No panic by Shels as holders recover from six-point gap
SFC Group B in Clongeen: Shelmaliers 4-12 Horeswood 3-9
Shelmaliers were six points down to Horeswood after 26 minutes, but there was no sign of panic from the Senior football champions in Clongeen on Sunday.
The New Ross District side were full value for their lead at that stage, as they had shipped a Conor Hearne goal in the second minute but bounced back, outscoring their opponents by 2-6 to 0-3 in the next 24 minutes.
Despite the end result, that spell of football says a lot. The biggest thing to take away from this Group B contest and from the way Horeswood forced Shelmaliers into a second-half performance is the fact that the Intermediate holders are going to do just fine this season.
They have enough weapons to win games and with this level of commitment and energy they will win their fair share. On another day, against a different animal, this performance would have been enough to take the points.
At the moment Shelmaliers aren't just any team. They are so in-tune with what they want to do that everything is second nature; they are able to slot lads into this side and they gel and get a quality team showing.
After Hearne's opener, Horeswood settled into the task. They were back within a point before a one-two between David Larkin and Eric Banville ended with the former fisting to the net from close range.
P.J. Banville knocked over his first free, a score that was countered by the first of four Simon Donohoe points to leave Horeswood two up at the end of the opening quarter (1-3 to 1-1).
That lead stood at three eight minutes later when P.J. Banville put in an early contender for goal of the season. The former county forward broke around the last line of defence, dummied the 'keeper and slotted into the empty net to make it 2-5 to 1-2.
Just when Horeswood looked set to take a big advantage in at the break, Shelmaliers cut them to pieces, with Eoghan Nolan and Kyle Roche creating an easy chance that Hearne tucked away for his second goal.
Trailing by 2-7 to 2-3 at the break, Shelmaliers scored 1-4 without reply to build a three-point lead by the 41st minute.
A.J. Lehane got two of those points and netted the major as well, a cracking finish after strong work in the build-up by Jody Donohoe.
Horeswood regained their foothold in the game and were two points down until the Hollymount side kicked four straight points in just five minutes, two of which came from Simon Donohoe, to move 3-11 to 2-8 in front.
Jamie Myler gave Horeswood hope again with a clinically-taken goal from Declan Murphy's long, searching ball.
However, Shelmaliers wrapped up the win when Lehane tucked home an injury-time penalty after Jody Donohoe was fouled to make it two wins from two for the champs.
Shelmaliers: James Gordon; Andre O'Brien, James Cash, Graham Staples; Simon Donohoe (0-4), Brian Malone, Glen Malone; Aidan Cash (0-1), Eoghan Nolan (capt.); Ross Banville (0-1), Páraic O'Leary (0-1), Jody Donohoe; Conor Hearne (2-1), A.J. Lehane (2-3, 0-3 frees, 1-0 pen.), Kyle Roche. Sub. - Craig Parker (0-1) for O'Leary (56).
Horeswood: Conor Swaine; Kevin Parker, Barry Hearn, Ryan Harris; Eamonn O'Sullivan, David Larkin (1-1), Seán Stafford; Shane O'Hanlon, Dale Flynn; Jack Kehoe, P.J. Banville (capt., 1-2, 0-2 frees), Seán Nolan (0-1); Jamie Myler (1-1, 0-1 free), Eric Banville, Declan Murphy (0-3). Subs. - Collie Nolan for Flynn (31), Darren Shannon (0-1) for E. Banville (39), Johnny Keating for O'Sullivan (55), Eoin Murphy for Parker (59), Brian Kehoe for Swaine, black card (60+2).
Referee: James Owens (Kilrush).