Bunclody's bright start
HWH- Bunclody 2-16 Craanford 2-11
The sun was high in the sky on Sunday as two skilful hurling clubs met in their first match of The Courtyard Ferns Intermediate hurling championship in Farmleigh.
This Group A encounter saw HWH-Bunclody and Craanford battle it out in a bid to get their respective campaigns off to a victorious start.
Conditions were very tough to play in as the ground was dry and the sun was blinding but, nonetheless, spectators enjoyed the heat and watched a very fast game of hurling.
Kevin Poole and Aidan Nolan shone as much as the sun did throughout. Poole's free-taking skills were spectacular and this led to Craanford snatching a slight lead at the start.
HWH-Bunclody's man in charge of dead balls, Billy Kelly, was also extremely accurate. He retaliated for his side and levelled matters soon after.
The talented Kelly surname was also seen with Eoin for Bunclody splitting the posts numerous times to blast his side forward. The young and enthusiastic James Smyth was sharp for Craanford in their response as himself and Matthew Nolan both raised the white flag.
Both full-forwards, Nolan for Craanford and Eoin Kelly for Bunclody, found the net before half-time to leave Bunclody ahead.
Seán Kenny and Peter Atkinson made the blue and whites trail by more, however, as they added their names to the scoresheet before the break.
As the temperature raised even further, so did the stakes for both clubs as they walked out to their positions. Aidan Nolan continued in his leadership role as he snatched a remarkable point.
Billy Kelly continued being reliable over dead balls while Craanford substitute, Jim Kenny, was threatening at the opposite end of the field and blasted a shot to the net to give his side real hope.
This ambitious feeling was shortlived, however, as Aidan Nolan did likewise and rattled the Craanford net. Although Shane Kavanagh claimed a deserved point, time ran out for Craanford and HWH-Bunclody snatched victory by five points.
HWH-Bunclody: Arthur O'Neill; Martin O'Connor, Darren Kehoe, David Reck; John Dunne, Aidan Nolan (1-2), Conor Crean, Colm Farrell, Seán Kenny (0-3); Peter Atkinson (0-3), Billy Kelly (0-7, 5 frees), Jason Cowman; Conor Hendrick, Eoin Kelly (1-1), Neil Kelly. Sub. - James Moorhead for O'Connor.
Craanford: Derek Finn; Pat Kenny, Joe Berney, Ger Lyons; Michael O'Loughlin, William Conroy, Mick Lyons; Pat Murray, Niall Berney; Kevin Poole (0-7, 6 frees, 1 '65), Ollie Doran, Shane Kavanagh (0-1); James Smyth (0-2), Matthew Nolan (1-1), John Fleming. Subs. - Jim Kenny (1-0) for Fleming, James O'Loughlin for J. Berney.
Referee: James Owens (Askamore).