Saturday, 18th November 2017
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Minor hurlers lose on Leeside

The Waterford Minor Hurling team travelled to Cork on Wednesday of last week in their second outing of the Munster Champions but as in their opening contest they had to give way, this time to the Rebel county on a 1-24 to 0-8 scoreline. This was a thoroughly deserved victory for the hosts as the final score suggests. The reports from Cork suggested that, this year, they had a minor outfit that was well above what had been seen in recent years. Indeed some had even hinted that the present crop of minor talent was well capable of making a huge impact on the competition at both Provincial and National level.

The opening minutes saw Cork race into an early lead through, particularly, the efforts of corner forward Brian Turnbull. The Douglas youngster bagged himself five points in the opening half which saw the rebels, playing against the win, 0-11 to 0-4 ahead at the break. Waterford were clinging on to the coattails of their opponents with just a single point from play, a Tom Looby effort, in the opeing thirty minutes. The other three scores came from the accurate freetaking of Clonea lad Billy Power. Indeed Waterford keeper and Mount Sion clubman Eoghan Browne was called into action on a couple of occasions to maintain his "clean sheet". The deise had failed to hit the target for some thirteen minutes (9-22) in that opening period such was the dominance of the Cork defence.

With a semi-final spot beckoning, Cork boss Denis Ring was never going to let the intensity drop in the second half although it was the visitors who claimed the opening score as Thomas Douglas pointed two minutes after the restart. The game was as good as over on thirty six minutes as Brian Roche was on the end of a clever move and the Cork forward crashed to the net. This was the catalyst of more Cork dominance and they hit 1-12 without reply before Waterford landed a couple of points. The Deise had again been held scoreless for twenty seven minutes of that second half. The Leesiders were on their way to the semi-final while Waterford will now travel away to Limerick on 11th in a bid to claim their place in a semi-final. Although it was a huge uphill struggle for the Deise lads one must acknowledge their resilience as they battled, against all the odds, right to the end. A feature of the Cork performance was the fact that they hit the target on every occasion up to the last ten minutes when they had their first wide. That kind of form could really have a telling effect as the campaign proceeds. There were a couple positives in the Waterford performance. Certainly goalkeeper Eoghan Browne gave an assured performance in both games as did the accuracy of Billy Power.

FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP KICKS OFF

The opening tie of the JJ Kavanagh sponsored Senior Football Championship took place on Friday evening with County Champions Nire facing Clashmore/Kinsalebeg. The former with a number of changes from the team who collected the Conway Cup in 2016 were once again one of the highly fancied side to collect again. Facing them Clashmore/Kinsalebeg are a team very well capable of producing the goods on a "going day", however, in recent years they have also thrown in the odd below par performance which can jeopardize their chances. All said and done it would be a surprise, even with this opening day result, if both did not qualify for the knockout stage. The challengers began with the wind at their back but missing a couple of chances were only level after ten minutes. Both Brian O'Halloran of Clashmore/Kinsalebeg and Shane Walsh of the Nire showing nice shooting efforts. There was very little to seperate the side, as one would expect from these teams and half time saw four points apiece on the board. Nire were quickly off the mark in the second half with the elemnts at their back and built up a four point lead (0-9 to 0-5) with just five minutes on the clock. Indeed it could have been so much worse for Clashmore/Kinsalebeg as goalkeeper declan Coughlan was called into action to save a Shane Ryan penalty. The final few minutes saw Clashmore/Kinsalebeg take the game to their opponents but as time ticked by they just could not level the score and fell just a point, 0-9 to 0-8, as referee Pat Casey called time. No doubt both managers will be looking ahead to further championship outings when they will surely see a huge improvement in their charges. Early days yet.

On Saturday Stradbally set out their championship stall with a well earned 1-19 to 1-9 win over Ardmore. Centre forward Michael Sweeney was the first half catalyst for the 0-9 to 0-5 half time lead for the inners as he bagged himself five points. However it could have been so much closer as Ardmore clubman and former intercounty hurling star Seamus Prendergast crashed an effort off the crossbar before the break. The Reds continued to hold that lead but Ardmore were making them fight all the way. The losers were dealt a huge blow when number six the afforementioned Seamus Prendergast was dismissed for a second bookable offence and this saw Stradbally shoot 1-5 without reply to establish a comprehensive 1-16 to 0-8 lead facing into the final ten minutes. The goal from full forward Rob Ahearne. Credit Ardmore they themselves hit a goal through Sean Barron on 51 minutes but by that time Stradbally had established control and completed the task, getting through to the second stage of the competition.

Kilrossanty and Gaultier faced up in Kill on Saturday with both team very much still in a rebuilding stage. Goals in the opening half from Tommy Prendergast and Joey Veale saw the Leamybrien outfit ahead 2-5 to 0-6 at the break. Gaultier began the second half on the front foot and were awarded a penalty on 40 minutes which was clinically despatched by JJ Hutchinson to leave just a brace of points between the sides 2-6 to 1-7. However a second goal from Joey Veale five minutes from time secured a win for Kilrossanty and guaranteed their place in the winners section.

The remaining three games of the opening round took place on Sunday last. Portlaw faced Ballinameela and were quickly on the scoresheet as full forward Michael Donnelly pointed. The Tannerytown went three clear in the opening quarter as Ballinameela missed a number of chances.

Indeed both teams suffered from missed chances but Portlaw still had the better of the exchanges and led 0-5 to 0-1 at the break. The pendulum swung early in the second half as a goal from Jim Curran levelled 1-2 to 0-5 and Portlaw had the misfortune of seeing their full back Paul Shankey dismissed. A Jim Curran point in the 55th minute edged Ballinameela ahead and when Tom Curran added a goal with time running down there was no way back for the men from Portlaw although they battled to the end. Ballinameela claimed victory on a 2-6 to 0-7 scoreline and went forward to the winners section of the competition.

Ballinacourty also claimed a place in the winners section with a 2-8 to 0-11 win over Rathgormack. There was very little to seperate the sides over the opening fifteen minutes but the Rathgormack defence was breached by Mark Ferncombe midway through the half to see the Abbeyside lads to a 1-4 to 0-2 half time lead. Some superb shooting from Patrick Hurney and a second goal from Ferncombe on 45 minutes seemed to have put them in command 2-7 to 0-4 but a determined Rathgormack outfit never gave up and by full time had clawed the lead back to three points 2-8 to 0-11.

The final game was a real open affair with An Rinn facing Brickey Rangers. The men from the Gaeltacht got off to the proverbial flyer with Feargal O'Cuirrin netting aftre just seven minutes. Advantage An Rinn at the break 1-5 to 0-5 although it could have so different as the winners keeper was called into action late in the opening half to thwart a Cathrach Shalloe penalty. The winners continued to hold the advantage on the scoreboard and Brickies were not helped when forward Cormac O'Grady saw the line late in the half. An Rinn claimed their place in the winners group courtesy of this 1-13 to 0-10 win.

Following the games the draw was made for the next series and it resulted as follows.

Losers Section; Ardmore v Portlaw, Brickies v Gaultier, Rathgormack v Clashmore/Kinsalebeg.

Winners Section; Ballinacourty v An Rinn, Ballinameela v Kilrossanty and Stradbally (winners in 2015) v Nire (current holders)

Some tasty clashes in that programme. More anon.

DEISE SUPER DRAW

A reminder to all clubs that the New Deise Super Draw will take place on

Wednesday next 10th May at 8.30pm in Ballymacarbry.

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