Shels fight back but St Martin's come out on top
St. Martin's emerged with full points but not without a fright having to overcome a determined second-half Shelmaliers recovery in this Tom Doyle Supplies Group B senior football championship game played at Innovate Wexford Park on Sunday evening last.
St. Martin’s 1-11 Shelmaliers 0-11
Through the opening thirty minutes St. Martin’s had made light work of the Shelmaliers challenge.
Leading by six points at the break they looked on course for a comfortable victory, but a stirring recovery from the Shels led to an entertaining second period.
Midfielder Daithi Waters was leading his sides charge from the start with a dominant display for by the end of the opening quarter they led 0-5 to 0-1, through points from Jake Firman, Ryan Murphy, free, Jamie Carty and two Ciaran Redmond efforts, while Barry O’Connor managed a fifth minute pointed free in between.
When Redmond and Patrick O’Connor extended that lead to 0-7 to 0-1 inside twenty-one minutes it did just about justice to their dominance. Barry O’Connor and Ryan Murphy exchanged pointed frees to leave last year’s beaten finalists leading 0-8 to 0-2 at the interval.
A Barry O’connor thirty-fourth minute point free led his side's resurgence, with Simon Donohoe adding a further point five minutes later to reduce the deficit to 0-9 to 0-4.
With St. Martin’s now losing the outfield battle, Shelmaliers continued to surge forward, resulting in points from an O’Connor free and Eoghan Nolan to leave just two points separating the sides after forty-two minutes.
One minute late St. Martin’s manage to lift the siege through a Jamie Carty point. O’Connor and Murphy exchanged pointed free, before three unanswered points from two O’Connor frees, one a huge effort off the sideline, and Eoghan Nolan had the sides level 0-10 each with seven minutes remaining.
But the effort began to take its toll on the Shels. St. Martin’s gradually worked their way forward forcing a free with Ryan Murphy restoring their lead, while three minutes from the end, Jake Firman picked out sub Paudi Kelly with a great crossfield ball, and he drilled a low shot to the net giving his side a 1-11 to 0-10 lead.
While Bar O’Connor pointed a free on sixty minutes they were unable to fashion a levelling goal in additional time.