Martin's survive Shels comeback
St. Martin's emerged with full points but not without a fright, having to overcome a determined second-half Shelmaliers recovery in this Tom Doyle Supplies Senior football championship Group B game at Innovate Wexford Park on Sunday.
St. Martin's 1-11 Shelmaliers 0-11
Through the opening 30 minutes St. Martin's had made light work of the Shelmaliers challenge. Leading by six points at the break, such was their first-half dominance they looked on course for a comfortable victory, but a stirring recovery from the Shels led to an entertaining second period after a dismal first 30 minutes.
Midfielder Daithí Waters led his side's charge from the start with a dominant display, and by the end of the opening quarter they led by 0-5 to 0-1 through points from Jake Firman, Ryan Murphy (free), Jamie Carty and two Ciarán Redmond efforts.
When Redmond and Patrick O'Connor extended that lead to 0-7 to 0-1 inside 21 minutes, it did justice to their dominance. Barry O'Connor and Ryan Murphy exchanged pointed frees to leave last year's beaten finalists leading by 0-8 to 0-2 at the interval.
But the scoreline did not prove a deterrent to Shelmaliers as they resumed with a new impetus.
A Barry O'Connor 34th-minute pointed free led his side's resurgence, with Simon Donohoe adding a further point five minutes later (0-9 to 0-4).
With St. Martin's now losing the outfield battle, Shelmaliers continued to surge forward, resulting in points from an O'Connor free and Eoghan Nolan to leave just two separating the sides after 42 minutes.
One minute later St. Martin's managed to lift the siege through a Jamie Carty point. O'Connor and Murphy exchanged pointed frees, before three unanswered points from two O'Connor frees, one a huge effort off the sideline, and Eoghan Nolan had the sides level (0-10 each) with seven minutes remaining.
But the effort began to take its toll on the Shels. St. Martin's forced a free with Ryan Murphy restoring their lead, while three minutes from the end, Jake Firman picked out substitute Paudie Kelly with a great crossfield ball, and he drilled a low shot to the net, giving his side a 1-11 to 0-10 lead.
While Barry O'Connor pointed a free on 60 minutes, Shelmaliers were unable to fashion a levelling goal in additional time as St. Martin's reversed the outcome of their recent hurling meeting.
St. Martin's: Tomás Hayes; Daithí Hayes, Willie Devereux, Mark Maloney; Jack O'Connor, Aaron Maddock, Joe O'Connor; Daithí Waters, Patrick O'Connor (0-1); Harry O'Connor, Ed O'Byrne, Jake Firman (0-1); Ciáran Redmond (0-3), Jamie Carty (0-2), Ryan Murphy (0-4 frees). Sub. - Paudie Kelly (1-0) for Redmond, inj.
Shelmaliers: Graham Lawler; Graham Staples, Eoin Doyle, Aaron Murphy; Tommy Barron, Simon Donohoe (0-1), Andre O'Brien; Stephen Banville, Aidan Cash; James Gordon, Glen Malone, Jody Donohoe; Eoghan Nolan (0-2), Barry O'Connor (0-8 frees), Colin Cleary.
Referee: Barry Redmond (Clonard).