Bannow-Ballymitty outpoint Gusserane
Bannow-Ballymitty got the better of Gusserane in a scrappy EEW Junior hurling championship Group B tie in Clongeen on Friday.
Bannow-Ballymitty 0-11 Gusserane 0-7
The winners were well up for the physical battle and never looked in any danger as they controlled the match from start to finish to record a four-point victory. Both sides were guilty of plenty of missed opportunites throughout and we had to wait until the fifth minute for the first score, with Pat Fitzharris firing over a free to put Bannow-Ballymitty ahead.
The same player was on the scoresheet again soon after, this time firing over from a tight angle following good work from Gary Morton.
Gusserane were struggling to get into the game but Mark Rossiter eventually settled their nerves with a well-taken free. Minutes later they were denied a chance to get a foothold in the game, as Bannow-Ballymitty goalkeeper, John Sinnott, produced a fantastic save to deny Seán Ryan from close range.
This proved to be a pivotal moment in the match, as Fitzharris, Kevin Doyle and Micheál Murphy all fired over to send Bannow-Ballymitty into the break leading by four points.
Nicky Doyle moved the leaders further clear early in the second-half but this sparked a mini-revival from Gusserane, with two points from Seán Ryan and a fine score from Shane Cullen narrowing the gap to just two.
This was to be as good as it got for Gusserane however, as two more frees from Fitzharris and a second point from Nicky Doyle put Bannow-Ballymitty back in control. They were always just doing enough and after Kevin Doyle and team captain, Art Sweetman, both hit the target, it was game over for Gusserane.
Mark Rossiter and Adrian Redmond did pull back two points late on for Gusserane but it was too little, too late, as Bannow-Ballymitty prevailed with a little bit in hand.
Bannow-Ballymitty: John Sinnott; David White, Paudge Barden, Aaron Diskin; John Mernagh, Niall Murphy, Michael Barry; Art Sweetman (0-1), Nicky Doyle (0-2); Mark Wallace, Pat Fitzharris (0-5, 4 frees), Kevin Doyle (0-2); Micheál Murphy (0-1), Gary Morton, Darragh Murphy. Subs. - Fintan White for Fitzharris, Adam Diskin for Morton, Alan Barden for M. Murphy.
Gusserane: Davy Kehoe; Paul Wall, Liam Dillon, Jack O'Connor; Robert Browne, Fintan Ryan, Mark Rossiter (0-2, 1 free); Ken Cahill, Adrian Redmond (0-1); Páraic Conway, Darragh Doyle, Nicky Cahill; Adrian Flynn, Shane Cullen (0-1), Seán Ryan (0-2). Subs. - Shane Doyle (0-1) for Flynn, Martin Fitzharris for Cullen, Seán Kinsella for N. Cahill.
Referee: Fintan Whyte (St. James').