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Monday 18 December 2017

Ballymurn hit back in style

Crossabeg-Ballymurn 2-14 St. Patrick's 1-4

Alan Aherne

The Crossabeg-Ballymurn crew bounced back from their unexpected slip-up against Kilanerin to score an unanswered 1-7 in the last quarter on home soil on Thursday and leave St. Patrick's rooted to the bottom of the Joyces Expert Intermediate 'A' football championship Group B table.

The victors had facilitated the Ballyoughter club's request to bring the game forward from the weekend due to the wedding of Pat's stalwart James Cousins on Friday.

However, their courtesy ended once the ball was thrown in as Crossabeg-Ballymurn surged into a 1-3 to nil lead after ten minutes, with the outstanding Paddy Devereux repeatedly driving them on from midfield.

The goal was claimed by full-forward Rob Byrne after good build-up work from David Kehoe and Andy Butler, while Conor Shovlin, Sam Kelly and Butler (free) chipped in with points.

St. Patrick's lacked a cutting edge up front, with none of their six forwards getting on the scoresheet throughout.

They were reliant on the excellent long-range kicking of John Doyle for points, and he got them off the mark in the 13th minute before contributing two more, one from a free, before the break.

Crossabeg-Ballymurn always had a decent cushion though, with further points from Seamus Carroll, Butler (free and play) and Rob Byrne leaving them 1-7 to 0-3 clear at half-time.

St. Patrick's enjoyed their best spell in the third quarter when they reduced arrears to three points, scoring 1-1 without reply.

John Doyle kicked another absolute peach of a point from distance, while he nearly created a goal in the 36th minute when his delivery to the far post was fisted back across the square by wing-back Daryl Murphy.

However, Murphy did hit the jackpot six minutes later when his high ball from the left ended up in the corner of the net via some Crossabeg-Ballymurn fingertips (1-7 to 1-4).

The Wexford District side needed to re-establish a foothold, and they did exactly that after Pat's netminder Enda Murphy made a fine save from a Cormac O'Rourke piledriver.

Team captain Conor Shovlin finally picked off the leaders' first point of the second-half in the 49th minute, and this was followed by a procession of scores as their superior fitness told.

O'Rourke (free), substitute Oran Maddock and Butler (free) made the game safe before two of the Devereux brothers, Ronan and Conor, surged upfield from the half-back line to split the posts.

Rob Byrne added another point before three substitutes combined to put the seal on Crossabeg-Ballymurn's third victory from four outings deep into added time.

Oran Maddock and Evan Kinlough linked up before Billy Roche beat Enda Murphy with a low drive from close range, leaving a 13-point gap at the finish in favour of the home side.

Crossabeg-Ballymurn: Ben Turner; Conor Barlow, Oisín Foley, Conor Gormley; Seamus Carroll (0-1), Ronan Devereux (0-1), Conor Devereux (0-1); Paddy Devereux, Sam Kelly (0-1); David Kehoe, Cormac O'Rourke (0-1 free), Conor Shovlin (capt., 0-2); Niall Murphy, Rob Byrne (1-2), Andy Butler (0-4, 3 frees). Subs. - Oran Maddock (0-1) for Murphy (44), Cathal Devereux for Kehoe (54), Billy Roche (1-0) for O'Rourke (58), Evan Kinlough for Butler (58), Eoin O'Connor for Barlow (60+1), Shane Whelan for Shovlin (60+4).

St. Patrick's: Enda Murphy; Brian Cadigan, Richie Flood, Peter Roche; Daryl Murphy (1-0), Dermot O'Leary, Hughie Doyle; John Doyle (0-4, 1 free), Michael O'Brien; Tommy Dunne, Damien Grannell, Ashley Tully; Tommy Morris (capt.), Tomás Morris, Stephen Ryan. Subs. - Shane Finn for Tomás Morris, black card (48), Michael Carroll for Ryan (52), Ian Maguire for D. Murphy, inj. (56).

Referee: Seán Whelan (St. Martin's).

Wexford People

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