Strength in depth shines through for Martin's
St Martin's produced further evidence of the strength in depth at the club with a comprehensive win over Ballyhogue in their Enniscorthy Electrical Wholesale Junior 'A' hurling championship semi-final in Taghmon on Saturday.
St Martin's 2-21 Ballyhogue 3-5
The Murrintown and Piercestown outfit looked sharper in almost all sectors of the field and but for coughing up three avoidable goals their winning margin could have been even greater.
The game was 17 minutes old when John Kehoe finally got Ballyhogue off the mark, and by that stage St. Martin's had put five points on the board.
A Ger Cullen goal a minute later gave Ballyhogue a much-needed boost to bring them back to within one and wipe out most of St. Martin's good work, but the men in maroon simply put their foot back on the pedal to tack on a couple of points and cantered away after the interval.
St. Martin's were sharpest out of the blocks, with points from John Coleman, Edward O'Byrne, Richard Devereux, Darren Codd and Conor Coleman (free) giving them a five-point lead by the 13th minute, although Ballyhogue were guilty of some wayward shooting in the opening quarter.
John Kehoe eventually settled the Ballyhogue nerves and a minute later they were right back in the contest when a long-distance Shane Byrne free caused mayhem in the St. Martin's defence and Ger Cullen fired the sliothar to the back of the net.
A Conor Coleman free was then cancelled out by a beautiful point from Shane Doyle, but St. Martin's ended the half on a high with Edward O'Byrne and Michael Kearney slotting over injury-time points to give them a 0-8 to 1-2 advantage at the interval.
John Coleman extended the St. Martin's advantage after the re-start with a classy point on the run but Ballyhogue bounced back immediately when John Kehoe blasted a ground stroke to the net after James Parle's effort at a point which dropped short wasn't dealt with.
However, St. Martin's then illustrated their superiority by scoring 1-4 without reply.
The goal came in the 40th minute when Edward O'Byrne got on the end of a Kevin Price delivery and made no mistake to get the green flag waving.
After looking second best for most of the second-half, Ballyhogue did manage to get back within five points when Shane Byrne blasted home a 54th-minute penalty, but St. Martin's raced off into the distance again.
Substitute Mikey Coleman knocked over a couple of nice points and Conor Coleman put the icing on the cake when he buried the ball to the back of the net with two minutes remaining.
St. Martin's are sure to face a far sterner test when they meet Davidstown-Courtnacuddy in the final, with the game yet to be fixed given their involvement in Saturday's Senior football final.
St. Martin's: Phelim O'Connor; Kevin Price, Ken Furlong, Tony Kelly; Adrian Ryan, John Coleman (0-5, 4 frees), Johnny Hamilton; Pádraig Morrissey, Ciarán Redmond (0-2); Darren Codd (0-1), Richard Devereux (0-1), Nicky Greene; Conor Coleman (1-4, 0-4 frees), Edward O'Byrne (1-4), Michael Kearney (0-1). Subs. - Evan Dunbar for Ryan, Mikey Coleman (0-2) for Greene, David Higgins for Devereux, Paddy Curran for Codd, Micheál Lyng (0-1) for Kearney.
Ballyhogue: Paddy Carr; Hughie O'Neill, Seán Rochford, Graham Parker; Shane Doyle (0-1), Edward Galavan, James Parle; Conor Byrne, Denis Asple (0-1 free); Shane Byrne (1-0 pen.), Denis Leacy (0-1), Syl Byrne; Ger Cullen (1-0), John Kehoe (1-1), Shane Roche. Subs. - Seán Ring (0-1) for Roche, Darragh Doyle for Galavan, Myles Roche for C. Byrne.
Referee: Seán Slaven (Faythe Harriers).