Saturday 20 January 2018

Mac on song for Gorey

Alan Aherne in Monamolin

Five points without reply between the 40th and 47th minutes powered Naomh Eanna to victory over a Blackwater side now firmly rooted to the bottom of the Group B table in The Courtyard Ferns Intermediate hurling championship opener in Monamolin on Saturday.

Naomh Eanna 0-18 Blackwater 0-14

Six scores from play by the classy Conor McDonald were instrumental in the Gorey side's victory, but the superb defending of Seán Doyle and Brendan Travers - who surged forward from full-back for a second-half point - proved every bit as important.

McDonald had one early point on the board before showing his human side when he missed an eighth-minute penalty after Joseph O'Connor was dragged down, with his head-high shot comfortably saved by reliable Blackwater netminder Peter O'Brien.

However, the seasiders struggled to curb him in open play, first at full-forward and then on the right wing for most of the second period.

Apart from some trademark spectacular catches which led to points, his brilliant first-time pull over the bar from long range in the 40th minute was one of the game's stand-out moments.

Indeed, that was the first point in that run of five which ultimately denied Blackwater whose corner-back, Diarmuid Murphy, had an excellent first-half.

Those first 30 minutes were very tight, with the sides level six times and the gap stretching to two points on just one occasion. And the half started and finished in a similar fashion, with points from Blackwater corner-forward Seánie Purcell, and the latter score edged his side ahead at the break by 0-8 to 0-7.

There was deadlock three more times in the third quarter before that run of points from Conor McDonald and four from the impressive Pádraig Doyle (two from play) gave Gorey a hard-earned 0-16 to 0-11 advantage with eleven minutes to go.

The spark one normally associates with Blackwater at this level was lacking in a generally flat performance though, and Naomh Eanna kept them comfortably at arm's length to chalk up a second win from three outings.

Naomh Eanna: Barry Kinsella; Tom Stafford, Brendan Travers (capt., 0-1), Peter Travers; Seán Doyle, Eoin Conroy, Lee Kinsella; Conor Hughes, John O'Brien; William Cullen (0-2), Pádraig Doyle (0-9, 4 frees, 2 '65s), Joseph O'Connor; Dara McDonald, Conor McDonald (0-6), Aodhán Doyle. Sub. - Fionn Doyle for O'Connor (60+1).

Blackwater: Peter O'Brien; Kevin Purcell, Lar Lacey (capt.), Diarmuid Murphy; Kevin O'Brien, Darren Byrne, Anthony Roche; Denis Carroll (0-2), Michael Lillis (0-4, 3 frees), Dillon Dixon, Wayne O'Connor (0-1), Dean Wright; Seánie Purcell (0-3), Chris Wall (0-1), Paul Murphy (0-1). Subs. - Dean Whelan (0-1) for Wright (38), James Dooley for Dixon (41), Richard Blake for O'Connor (51), Brian Dooley (0-1) for Wall (57), Seán Cash for K. Purcell (60).

Referee: Barry Redmond (Clonard).

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