Ballymurn on the right track
C’beg-B’murn 0-19 Realt na Mara 0-8
There was plenty to like about a Crossabeg-Ballymurn side edging towards full-strength in Craanford on Friday as they gave Réalt na Mara the run-around to qualify for the last four of the Joyces Expert Intermediate 'A' football championship.
The Wexford District side went into this game as strong favourites, having won Group B. They also welcomed Pádraig Foley and Martin Redmond back into the fray and that added class, plus a fast start, meant the result was all-but beyond doubt after the first-half.
Crossabeg-Ballymurn look like a side which hasn't hit top form yet but are heading in that direction, as their arrow is definitely pointing up. Their inter-play was good in this game, their overlapping runs were crisp and direct, and they dominated the middle third of the field.
On that solid central basis everything else worked in harmony. They took off at pace and led by 0-5 to 0-1 after nine minutes. Wides tend to follow sides that lack composure in front of goal but there was none of that from the victors, as they were ice-cool in front of the posts and it paid dividends.
They spread those scores around too. Inside forwards Rob Byrne and Cormac O'Rourke registered but the importance of the spine was in evidence too as both midfielders, and centre-back Ronan Devereux, picked off scores early on.
Réalt na Mara had a mini-revival but, unlike their opponents, most of their best moments came from the boot of one man - Kevin Jordan.
He scored three first period points and dictated all their good moves, but with O'Rourke kicking points for fun, and Sam Kelly landing a booming effort, Crossabeg-Ballymurn eased 0-12 to 0-4 ahead at the break.
If the eventual winners had a sloppy spell in the game, it came right after half-time. They didn't score in the first eight minutes but their opponents couldn't capitalise, registering just a Eoin Corcoran score.
Eventually Crossabeg-Ballymurn started to pick up the pace, despite going down to 14 after Conor Shovlin was given an early bath. Playing a man light made no real difference, and with Kelly kicking four second-half scores they eased to an eleven-point victory and a place in the semi-finals.
Crossabeg-Ballymurn: Ben Turner; Conor Gormley, Oisín Foley, Conor Barlow; Martin Redmond, Ronan Devereux (0-1), Seamus Carroll; Paddy Devereux (0-2), Pádraig Foley (0-2); Conor Shovlin (capt.), Sam Kelly (0-5, 2 frees, 1 '45), Cian Lambert (0-1); Oran Maddock, Rob Byrne (0-2), Cormac O'Rourke (0-6, 2 frees). Subs. - Andy Butler for Redmond (35), Cathal Devereux for Byrne (52), Eoin O'Connor for Lambert (54), Evan Kinlough for O. Maddock (59), Conor Maddock for O'Rourke (59), Bill Eviston for Kelly (60).
Réalt na Mara: Shane Quinn; Eddie Redmond, Aidan Murphy, Colm Cosgrave; Tom Sinnott, Darren Morris, David Doran; Stephen Redmond, Eoin Corcoran (0-2); Patrick Fleming, Kevin Jordan (0-4, 1 free), Jimmy Murphy; Dylan Sweeney (0-1), Jack Hobbs (0-1), Seán O'Brien. Subs. - James Fleming for Sinnott, black card (37), Harry Byrne for Doran (45).
Referee: Brendan Martin (Ballyhogue).