Saints continue to create big impression
A dominant second-half showing from St. James' saw them comfortably brush aside the challenge of Liam Mellows in their Top Oil Intermediate 'A' hurling championship quarter-final in a sunny Oylegate on Saturday.
St.James' 3-19 Liam Mellows 1-8
There was only a point between the sides at half-time and when Marc Halpin drew Liam Mellows level at 1-7 apiece within a minute of the re-start it seemed the New Ross District side might have a real fight on their hands.
However, St. James' quickly found another gear and it was mostly one-way traffic as they stamped their authority on the remainder of the match.
It looked like St. James' might assume control earlier in the contest when they led by 1-4 to 0-3 midway through the first-half, with Alan Walsh raising the green flag in the second minute.
Walsh gathered a handpass from Shane Murphy and clinically fired the sliothar to the corner of the net to settle any nerves in the St. James' camp.
Busy midfielder Mark Molloy and centre-forward Matthew O'Hanlon added two points apiece but they couldn't quite shake off the attentions of Liam Mellows, with Brendan Halpin their shining light with five first-half points.
The north county side received a timely lift when full-forward Stephen Maloney raced through on goal in the 27th minute and fired past goalkeeper Simon Murphy, but it proved to be a false dawn as St. James' bossed proceedings after the interval.
When Alan Walsh bagged his second goal after being found by his brother, Andy, on 37 minutes it was the beginning of the end for the Liam Mellows men, and their championship epitaph could be written within a minute when Shane Murphy had the green flag waving again.
A Matthew O'Hanlon shot was saved by netminder Daniel Kennedy but Murphy was on hand to bundle the ball over the line to make it 3-9 to 1-7.
Two minutes later Brendan Halpin gave the Liam Mellows faithful one final reason to smile, when he scored a sublime point over his shoulder without looking at the posts, but it was all St. James' from then on with Kevin O'Grady, Shane Murphy, Mark Molloy, Mark Myler and Alan Walsh all adding to their impressive tally.
St. James': Simon Murphy; Paul Barron, Jason Barron, Brian Molloy; David Doyle, Liam Murphy, Daniel Keating; Mark Molloy (0-4), Robbie Barron (0-1); Kevin O'Grady (0-2), Matthew O'Hanlon (0-2), Donal Barron; Alan Walsh (2-1), Shane Murphy (1-7, 0- 3 '65s, 0-1 free), Andrew Walsh (0-1). Subs. - Mark Myler (0-1) for D. Barron, Graeme Molloy for R. Barron, Michael O'Grady for Andrew Walsh, Greg Doyle for M. Molloy, Tomás Walsh for B. Molloy.
Liam Mellows: Daniel Kennedy; Peter Fogarty, Colin Kennedy, Conor Cleary; Aaron Condren, Andy Merrigan, Joe Gardiner; Danny Gardiner, Richard Farrell; Brendan Halpin (0-6, 3 frees), Yusuf Frih, Gavin Stamp (0-1); Stephen O'Rafferty, Stephen Maloney (1-0), Kevin Byrne. Subs. - Marc Halpin (0-1) for Merrigan, Eoin Cullen for O'Rafferty, Donal Kavanagh for Byrne, Liam Condren for D. Gardiner.
Referee: Shane Quinn (Ballygarrett).