Ballygarrett's bright start
Leinster club hurling league round one: Ballygarrett 1-14 Eire Og (Greystones) 0-12
Ballygarrett made their trip up the east coast a successful one in their Leinster Hurling League Division 3 opener when they triumphed over Eamonn Scallan's Éire Óg (Greystones) side by 1-14 to 0-12 on a cold but sunny afternoon by the seaside recently.
Key to the victory was full-forward Jack Hobbs who bagged nine points (six frees, one '65) and might have had more had his radar been fully functioning.
The absence of Éire Óg's county players was keenly felt by the home side who struggled for periods of this game due to a lack of hurling sharpness and ability.
The second quarter was where the Ballygarrett men drove some distance between the sides.
Éire Óg took a brief two-point advantage in the tenth minute thanks to their stand-out player, James 'Pooch' Cranley, at corner-forward.
However, five points from Hobbs, singles from Billy Conroy and Patrick Naughter, and the game's only goal from Oisín Dunbar left the visitors in a commanding position at 1-8 to 0-5 at the break.
A brief rally early in the second-half brought Éire Óg back to within a score of the Wexford men at 1-8 to 0-8.
However, Ballygarrett possessed a finer hurling ability in most areas of the field and points from Hobbs (three, two frees), Patrick Naughter (two), and a single from midfielder Colm Kennelly left the visitors running out convincing winners in their opening Group 4 clash.
There's lots to improve on for the Ballygarrett men, but the basic ingredients are there without a doubt for the players who are bidding to bounce back immediately at local level after being relegated to the Intermediate 'A' grade in October.
Ballygarrett: Shane Quinn; Eddie Redmond, Darren Morris, Philip Doyle; Brian O'Connor, John Doyle, Tom Sinnott; Colm Kennelly (0-1), Cormac Moore; Brendan Corcoran, Patrick Naughter (0-3), Billy Conroy; Jimmy Murphy, Jack Hobbs (0-9, 6 frees, 1 '65), Oisín Dunbar (1-0). Subs. - Killian Doyle for Dunbar (51), Johnny Sinnott for Moore (60).
Éire Óg (Greystones): Dan O'Neill; Shaun Hughes, Daniel O'Connor, Brian Lawless; Kristin Flynn (0-1), Ger Whyte, Martin Joyce (0-1); Leon Browne, Seán Lawless; Gavin Parslow, Michael Walsh (0-1), Danny Nolan; Eoin Dorgan, Andrew Walsh, James Cranley (0-9, 7 frees, 2 '65s). Sub. - Shane Mulford for Dorgan (45).
Referee: Con Keddy (Kilcoole).