Ballymurn stroll into final
Crossabeg-Ballymurn 1-17 Volunteers 1-3
Crossabeg-Ballymurn humiliated opponents St. John's Volunteers in the semi-final of the Joyces Expert Intermediate 'A' football championship in Bree on Friday.
The damning stat of this extremely one-sided final-four game was that the winners had already scored enough by just the fifth minute of the game to eclipse the Vols' eventual total.
Anyone arriving early for the game may have caught a glimpse of both sides' warm-ups and contained in those was clear signs of the game's likely winner. Crossabeg-Ballymurn were loud, aggressive and pumped-up, while the town side were quiet and appeared to lack intensity and belief.
These pre-game cues certainly showed once the whistle blew. The youthful Crossabeg-Ballymurn were not only impeccable going forward, but also in defence as they shut out St. John's for the entire half.
They scored an impressive 1-13 themselves, and Cormac O'Rourke had 1-1 to his name inside the opening 90 seconds, pointing before receiving the ball from Conor Devereux and blasting into the left of the net.
O'Rourke was on target three more times before the break and minors from Pádraig Foley, Andy Butler, Paddy Devereux, Seamus Carroll, Oran Maddock and Martin Redmond all helped give Crossabeg-Ballymurn an irreversible lead.
The second-half was a nothing contest but at least the Wexford town side can say they won it.
The Vols got their first score in the 39th minute through Eoin O'Shea and added two more from Aidan Roche and Jack O'Leary before Brian Sheridan slotted home from the penalty spot to add the smallest particle of respect to their tally.
Crossabeg-Ballymurn took their foot off with the game in the bag, but O'Rourke pointed twice more with Conor Shovlin and Ronan Devereux also on target.
Crossabeg-Ballymurn will face Naomh Eanna in the final after the Gorey men overcame Kilmore on the same night.
Crossabeg-Ballymurn: Ben Turner; Conor Devereux, Conor Gormley, Seamus Carroll (0-1); Ronan Devereux (0-1), Oisín Foley, Conor Barlow; Paddy Devereux (0-1), Pádraig Foley (0-3, 2 frees); Conor Shovlin (capt., 0-2), Andy Butler (0-1 free), Cian Lambert; Oran Maddock (0-1), Robert Byrne, Cormac O'Rourke (1-6, 0-2 frees). Subs. - Martin Redmond (0-1) for Butler (8), Bill Eviston for Byrne (48), Cathal Devereux for Lambert (50), David Kehoe for Shovlin (54), Conor Maddock for Barlow (54), Evan Kinlough for O. Maddock (56).
Volunteers: John Cody (capt.); Mick Murphy, Anthony Walsh, Brian Delaney; Jason Kearns, Keith Furlong, Ben McMahon; Stephen Burke, Jack O'Leary (0-1); Brian Sheridan (1-0 pen.), Paddy Glover, Cian Brennan; Aaron McGuire, Keith Kearney, Eoin O'Shea (0-1). Subs. - Ciarán Hillery for McGuire, black card (5), Aidan Roche (0-1) for Kearney, black card (12), Paudge Brennan for Glover (59).
Referee: Brendan Holohan (Rathgarogue-Cushinstown).