Place in last eight a near certainty
Barring a highly peculiar set of results in the final round of games, Liam Mellows will be competing in the Enniscorthy Guardian Juvenile hurling championship quarter-finals after seeing off Oulart-The Ballagh in Coolgreany on Monday.
Liam Mellows 4-11 Oulart-Ballagh 2-3
The hosts were in sensational form throughout, flighting over a range of quality points in the first-half and pillaging a superb selection of majors in the second period. Conditions were far from ideal, with both sides having to deal with a strong crosswind, and Mellows coped best.
The Gorey District side boast an extremely strong spine with classy, strong stickmen down the centre of the field, mixed in with the pace they boast on the wings, and it will take a good team to kick them out of the knockouts.
Oulart-The Ballagh, on the other hand, are a smaller, younger side with plenty of development in them. It might be a push for them to take this crown in the coming weeks, but there's plenty of talent within the team and they are at the right club to be brought on further.
Mellows led by 0-5 to 0-1 after scores from Eoin Cullen (three), Mark Boyle and Chris Callanan when Sam Cody pulled his club's first goal to the net.
Oulart-The Ballagh had two Darryl Gray frees to show for their first-half efforts but trailed by 1-9 to 0-2 at the break.
Cullen drilled to the roof of the net ten minutes into the second-half and Vincent Quinlan followed suit five minutes later, beating Darragh Hayes at the third attempt. Oulart-The Ballagh did pull goals back through Chris Lawless and Gray but Frank Kavanagh rounded out a great night for his side with a fourth raised green flag in added time.
The only thing that would prevent Liam Mellows from booking an automatic spot after the last round of games would be a loss in their fixture against Ferns, an Oulart-The Ballagh win over Duffry Rovers, and a draw between Rathnure and Shamrocks.
The equation is not much simpler for the Enniscorthy District side, as they must win their game and hope that either Liam Mellows or Rathnure do likewise. Alternatively, a draw will only be enough for a play-off at best.
Liam Mellows: Darragh Brookes; Mike Fenlon, Alan Kelly, David Byrne; Ciarán Power, Ross Cody (capt.), Seán Dunne; Rory Heffernan (0-1), Seán Dowling; Chris Callahan (0-1), Eoin Cullen (1-7, 0-4 frees), Vincent Quinlan (1-1); Frank Kavanagh (1-0), Mark Boyle (0-1), Sam Cody (1-0). Subs. - Darragh Heffernan for R. Heffernan, inj. (48), also Dylan Goland, Kevin Cleary.
Oulart-The Ballagh: Darragh Hayes; David O'Gorman, Jack Roche, Micheál Doyle; Niall Nimmo, Ethan Freeman, Jake Rossiter, Iarla Boyce, Darryl Gray (capt., 1-2 frees); Nathan O'Hanlon, Billy Dunne, Lee Hore; Yaw Mythen, Conor Lawless (1-0), Liam Roche. Subs. - Aaron McRedmond for O'Hanlon (40), Robert Foley for O'Gorman (47), Jim Finn for Mythen (49), Lorcan Nimmo for Boyce (52), Darragh Swords for Dunne (55), also Conor Cooney, Lee O'Connor, John Roche.
Referee: David Owens (Askamore).