Five wins from five for strong U14 side
Ballyhogue continued their perfect season to date with a powerful performance and victory over Adamstown in Division 4 of the New Ross Standard Coiste na nÓg Under-14 football championship at Bree on Thursday.
Ballyhogue 5-12 Adamstown 1-3
The hosts had won their first five games of the season, scoring 36 goals in the process, and while they weren't quite able to keep up their average, they did more than enough to show that they are the team to beat in this division.
With powerful performers all over the field, it's going to take a strong team to push Ballyhogue. They are strong through the centre and, with Tommy Kennedy at centre-forward and Leigh Whelan and Liam Doyle in form, they can dominate any game.
A lot of the damage in this clash came from Adamstown kick-outs. With the trio sweeping up possession and others offering themselves in space, the visitors found it very difficult to escape from their own half when they were forced to re-start proceedings.
The New Ross District side are a fine team in their own right but just came up against a side which could definitely hold its own two divisions higher. Adamstown looked particularly dangerous when they got the ball deep into their opponents' half, but it was a struggle to get that far.
The visitors actually started brightly. Ballyhogue had just a Leigh Whelan point on the board in the opening quarter as they trailed by 1-2 to 0-1. The direct running of Craig Bradley caused immediate problems as he flashed over the opening score.
Rúairí O'Brien kicked a nice point before Mattie O'Neill picked up a breaking ball and sent a stunning shot in off Nick Dempsey's right post. Slowly Ballyhogue took control and they levelled when Tommy Kennedy smashed to the roof of the net (1-2 each).
With Liam Doyle getting his name on the scoresheet and Whelan finishing soccer-style to the rigging, Ballyhogue built a 2-7 to 1-2 interval lead.
The break stalled the hosts' momentum for a while but soon after Conor Dawson kicked a nice score falling away, Michael Humphreys punched home a third goal.
When Bradley kicked a solid free with four minutes remaining, Adamstown got their first score of the half.
However, Ballyhogue put in a strong finish with Kennedy nailing a penalty and Whelan firing home his second major to keep their side top of the table.
Ballyhogue: Nick Dempsey; Conor Rodgers, Daniel Hennebery, Jamie Fitzpatrick; Jack Kinsella, Eamon Doyle (capt.), Tobias Redmond; Leigh Whelan (2-2), Liam Doyle (0-3); Conor Dawson (0-2), Tommy Kennedy (2-5, 1-0 pen.), Lewis McComiskey; Alan Doyle, Michael Humphreys (1-0), Seán Furlong. Subs. - Jason Roche for Furlong (37), Martin Doyle for Kinsella (38), Tiarnan Cleary for Humphreys (41), Adam Broaders for McComiskey (45), Odin Doyle for A. Doyle (46).
Adamstown: Martin Cloney; Tom Roche, James Dillon, Thomas Jackman; Kevin Dunleavy, David O'Gorman, William Rothwell; Sam Dunne, Diarmuid Murphy; Mattie O'Neill (1-0), Craig Bradley (0-2, 1 free), Adam O'Gorman; Rúairí O'Brien (capt., 0-1), Jack Viera, Patrick Doyle. Subs. - Tadhg McDonald for Dunleavy, temp. (13-29), Dean Kehoe for O'Neill (31), O'Neill for Doyle (43), Doyle for Dunne, inj. (47).
Referee: John O'Rourke (Shamrocks).