Monday 18 December 2017

Martin's stay unbeaten

St. Martin's 1-16 Ferns St. Aidan's 1-9

ML. Heffernan

Mark Maloney of St. Martin's steals a march on John Breen
Mark Maloney of St. Martin's steals a march on John Breen

Composure and conviction during the second-half of this Pettitt's Senior hurling championship Group B game in Bellefield on Sunday gave St. Martin's their second win as they saw off Ferns St. Aidan's with relative ease.

After a scrappy opening half in which both teams were guilty of some wayward shooting and niggling with their opponents, St. Martin's seemed to just wind the clock back to zero and came out a new side in the second period, easily dealing with Ferns' advances and taking some tidy scores along the way.

Ferns were given the perfect start as Ian Byrne marked his return to Senior championship action after two recent Junior appearances with a well-taken goal from a 20-metre free in the opening minute.

This was cancelled out almost immediately however, as Joe Coleman hit three frees and Ciarán Lyng put the Martin's in front.

With Ferns really putting it up to the favourites, the game took on a very stop-start nature, as a number of scuffles at different stages and a lot of frees never allowed the game to flow as much as a spectator would like.

It remained very close however, and as Coleman remained deadly accurate from frees, Tommy Dwyer, Ryan Nolan, Christopher O'Connor and Paul Morris kept the scoreboard ticking over for Ferns, leaving a point between the sides at half-time in favour of St. Martin's.

On the resumption, St. Martin's showed why they were carrying the favourite's tag as they played with a lot more composure, particularly in defence and midfield, holding Ferns to a mere three points for the entire half.

Probably the most vital part of the half came when defender Patrick Breen fumbled a pick-up, leaving Lyng to gain possession and find the net.

Joe and Rory O'Connor, along with Lyng, continued the hit the scoreboard to give St. Martin's an easy win in the end and their second of the campaign.

St. Martin's: Luke White; Willie Devereux, Patrick O'Connor, Conor Firman; Aaron Maddock, Paudie Kelly, Daithí Waters; Harry O'Connor, Mark Maloney; Rory O'Connor (0-2, 1 free), Darren Codd (0-1), Jack O'Connor; Joe Coleman (0-8 frees), Joe O'Connor (0-2), Ciarán Lyng (1-3). Subs. - Jake Firman for Coleman, Barry O'Connor for H. O'Connor, Michael Codd for Kelly.

Ferns St. Aidan's: Mick Walsh; Brian O'Neill, John Breen, Patrick Breen; Ciarán Roberts, James Tonks, Conor Scallan; Tommy Dwyer (0-4, 3 frees), Paul Morris (0-1); Ryan Nolan (0-1), Benny Jordan (0-1), Jonny Dwyer; Christopher O'Connor (0-1), Ian Byrne (1-0 free), Chris Turner (0-1). Subs. - Pádraig Bolger for O'Neill, Jeff Tobin for Tonks.

Referee: Gearóid McGrath (St. James').

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