Tuesday 23 January 2018

Crossabeg-Ballymurn through to last eight

Dean Goodison

Crossabeg-Ballymurn are into the quarter-finals of the Joyces Expert Intermediate 'A' football championship following a routine Group B victory over Kilrush in Monamolin on Saturday.

Crossabeg-Ballymurn 0-14 Kilrush 0-9

Last year's beaten finalists look primed to go one better after another smothering, classy showing, despite being short of several regulars. Still, Crossabeg-Ballymurn were able to boast eight different scorers, with all six starting forwards getting on the sheet.

Their opponents were dogged enough and never threw in the towel, but simply couldn't match the winners. If Kilrush can repeat this performance, with games against Geraldine O'Hanrahans and Cloughbawn still to come, the door to the knockouts is still there for them to push through.

The Gorey District side will also have to take their chances. It was a sign of things to come when Pádraig Byrne scythed through the Crossabeg-Ballymurn defence and fired wide inside the opening 30 seconds.

Kilrush did take the lead through the mightily impressive Stephen Ryan but their opponents ended the opening quarter leading by 0-4 to 0-1 after scores from the Devereuxs, Ronan (two) and Paddy, and Barry Murphy.

The advantage was 0-7 to 0-3 after Niall Murphy (two) and Rob Byrne minors heading into the last few minutes of the half. However, Kilrush saw Ben Turner save from Colm Buttle and Ryan in separate moves while Oisín Foley also blocked a goal-bound Pádraig Byrne shot.

A Ryan free did leave the deficit at a goal (0-7 to 0-4) at the break, but Paddy Devereux and Mark O'Connor hit the target within 47 seconds of the re-start as Crossabeg-Ballymurn kept their opponents at arm's length.

Niall Murphy made the lead six shortly after and every time Kilrush whipped a point off that margin through the middle section of the half, their opponents replied within two minutes. Finally, when Billy Nolan ended that sequence in the 55th minute, his side were four back.

But Kilrush wouldn't score again. Mark Dempsey cracked the post in the final minute of normal time but finally got a deserved score a minute later. Crossabeg-Ballymurn were even safely able to resist using one of their Juniors and end with 14 men after Barry Murphy picked up a late injury.

Crossabeg-Ballymurn: Ben Turner; Alan Byrne, Eoin McDonald, Oisín Foley; Seamus Carroll (0-1), Conor Devereux, Cian Lambert; Paddy Devereux (0-2), Pádraig Foley; Ronan Devereux (0-2), Rob Byrne (0-1), Mark O'Connor (0-1); Niall Murphy (capt., 0-5, 1 free), Mark Dempsey (0-1), Barry Murphy (0-1).

Kilrush: John Harte; James Lancaster, Frank Lancaster, Tom Byrne; Tom Kavanagh (0-1), Martin Hayden, Tommy Devereux (capt.); Eoghan Murphy, Conor Levingstone; Ted Kinsella (0-1), Colm Buttle, Pádraig Byrne; Brian Hayden (0-1 free), Stephen Ryan (0-5, 1 free), Conor Travers. Subs. - Billy Nolan (0-1) for Travers (31), Ray Lancaster for P. Byrne, temp. (34-38), R. Lancaster for Murphy, black card (38), Seán Foley for P. Byrne (50).

Referee: Eddie O'Sullivan (Kilanerin).

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