor Heffernan; Eoin O'Mahoney, Peter Nolan, Fergus Heffernan. Subs. - Fergal Doran for J. Reck, inj (27), Ciaran Hourihan (0-1) for O'Mahony (31), Mark Kavanagh for Nolan (31), Jamie Reck for Lambert (37), Brian Doran for F. Doran (43).
Shamrocks: Daithi Murphy; Barry Dobbs, Mick Weafer (capt), Philip Freeman; Carl Cullen, George Jacob, Emmet Quirke (0-1); Jim Jacob, Bob Jacob; Jack Moorehouse, Anthony Wallace, John O'Connor (0-7 frees); Maurice Casey (0-1), Sean Wildes (0-2), Harry Goff (1-0). Subs. - Ronan Gahan for Moorehouse (37), Lar McDonald (0-1) for J. Jacob (50), Eddie Weafer for Gahan (51), Dwaine Kelly for Casey (56).
Referee: Sean Whelan (St Martin's)