Shels safely over first hurdle
A convincing second-half performance from Shelmaliers powered them to victory over Glynn-Barntown in their Greenstar Under-21 football Premier championship game in Hollymount on Saturday.
Shelmaliers 1-13 Glynn-Barnstown 0-5
With only a point separating the sides after 25 minutes, few would have guessed that the home side would have ran out such convincing winners.
On a sticky Hollymount pitch, scoring was kept low in the opening exchanges. Colin Cleary had the Shels ahead before Aaron Kehoe answered back for Glynn-Barntown in the sixth minute. Kevin O'Connor, back from his midweek call-up to the Irish Under-21 football team, put the holders into a 0-2 to 0-1 lead moments later.
Eleven minutes then passed without a score before the teams were brought back level again, this time courtesy of an Ian Moran minor.
But Shelmaliers' strong finish to the half was a sign of things to come. Points from Glen Malone, O'Connor and two from Jody Donohoe gave them a 0-6 to 0-3 lead at the break.
O'Connor was on form again after the interval, pointing from close range, while substitute Stephen McGuire notched a minor just seconds after his introduction.
Kehoe was doing his best to keep Glynn-Barntown in touch, but there was little he could do to prevent an avalanche of Shels scores in the final quarter.
Aaron Murphy got his name on the sheet and O'Connor pointed once more before the final nail in Glynn-Barntown's coffin came in the 55th minute.
Cleary found O'Connor who knocked an over-the-shoulder pass in behind the defence. Tony Smith raced clear and latched onto the pass, punching into the net just before 'keeper Luke Rafter could smother the ball.
With the wind fully out of the away side's sails, Shelmaliers continued to lengthen the margin between the teams. O'Connor added his final two points, one from a free and one from play, before Cleary almost made the net bulge again.
He collected the ball 15 metres out and rifled a shot at goal which Luke Rafter did very well to finger-tip onto the bar and over.
Kehoe added his fourth, and Glynn-Barntown's fifth, point in injury time but it wasn't nearly enough to save the scoreline from reflecting a comfortable, one-sided victory for the Hollymount-based team who will now meet Fethard in the quarter-final at home on Saturday.
Shelmaliers: Seán Byrne; Cian Manley, Graham Staples, Eoin O'Leary; Neal Rossiter, Eoghan Nolan, Aaron Murphy (0-1); Glen Malone (0-1), James Cash; Tony Smith (1-0), Simon Donohoe, Conor Hearne; Jody Donohoe (0-2), Kevin O'Connor (capt., 0-6, 2 frees), Colin Cleary (0-2). Subs. - Craig Parker for Rossiter (35), Stephen McGuire (0-1) for O'Leary (39), Liam Rockett for Hearne (48), Aaron O'Neill for Cash (56), Michael Feeney for J. Donohoe (57).
Glynn-Barntown: Luke Rafter; Jack Fenlon, David Clarke, Stephen Lyne; Rowan White, Calum O'Shea (capt.), James Stafford; Matt Doyle, Kevin Mahoney; Fionn Cooney, Matt Joyce, Pádraic Weafer; Aaron Kehoe (0-4, 1 free), Ian Moran (0-1), Ciarán Joyce. Subs. - Jimmer Doyle for Joyce (35), Frankie Hynes for Weafer (49), Ryan O'Neill for Fenlon (58).
Referee: Kevin Carty (Sarsfields).