Shamrocks see off weak rivals

SHAMROCKS OVERCAME a disappointing HWH-Bunclody side in The Courtyard Ferns Intermediate hurling championship Group A in Ferns on Sunday last.

SHAMROCKS OVERCAME a disappointing HWH-Bunclody side in The Courtyard Ferns Intermediate hurling championship Group A in Ferns on Sunday last.

Last year's Intermediate 'A' champions came into the game with a morale-boosting victory over Oulart-The Ballagh in their opener and were able to play with a refreshing freedom.

Bunclody, on the other hand, looked like a team with a hangover from their last-gasp defeat against Oylegate seven days earlier and were very disappointing as they struck 15 wides and failed to score from play.

The first-half was evenly balanced and was nip and tuck throughout. The Enniscorthy town side flew into a two-point lead in as many minutes after John O'Connor and Harry Goff pointed. However, a trio of Billy Kelly frees brought Bunclody back to parity at the end of the opening quarter.

A brace of dead balls apiece were shared by the sides in the second quarter but Shamrocks nipped ahead on the stroke of half-time when Goff picked off a nice point in added time (0-6 to 0-5).

Bunclody undoubtedly had their best spell in the third quarter but only managed one point in that that time, with Kelly levelling from a free, as the wides racked up.

The result might have been different had Art O'Neill's flick at goal from Kelly's long ball beaten Derek Murphy, but the Shamrocks stopper was alert to the danger and made a good save.

The key score came at the midpoint in the half. A hopeful John O'Connor ball broke out off a crowded goalmouth to Jack Moorehouse and he smashed a shot to the roof of the Bunclody net (1-6 to 0-6).

Two quick-fire Bob Jacob frees gave Shamrocks a five-point lead with 13 minutes remaining and, while Kelly completed his full set of scores, Maurice Casey wrapped up victory for his side with a late point.

Shamrocks: Derek Murphy; Barry Dobbs, Mick Weafer, Philip Freeman; Lar McDonald, George Jacob, Karl Cullen; Seán Wildes, Bob Jacob (0-5 frees); Maurice Casey (0-1), Anthony Wallace, Jack Moorehouse (1-0); Harry Goff (0-2), John O'Connor (0-1), Graham Denton. Subs. - Cyril Thorpe for Denton, Stephen Casey for Thorpe (temp.).

HWH-Bunclody: John Byrne; Enda Slevin, Darren Kehoe, Conor Crean; James Moorhead, Conor Kinsella, Matthew Byrne; Colm Farrell, Billy Kelly (0-7 frees); Mylie Connors, Aidan Nolan, Seán Kenny; Art O'Neill, Barry Kehoe, Mark Murphy. Subs. - Podge Kehoe for Murphy, Kevin Dunne for Moorhead, J.P. Connors for B. Kehoe.

Referee: Brian O'Leary (Crossabeg-Ballymurn).

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