Friday 20 September 2019

Martin's were never troubled

Gusserane not at the races

Joe O'Connor (St. Martin's) moves in on Adrian Redmond
Joe O'Connor (St. Martin's) moves in on Adrian Redmond
Jamie Carty of St. Martin's posing problems for Gusserane full-back Liam Dillon

Alan Aherne

St. Martin's were already through to the Tom Doyle Supplies Senior football championship quarter-finals before this Group B demolition of a disjointed Gusserane side in Innovate Wexford Park on Sunday, with the absence of chief attacker Ciarán Lyng not felt at all in a one-sided contest.

St. Martin's 1-13 Gusserane 0-5

The New Ross District side are going to join them in the knockouts, because even if they lose to Fethard they would get the nod over Sarsfields in the event of both ending on four points due to the head-to-head rule.

Losing this game by eleven points certainly wasn't part of the overall plans though, and their mentors will be seeking vast improvement before they return to the knockout stages after an interval of one year.

Remarkably, Gusserane only scored two points from play, and both came in a 45-second spell on the re-start courtesy of captain Graeme Cullen and Kenneth Cahill.

The gap was lessened to 0-9 to 0-3 as a result, but it certainly didn't signal an all-out revival. Instead county hurler Jack O'Connor settled St. Martin's with a point before his first cousin Joe ended any semblance of a contest in the 38th minute when he crashed the ball to the roof of the net from a Barry O'Connor pass.

The winners are now unbeaten after four rounds and intent on making amends for last year's final defeat to surprise packets St. James'.

They also numbered captain Willie Devereux and Mark Maloney among their absentees from defence, but a prosperous second quarter saw them build up a match-winning tally.

Gusserane could only call on the services of dangerous attacker Seán Ryan for just over 20 minutes after the break as he returned from injury, although they fared alright in the early stages as Ryan Murphy and Mark Rossiter swapped pointed frees.

That latter effort in the ninth minute proved to be Gusserane's sole score before the interval though, with St. Martin's never looking back once Jamie Carty restored their lead in the 15th minute after a couple of earlier wides.

Six kicks were sent astray in all as the men in maroon took their time to find the range, but the second quarter stats were a lot more palatable: seven unanswered points and just one more wide.

Those scores from Ryan Murphy, Carty (free), Murphy (free), substitute Rory O'Connor with his first touch, another Murphy free, Jake Firman and one more Murphy free left Gusserane with it all to do at the interval as they trailed by 0-9 to 0-1. And though those points from Cullen and Cahill suggested a brighter second-half was in store, it didn't work out that way.

All Gusserane could muster after the Martin's goal were a brace of pointed frees from Adrian Flynn, and they didn't register at all in the last eleven minutes when Paudie Kelly, Conor Firman and Kelly again widened the gap to eleven.

St. Martin's: Tomás Hayes; Harry O'Connor, Daithí Hayes, Conor Firman (0-1); Joe O'Connor (1-0), Aaron Maddock, Jack O'Connor (0-1); Daithí Waters (capt.), Patrick O'Connor; Edward O'Byrne, Paudie Kelly (0-2), Jake Firman (0-1); Ryan Murphy (0-5, 4 frees), Jamie Carty (0-2, 1 free), Barry O'Connor. Subs. - Rory O'Connor (0-1) for O'Byrne (24), Ciarán Redmond for B. O'Connor (50), Seán Stafford for Murphy (58), Joe Coleman for Waters, inj. (60).

Gusserane: Shane Cullen; Cathal Somers, Liam Dillon, Jack O'Connor; Jack Burford, Adrian Flynn (0-2 frees), Adrian Redmond; John Roche, Cillian Kehoe; Páraic Conway, Graeme Cullen (capt., 0-1), Mark O'Neill; Jamie Cooney, Kenneth Cahill (0-1), Mark Rossiter (0-1 free). Subs. - Seán Ryan for Redmond (37), Matty Flynn for Roche (59).

Referee: Anthony Tobin (Geraldine O'Hanrahans).

Wexford People