Murphy points way for Crossabeg-Ballymurn
Niall Murphy was the inspiration for Crossabeg-Ballymurn as they cruised to a comfortable nine-point victory over Cloughbawn in this Joyces Expert Intermediate 'A' football championship Group B game in Bree on Sunday.
Crossabeg-Ballymurn 0-18 Cloughbawn 0-9
The talented centre-forward contributed six points of his side's winning total on an evening when county hurler Pádraig Foley dominated midfield as the two points booked their last eight spot, while the struggle for Cloughbawn goes on despite the efforts of their best player, Colm Kehoe.
The eventual winners started brightly with early points from Paddy Devereux and Foley, while Cloughbawn responded with points from Bob Whitty and a Páidí Cullen free to leave the sides level (0-2 each) after ten minutes.
After Niall Murphy had restored his side's lead, Cloughbawn edged in front through two Colm Kehoe frees, leaving them leading by 0-4 to 0-3 at the end of the opening quarter.
Both sides were playing some nice open football, but a flurry of points from Niall Murphy, (three, two frees), Cormac O'Rourke, Pádraig Foley and Bill Evistion left the eventual winners leading by 0-11 to 0-5 at the interval.
While a Páidí Cullen pointed free within three minutes of the re-start helped to reduce the deficit, the Wexford District side responded with four unanswered points from O'Rourke, Niall Murphy (two) and Ronan Devereux.
Lee Keeley lifted the siege with a point, but Cloughbawn still trailed by 0-15 to 0-7 entering the final quarter.
Additional points from O'Rourke (two, one free) and Pádraig Foley saw Crossabeg-Ballymurn through to a comfortable victory in the end over a disappointing Cloughbawn outfit who had Dean Murphy black-carded in the closing seconds.
Crossabeg-Ballymurn: Ben Turner; Matty Sludds, Eoin McDonald, Martin Redmond; Seamus Carroll, Conor Devereux, Alan Byrne; Paddy Devereux (0-1), Pádraig Foley (0-3); Bill Eviston (0-2), Niall Murphy (0-6, 2 frees), Oisín Foley; Andy Butler, Cormac O'Rourke (0-5, 3 frees), Paul Walsh. Subs. - Ronan Devereux (0-1) for O. Foley, Mark O'Connor for Murphy, Oisín Foley for P. Devereux.
Cloughbawn: Kevin Doyle; Johnny Cullen, Colin Doyle, Cathal Spratt; Luke Cummins, David Doyle-Murphy, Harry Kehoe; Barry Kehoe, Páidí Cullen (0-2 frees); Lee Keeley (0-1), Colm Kehoe (0-4 frees), Richard Murphy; Michael Kavanagh, Bob Whitty (0-2), Dean Murphy. Sub. - Alan Carton for D. Murphy (black card).
Referee: Brendan Martin (Ballyhogue).