Thursday, 20th September 2018
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Champions make positive start

There was full round of JJ Kavanagh sponsored Waterford Senior Hurling Championship completed last weekend with most games going as expected. The April break from intercounty activity helped, although didn't solve, the fixture and training problems for clubs regards club v county.

However at least serious competition is now up and running and with another round of the new style championship due to take place next weekend it will give some momentum to the competition. However it also makes one reflect on what the situation would be if Waterford had progressed further in the Allianz National League. Now I Wonder?


All that said, the competion for the Waterford News and Star Cup got underway on Saturday evening with title laden Mount Sion facing their close neighbours and city rivals Roanmore. Throughout the sixty odd minutes there was very little between the sides with the Monastery outfit ahead 2-6 to 1-7 at the break. The Sion goals from Martin F O'Neill and Alan Kirwan while Emmett O'Toole replied for Roanmore. The winners did suffer a significant loss during the opening thirty minutes as former hurler of the year Austin Gleeson was forced off with what looked a hamstring injury. He will surely be sorely missed as Mount Sion face into crucial game against Passage next weekend. Roanmore came out for the second half with a renewed effort and points from Emmett O'Toole and Billy Nolan got them level and indeed they edged ahead midway through the half. However with the Mount Sion defence reorganised and superb hurling from Mikey Daykin and minor Luke O'Brien, Roanmore just could not "clear water". In the remaining minutes Martin F O'Neill and Stephen Roche had Mount Sion level and as the game was heading for a draw, deep in additional time, it was the latter who came up with the winning point 2-12 to 1-14. One thing that was very noticeable was the new talent as both clubs introduced a number of minors (under 18) into the championship fray. No doubt there is a big future for both clubs and they will feel their under age structures are working well.


In Fraher Field, Lismore faced Passage in a repeat of their thrilling opening game at the same stage of the 2017 competition. The Cathedral Town with both Maurice and Dan Shanahan very much to the fore came through on a 6-13 to 3-19 scoreline and hopes were high that we may well see another thriller. The west Waterford team opted to play with the wind in the opening half and this proved to be a really wise decision as they came out of the blocks and goals from Ray Barry and Jordan Shanahan gave them a 2-10 to 0-3 lead at the break. The Roanmore defence was under huge pressure facing the wind especially from both Dan and Maurice

Shanahan with the latter intercounty man showing really good form. In the second half Passage, despite a hugely determined effort, just could not make up the leeway and a consolation goal from Jamie Burke in additional time was not enough to edge them through. The final score Lismore 2-14 to 1-12 for Passage.


Reigning champions Ballygunner took forever to settle in to their encounter with Abbeyside and indeed at times looked in trouble during the opening half. A goal from Peter Hogan, played through by Pauric Mahony saw the sides level at the break 1-4 to 0-7. With the huge influence of Pauric Mahony the Gunners moved up a gear in the second half and slowly added the points to edge clear to claim the points on a 1-12 to 0-7 scoreline. Both teams ended the game with fourteen players as John Hurney of Abbeyside and Barry Coughlan of Ballygunner received their marching orders. Ballygunner will be hoping to hit form as they face An Rinn in their next game while Abbeyside will be well aware that two points would really help the cause as they face Ballyduff Upper.


An early Adam Farrell goal gave the momentum to De La Salle in Fraher Field and they never let that go as they came through on a 4-17 to 1-15 scoreline against Fourmilewater. Although county player Jamie Barron was keeping the Ballymac club in striking distance a goal from Cormac McCann saw the city team ahead 2-10 to 0-11 at the break. With the elements at their backs De La Salle were quickly back on the attack in the second half and a goal from McCann within five minutes followed by another from Jack Fagan pushed them clear to claim the points. Jamie Barron operating at centre forward had a late goal for Fourmilewater but at that stage it was only a consolation. Having been runners up in 2017 the Stephen Street outfit have now hit the ground running and certainly looked the most impressive outfit of opening weekend.


Both Ballyduff Upper and Intermediate champions 2017 An Rinn were eager to set alight their 2018 campaign and both teams certainly put it all on the line at Fraher Field at the weekend. A Shane Kearney goal in the opening half gave Ballyduff a 1-7 to 0-7 lead with Eoghan Murray (total 0-8) contributing handsomely with points. However An Rinn also had their scorer in chief Donie Breathnach (total 0-10) in top form as this game ebbed to and fro in the opening half. An Rinn hitting three unanswered half just before the break. There was still very little between the sides in the third quarter although An Rinn were building quite a bit of momentum. However just before ten minutes from time they did get a generous stroke of luck as a free from Mikey Kearney dropped short and into the net to put them back in front. Despite a heroic effort An Rinn could not bridge the lead and at the end were four points adrift 2-16 to 0-18. A welcome win for Ballyduff Upper while An Rinn will surely learn from this game and both teams can well improve as the competition hots up.


Dungarvan through the efforts of Patrick and Cormac Curran came through on a 3-20 to 2-13 scoreline against a very determined Tallow outfit. Patrick Curran had put the Old Boro ahead 0-4 to 0-1 but a goal from Tommy Daly on 13 minutes saw the teams level. Cormac Curran had the first of his brace of goals on 14 minutes but again Tallow through the exploits of Tommy Ryan were back to within three(1-8 to 2-2) as the clock passed the twenty minute mark. However in those final minutes of the opening half it was Dungarvan who proved the stronger as goals from Patrick and Cormac Curran gave them a healthy 3-10 to 2-4 lead at the break. The second half continued with Dungarvan edging the scoreboard despite a huge effort from Tallow and in the end the Old Boro came through on a 3-20 to 2-13 final score.


Next weekend the Board will be hoping to complete round two of the competition with fixtures as follows.

Fraher Field Thursday 5th April

Fourmilewater versus Dungarvan at 6.30pm

Abbeyside versus Ballyduff Upper at 8pm

Walsh Park Saturday 7th April

Mount Sion versus Passage 6.15pm

Fraher Field Sunday 8th April

De La Salle versus Tallow at 2pm

Lismore versus Roanmore at 3.30pm

Ballygunner versus An Rinn at 7pm


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