Shels secure first win
SHELMALIERS EDGED a thriller against Dunbrody Gaels to claim their first win of the season in the Enniscorthy Guardian Coiste na nOg Juvenile hurling championship in Hollymount on Monday.
The clash brought together two of the county's finest attackers in their grade: home star Ross Banville and St. James' clubman Jamie Myler.
Neither player disappointed in misty conditions, racking up 5-14 between them.
The Horeswood/Ramsgrange combination came into the game ahead of the Wexford District boys in the table and were hoping to keep their decent early season form going with a first away win.
Shelmaliers really struggled to pick up victories with this side in recent years but plenty of hard work has been done on the training field and that effort looks set to bring due rewards, with a new-found confidence ready to burst through after this success.
Both teams started like they meant business and were level, after a rip-roaring first quarter, at 2-4 apiece. Dunbrody had managed their side of that score, playing against the breeze, in the first ten minutes but didn't register again until three minutes into the second-half.
Banville struck the first blow however, collecting Adam Howlin's pass and flashing low past Eoin Whitty. If there was one thing that helped the Shels over the line it was having Howlin as a foil to Banville, with the centre-forward doing a lot of the dirty work.
Myler netted, with Jamie Wallace assisting, but moments later Banville robbed the ball in the Dunbrody defence and found the net (2-1 to 1-2). The second Myler goal was a special effort as, having caught Shane Walsh's long ball, he ran at goal and drilled an unstoppable shot past Jack Waters.
Shelmaliers got on a roll as the half wore on with Banville being fouled a lot and Howlin notching the resulting frees.
The dead ball specialist also hit the net from one of those efforts to leave his side 3-8 to 2-4 ahead at the interval.
An absolutely stunning Banville goal from Kyle Roche's pass completed the attacker's hat-trick four minutes after half-time. Yet Dunbrody, with Myler, Wallace and Danny Byrne on target, scored seven points in a row to pull within three with twelve minutes left (4-9 to 2-12).
The home side might have been rocking for a while but they steadied the ship with Howlin, Banville and Roche all on target to wrap up an important victory for the Over The Water boys.
Shelmaliers: Jack Waters; Aaron Doyle, Adam Hearne, Ryan Hanrahan; Jamie Larkin-Furlong, Seán Keane-Carroll, Mossy Scallan; Chris Cowman, Niall Hearne; Cillian Tobin, Adam Howlin (capt., 1-8, 1-6 frees), Tom Keavney; Ross Banville (3-4, 0-1 free), Kyle Roche (0-1), Adam Kelly. Subs. - Thomas O'Connor for Kelly (36), also Darragh Malone.
Dunbrody Gaels: Eoin Whitty; Martin Kinsella, Eamonn O'Sullivan, Shane Walsh; Kevin Whyte, Danny Byrne (capt., 0-1), Dylan Whitty; Seán Nolan, David Murphy; Ciarán Whyte, Jamie Wallace (0-2), Seán Costello; Adam Knight, Jamie Myler (2-10, 0-4 frees, 0-1 '65), James Fitzgerald. Subs.- Conor Dalton for Knight (31), Aaron Mythen for K. Whyte (37), James Walsh for Costello (47), also Mark Keating, Eric Dickinson.
Referee: Seán Slaven (Faythe Harriers).