Bright show from Shels
All-county football league semi-finals
The Shelmaliers second string romped into the All-County Football League Division 4 final with a lively display, making light of Monageer-Boolavogue having home advantage on Tuesday.
Shelmaliers 2-15 Monageer-Boolavogue 2-9
Six points separated the sides at the end of a bright and not so breezy evening, which was perfect for football. Midfielder Liam Donnelly set the tone when he burst forward to pick his spot in the net behind home goalie Colin Hawkins and claim the opening score.
Within five minutes of throw-in Donnelly and his midfield accomplice A.J. Lehane had accounted for 1-2 without reply, giving the Shels an edge they never lost.
Darren Malone, wearing number three on his back, appeared to have a roving role which allowed him pop up effectively all over the field.
Had the leaders not sprayed a series of first-half wides, they would have been home and hosed by the interval.
Instead they had to be content with a 2-9 to 0-6 advantage, the second goal coming from another defender turned attacker, Aaron Murphy.
And the tally included a memorable solo point from Tony Smith who galloped from halfway to claim the score as he outpaced all would-be tacklers.
The damage to Monageer-Boolavogue aspirations would have been worse if a Derek Walsh shot had found the target instead of the post.
The trend continued into the third quarter when Brian 'Turf' Murphy clattered the ball off Hawkins's bar.
But then the reds hit a purple patch and two goals in as many minutes ignited their hopes, the first picked off by Cathal Walsh from a beautifully-weighted Mick Sweeney pass.
Then Seán Murphy appeared like a startled hare up the left, sending the ball across goal to be helped in by a wrong-footed defender.
Suddenly a gap that had appeared unbridgeable had been reduced to a mere three points, with twelve minutes left on referee David Owens' watch.
However, Monageer-Boolavogue were doomed not to score again , though Matthew Dunne hit a post in the closing stages.
Shelmaliers steadied themselves down the final straight, holding on to the ball intelligently and easing back into the comfort zone on the back of a couple of Walsh frees and Lehane's signing off point from play. Job done, and done with some style.
Shelmaliers: Graham Lawler; Eoghan Fitzgerald, Darren Malone (0-1), Cian Manley; Colin Redmond, Barry O'Connor, Aaron Murphy (1-0); A.J. Lehane (0-2), Liam Donnelly (1-3, 0-1 '45); Michael Feeney, Alan Griffith, Tony Smith (0-2, 1 free); Derek Walsh (0-5, 2 frees), Brian Murphy, Jody Donohoe (0-1). Subs. - Conor Hearne for Donohoe (30), Neal Rossiter (0-1) for Feeney (45), Páraic O'Leary for Smith (53), Jack Murphy for B. Murphy (57).
Monageer-Boolavogue: Colin Hawkins; Ian Hawkins, Chris Daly, Denis Walsh; Michael Rossiter (0-1), Paddy Breen, Niall O'Reilly; Seán Roche, Conal Nolan (0-1); Mick Sweeney (0-1), Matthew Dunne (0-3, 1 '45), Seán Murphy (1-1), Cathal Walsh (1-3, 0-1 free), Damien Fenlon (0-1), Mark Gahan. Subs. - Paul Gahan for I. Hawkins (30), John Darcy for M. Gahan (42).
Referee: David Owens (Kilrush).