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Sunday 17 December 2017

Solid Shels ease to win

Shelmaliers 1-18 Cloughbawn 0-10

Brian Carty

Conor Byrne of Shelmaliers battling with Páidí Cullen (Cloughbawn)
Conor Byrne of Shelmaliers battling with Páidí Cullen (Cloughbawn)

Shelmaliers produced a solid if unspectacular display to dispose of a limited Cloughbawn outfit by double-digits in Saturday's mediocre Pettitt's Senior hurling championship Group B second round clash at a blustery Bellefield.

A win was imperative for the Over The Water side following their opening round loss to neighbours Oylegate-Glenbrien, and they got the business done without ever hitting top gear, as a goal from recent county Minor Conor Hearne helped them into a 1-8 to 0-5 lead at the interval.

For Cloughbawn, only four points from play over the hour, all consolation scores when the game was already beyond them, and eleven wides thrown in for good measure, painted a sorry picture. On current form they look far removed from the team which gave Oulart-The Ballagh a good challenge in last year's county final.

Shelmaliers got up and running through a Conor Byrne free 90 seconds in, and though Paul Foley struck a similar score on three minutes, two more efforts from Byrne, including a free from his own left half-back segment of the field gave the black and ambers a 0-3 to 0-1 lead after six minutes.

Foley's accuracy from frees was Cloughbawn's sole sustenance in the first-half, and two such efforts from the number 14 helped restore balance by the ninth minute.

But they were creating nothing of note from general play compared to their opponents, who saw points from Eoin Doyle and a brace from Stephen Banville rebuild their lead after 19 minutes.

Byrne tagged on another from play to increase the gap to 0-7 to 0-4 a minute later, while a fine catch from the physically imposing Banville put the ball on a plate for Hearne, who coolly slotted to the Bellefield Road net for a 1-7 to 0-4 lead on 21 minutes.

The sides traded late scores before the break through Foley (free) and Tommy Barron as they broke with Shelmaliers rather comfortably in control by 1-8 to 0-5.

Foley's latest free a minute into the new half was Cloughbawn's last score for some 20 minutes as the situation from their point of view gradually went from mundane to bleak.

A hat-trick of Byrne converted frees brought the victors' tally to 1-11, and Conor Hearne twice jinked away for a nice double, while Doyle and county footballer Brian Malone also contributed from play by the end of the third quarter (1-15 to 0-5).

Byrne (free) brought the difference to eleven before Cloughbawn finally broke their hoodoo from play courtesy of Bob Whitty.

Connal Flood (twice) and Foley followed suit with points to round off a disappointing evening for the Castleboro men, who will need a dramatic upturn in form if they are to extend their season beyond the group stages.

Shelmaliers: Brian Murphy; Simon Donohoe, Aidan Murphy, Ciarán Walsh; Glen Malone, Aidan Cash, Jody Donohoe; Andre O'Brien (capt., 0-1), Eoin Doyle (0-2); Conor Byrne (0-9, 7 frees), Brian Malone (0-1), Tommy Barron (0-1); Ciarán O'Shaughnessy, Stephen Banville (0-2), Conor Hearne (1-2). Subs. - Eoghan Nolan for Barron, Joe Kelly for O'Shaughnessy.

Cloughbawn: Noel Carton; M.J. Furlong, Tomás Furlong, Gavin Murphy; Barry Kehoe, Páidí Cullen, Johnny Cullen; Connal Flood (0-2), Barry Carton; Paul Foley (0-7, 6 frees), David Doyle-Murphy, Colm Kehoe; Bob Whitty (0-1), Alan Carton (capt.), Harry Kehoe. Sub. - Billy Wickham for Doyle-Murphy.

Referee: James Owens (Askamore).

Wexford People

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