Taghmon's big goals bonanza
Taghmon-Camross 3-10 Horeswood 2-11
The rise of the Intermediate title-holders continued in O'Kennedy Park, New Ross, on Saturday when Taghmon-Camross claimed their second huge scalp with a Group B win that sent former kingpins Horeswood crashing out of the Tom Doyle Supplies Senior football championship.
With Oylegate-Glenbrien blazing a trail in hurling in their first season back in the top flight, the Jason Ryan-trained side are doing likewise and are now unbeaten since receiving a lesson from St. Martin's on day one four months ago.
And while this win hasn't quite booked their quarter-final place, even one point against St. James' will be enough to do so. Even at that, it would take a cruel run of results from the Taghmon-Camross perspective to deny them the knockout spot their efforts deserve.
Horeswood couldn't say they weren't forewarned after their rivals shocked champions Gusserane a fortnight ago, and they're now left battling for survival.
They can't reach the last eight, but they can still avoid the relegation final if they beat Fethard by a decent margin and Taghmon-Camross do them a big favour against St. James', who are currently two points above them and five points better off on scoring difference.
This game was effectively won and lost in an amazing four minutes at the start of the second-half when Taghmon-Camross scored 3-1 without reply to transform a 1-7 to 0-5 interval deficit into a 3-6 to 1-7 lead.
A mere 16 seconds had elapsed when Barry O'Gorman's delivery from the throw-in was gathered by Luke Sinnott who fed Stephen O'Gorman for a morale-boosting goal.
Horeswood were asleep and, after Eoin Doyle pointed on the next attack, the net rippled again in the 32nd minute when a Darren Carty mark led to a composed finish from his brother, Ian, at the second attempt after his initial shot was blocked.
It didn't end there for Taghmon-Camross, because Ian Carty then turned provider for Anthony Breen to career through from midfield and beat Conor Swaine for the third time in under four minutes.
There was still a long way to go though, and Horeswood hit back midway through the third quarter after opposing netminder Seán O'Gorman was black-carded for taking down Declan Murphy.
Amazingly, Jack Dunne's first act was to save P.J. Banville's spot-kick, but there was a reprieve for the attacking side as referee Barry Redmond ordered a re-take and this time David Shannon tucked it away into the corner (3-6 to 2-7).
The experience of beating Gusserane a fortnight before clearly emboldened Taghmon-Camross though as they reacted with a brace of pointed frees from Seamus McLoughlin, while Stephen O'Gorman fired another goal chance wide.
Horeswood were fighting for their lives at this stage, and it showed as David Shannon (free), Leigh O'Brien and Declan Murphy brought them back to within one point (3-8 to 2-10) with nine minutes left.
Significantly though, Taghmon-Camross refused to surrender the lead as Luke Sinnott and P.J. Banville (free) swapped points before Anthony Breen kicked a beauty from a Stephen O'Gorman feed in the 59th minute (3-10 to 2-11).
They still had four added minutes to survive, but Horeswood had nothing left to offer after Banville blazed a free to the right and wide.
The experienced attacker had been a key figure in the early stages as he linked up effectively with county Minor Seán Nolan down the left flank.
They accounted for 1-5 between them in the first quarter as Horeswood surged clear by seven points but, after recovering from an early deficit of six last time out against St. James', they threw a better advantage away this time around.
It may have taken the Taghmon-Camross mentors 15 minutes to recognise the threat and move Alan Nolan on to Banville, but it was still timely as the deadly duo weren't nearly as effective thereafter.
Banville (free) and Nolan had pointed early on, with Stephen O'Gorman hitting back before Horeswood goaled for the first time in the tenth minute.
Banville sold a dummy and laid a pass on a plate at the far post for Nolan who palmed home, and another run of points from Banville, Nolan and Banville again left Taghmon-Camross with that 1-5 to 0-1 deficit.
Three points on the trot from Seamus McLoughlin (free), Chris Cullen and Ian Carty saw them settle, and the gap was down to a more manageable 1-7 to 0-5 by half-time after another McLoughlin free sandwiched scores from Declan Murphy and a fine effort on the run by David Larkin.
It seemed like the Horeswood backs had stayed in the dressing-room when play resumed, and Taghmon-Camross took full advantage to make a second major statement in the space of 13 days.
Taghmon-Camross: Seán O'Gorman; David O'Keeffe, Alan Nolan (capt.), Shane Doyle; Stephen Stafford, Mark O'Gorman, Darren Carty; Barry O'Gorman, Anthony Breen (1-1); Chris Cullen (0-1), Stephen O'Gorman (1-1), Eoin Doyle (0-1); Seamus McLoughlin (0-4 frees), Luke Sinnott (0-1), Ian Carty (1-1). Subs. - Jack Dunne for S. O'Gorman, black card (37), Michael O'Gorman for Cullen (57), Shane Lacey for O'Keeffe, inj. (60+2).
Horeswood: Conor Swaine; Barry Hearn, Ryan Harris, Steven Collins; Kevin Parker, David Larkin (capt., 0-1), Eddie Shiely; Shane O'Hanlon, Paddy Murphy; Johnny Keating, Leigh O'Brien (0-1), Seán Nolan (1-2); Declan Murphy (0-2), David Shannon (1-1, 1-0 pen., 0-1 free), P.J. Banville (0-4, 2 frees). Subs. - Jim Wall for Shannon (51), Seán Stafford for Parker (58), Michael O'Hanlon for Keating, inj. (60+2).
Referee: Barry Redmond (Clonard).