Oylegate-Glenbrien overcome Ballygarrett
Monamolin's reputation as a happy hunting ground for Oylegate-Glenbrien was embellished on Thursday when the boys in blue returned to the scene of their win over Crossabeg-Ballymurn to collect a second set of points in Group A of The Courtyard Ferns Intermediate hurling championship at the expense of Ballygarrett.
Oylegate-Glenbrien 1-15 Ballygarrett 1-9
And it sets up an intriguing last round as just three points separate top from bottom, with Crossabeg-Ballymurn and Askamore on five apiece while Duffry Rovers, last year's runners-up, are on two. Oylegate-Glenbrien, Ballygarrett and Oulart-The Ballagh are all on four, so it couldn't be any tighter.
The eventual winners were odds-on for success at half-time on Thursday when they led by 1-7 to 0-4, with their rivals reduced to 14 men in the 26th minute when Eddie Redmond received a second yellow card for a challenge on Podge Doran.
The entire Oylegate-Glenbrien tally had arrived from play, whereas Ballygarrett had relied solely on frees from Cormac Moore (two) and Stephen Redmond after the impressive Cathal Dunbar opened their account in the seventh minute.
The game was less than 70 seconds old when two youngsters combined to create the Oylegate-Glenbrien goal, with Seamus Casey's super crossfield pass from right to left finding Ciarán Hourihane who soloed through and gave Shane Quinn no chance.
Casey (two), Podge Doran, Jamie Reck, Mark Kavanagh, Hourihane and Eoin O'Mahoney all picked off points, while a Reck pull went narrowly wide in the 13th minute.
With no score in the second quarter and facing that numerical disadvantage, Ballygarrett didn't appear to have a prayer, but to their credit they made their rivals earn the points.
Although Kavanagh and Hourihane widened the gap on the re-start, promising Minor Eoin Corcoran drove Ballygarrett on and they were rewarded when a Cormac Moore delivery hopped kindly for Jack Hobbs to dispatch it to the net in the 40th minute (1-9 to 1-4).
Podge Doran chipped in with three vital points for the leaders in five minutes during a spell when Ballygarrett also hit the target through Lar Kinsella and a couple of beauties from the left sideline - a Hobbs effort from play and a Cathal Dunbar line ball.
Cormac Moore brought the gap down to four but Ballygarrett needed a second goal which didn't arrive, although they were only denied by a square ball in the 58th minute after Stephen Redmond drove in a long-range free and Patrick Naughter lurked with intent.
Former Monageer-Boolavogue marksman Marty Kelly had restored the margin to five earlier and that's how it stayed after a second Cathal Dunbar line ball was cancelled out by the sole Oylegate-Glenbrien score from a free - courtesy of dual county Minor Seamus Casey - deep into added time.
Oylegate-Glenbrien: John Foley; Pádraic O'Connor, Fergus Heffernan (capt.), Robert O'Connor; Bryan McCormack, Peadar O'Mahoney, Damien Reck; Jim White, Mark Kavanagh (0-2); Seamus Casey (0-3, 1 free), Jamie Reck (0-1), Ciarán Hourihane (1-3); Eoin O'Mahoney (0-1), Marty Kelly (0-1), Podge Doran (0-4). Subs. - Shane Reck for J. Reck (53), Mark Morris for Doran, inj. (57).
Ballygarrett: Shane Quinn; Eddie Redmond, Michael Kinsella, Gavin Walker; Colm Cosgrave, Stephen Redmond (capt., 0-1 free), Darren Morris; Cormac Moore (0-3 frees), Eoin Corcoran; Jack Hobbs (1-1), Lar Kinsella (0-1), Cathal Dunbar (0-3, 2 line balls); Brendan Breen, Patrick Naughter, Harry Byrne. Sub. - Tom Sinnott for Breen (40).
Referee: Damien Donovan (St. John's).