Wednesday, 15th August 2012
Favourites on course
There were no real upsets in the Waterford senior Football Championship last weekend as the teams at the top of the tipsters lists all came through their encounters. Reigning champions Ballinacourty were in Walsh Park to face gaultier who themselves have not been able to reach the performance level that we know they are well capable of achieving. Like all games at the moment it appears there is a general feeling of apathy towards live sport at the moment. Patrons are just not turning up to watch games and this was again very evident at the city venue as the attendance for this double header was hugely disappointing.
Ballinacourty were quickly into stride and some excellent point taking from Gary and Podge Hurney along with Mark Ferncombe saw them comfortable ahead as the twenty minute mark ticked by. However the men from the Barony were given a lifeline as JJ Hutchinson created a chance which Barry Mullane neatly clipped home 0-5 to 1-1. The reigning champions continued however to dominate and led 0-8 to 1-2 at the break.
Gaultier came out with renewed efffort for the second half and a foul on substitute Richard Finnegan saw JJ Hutchinson blast the resultant penalty to the net. Again with Ballinacourty leading 0-12 to 2-3 goalkeeper Stephen Enright was called on to save brilliantly from Gaultier midfielder Ray Hearne. The final fifteen minutes saw both teams struggled for supremacy and although they gave it their all Gaultier could never claw back the tiniest deficit against an out of form Ballinacourty. One point between the teams but the champions did get the "fright of their lives" and will know there is huge improvement required to retain their title. Next weekend will see Ballinacourty begin that process as they face Ardmore in their final group game in Fraher Field on Saturday.
Gaultier will be delighted with this display and no doubt will have gained huge confidence as they face into a real crunch game on Saturday in Walsh Park against St Saviours, a game which will decide who faces the relegation playoff. In the second of the games at the city venue championship favourites had a comprehensive 1-16 to 0-5 win over St Saviours. The Ballymacarbry men set out their stall from the start and with John Moore and martin Walsh driving them forward from the half back line they built up momentum which the Ballybeg outfit, despite a hugely determined effort, just could not contain. Mind you Saviours at times looked really impresssive but, their final pass seemed to unravel. Perhaps on another day. Meanwhile Nire continue on their unbeaten way and face Rathgormack in their final group game in Leamybrien on Saturday next.
On Friday evening the championship weekend opened with the meeting of Group One teams Ardmore and Rathgormack. Both teams at matchtime looking for points to see them safely into the quarter final and it was the seaside town who claimed the spoils courtesy of a 1-8 to 0-6 win. One of the surprise packets of the year Clashmore/Kinsalebeg continued their terrific effort with another win over An Rinn. The final scoreline 0-14 to 1-10 ensures Clashmore of top spot in the group although they were made to fight hard against another team, An Rinn, who themselves are having a very successful run this year. Either Clashmore or An Rinn could subsequently have a bearing on the final destination of the Conway Cup and that would be a magnificent achievement for teams who at the outset were probably being considered as "also-rans".
Once again Stradbally have shown their pedigree as they came through on a 3-11 to 0-7 scoreline against Brickey Rangers. The Reds beaten in their opening encounter by Clashmore have continued to improve and as they have shown over the past decade can again make a huge impact. They face An Rinn in their final group game on Sunday in Leamybrien and what a cracker that could turn out. Meanwhile Clashmore/Kinsalebeg on current form will expect to garner the points against Kilrossanty which will see them unbeaten in the group stage. The quarter finals will most likely take place on Friday 22nd/Saturday 23rd September
MICHAEL "DUCKY" ORMONDE
Shock news spread throughout the county at the weekend that former Waterford and Lismore stalwart Michael "Ducky" Ormonde had unexpectedly passed away. To his loving wife Margaret, children Enda, Michael, Martin and Sean and his extended family, sincere condolences. "Ducky" was an integral part of the Waterford senior Hurling team during the 70's and along with his brothers Ritchie and Billy, was a corner stone of the Lismore GAA club. Ar Dheis De a raibh a ainm dilis.
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