Rathnure romp to a very big victory
Rathnure 5-21 HWH-Bunclody 1-14
'How are Bunclody in the Under-21 Premier division?' This question was overheard at their grounds on Tuesday and it went unanswered as an experienced Rathnure side gave the home team a lesson in hurling, claiming a comprehensive victory in this Greenstar preliminary round championship clash.
Although Bunclody kept in contention in the first 15 minutes, the sense of hope was shortlived and Rathnure began to dominate gradually as each minute passed.
Even though Bunclody played well and are a very skilful team, their opponents were simply better and people wondered how and why they were in the top division.
Bunclody claimed just four points in the first-half, with Eoin Kelly, Edward Dunbar, Mark O'Connor and Cathal Doyle raising the white flags.
Another two O'Connors, this time for Rathnure, scored eight points at the other end of the field. Ciarán and Seán O'Connor were in great shooting form along with team-mates Rory Higgins and Paddy Flynn.
With seven points separating the sides at the break, Rathnure were well ahead and they showed they could go even further in the second-half, with Jason Lawlor keen to become part of their scoring contingent.
The O'Connor brothers continued their accurate finishing, while substitute Thomas Furling also made an impression with a well-struck goal. Michael Martin created many of these scores for the rampant winners.
Bunclody did show some promise as full-forward Edward Dunbar never gave up fighting for the green and yellow crew.
He registered six points in the second-half but that was all they had to talk about apart from a concluding goal from Adam Hogan.
Eoin Higgins, Seánie Redmond, Rory Higgins and James Tobin couldn't be stopped in the Rathnure forward line however, and this left them with a rather easy win and a very top-heavy scoresheet.
The winners should get a tougher test at home to Faythe Harriers in the 'A' quarter-final next Tuesday, while HWH-Bunclody will be hoping for improvement when they host Crossabeg-Ballymurn in the 'B' equivalent tonight (Tuesday).
Rathnure: Liam Barron; Philip Redmond, Denis Maher, Michael O'Connor; Eoin Higgins, Brian Quigley, Ben Ronan; Ciarán O'Connor (0-12, 7 frees), Michael Martin; Paddy Flynn (0-2), James Tobin (0-1), Jason Lawlor (2-2); Seán O'Connor (0-2), Seánie Redmond (1-1), Rory Higgins (1-1). Sub. - Thomas Furlong (1-0) for S. O'Connor.
HWH-Bunclody: Jamie Farrell; Diarmuid Crean, Josh Martin, Martin O'Connor; John McCormack, Paddy Dunbar, Conor Thorpe; Steve Kavanagh, Eoin Kelly (0-2); Mark O'Connor (0-2), Peadair Cowman, Darren Murphy; Cathal Doyle (0-2), Edward Dunbar (0-8, 5 frees), Tadhg O Ceallaigh. Subs. - Adam Hogan (1-0) for O Ceallaigh, Jamie Kealy for Martin.
Referee: James Owens (Askamore).