Powerful first half performance sees St. Mary’s advance

Jeddy Walsh

Reporter:

Jeddy Walsh

St. Mary’s hurlers bounced back from their South final defeat against Kilsheelan to book their place in the last eight of the county championship with a facile win over Cashel King Cormacs at Dr Morris Park on Wednesday night last.

St. Mary’s hurlers bounced back from their South final defeat against Kilsheelan to book their place in the last eight of the county championship with a facile win over Cashel King Cormacs at Dr Morris Park on Wednesday night last.

Right from the first whistle the South Tipp side went about their business with intent and blitzed their opponents whose defence was at sixes and sevens all throughout the opening half.

The Clonmel forwards opened with three unanswered points and when Emmet Ryan got on the end of Stephen Buckley’s long clearance to score their first goal it was plain to see Cashel were in serious trouble being 1-3 to 0-0 down after just five minutes.

A second goal in the 12th minute by Matt Barlow following a delivery from Alan Lonergan stretched the lead to 10 points with the King Cormacs defence all at sea.

With St. Mary’s forwards converting almost all their chances with some excellent points from the likes of Emmet Ryan, Jason and Alan Lonergan, they were all of 14 points to the good at 2-10 to 0-2 after only 19 minutes of play.

A somewhat fortuitous deflected goal by Cashel’s Adrian Cummins in the 20th minute was just a brief let-up. Matt Barlow with his second goal just before the break following Sammy Ryan’s 50 metre pass sent St. Mary’s in at half-time still leading by 13 points, 3-12 to 1-5.

A better showing from Cashel in the second half, helped by some good hurling from Lee Burke and Tony Hewitt in particular in defence improved matters and with Jonathan Walsh deadly over the placed balls the deficit was gradually reduced. The nearest Cashel got was seven points following substitute Gearoid Slattery’s goal in the 47th minute to bring it back to 3-16 to 2-12. But the damage was well and truly done in the opening half and St. Mary’s, with Seamus Kennedy solid at centre-back throughout, tagged on some beautiful points from Richie Gunne, Ross Peters and Jason Lonergan who was a constant threat at wing-forward.

The winners can now expect a far sterner test against Thurles Sarsfields in Clonoulty on Wednesday night. For Cashel the road back to senior status looks long and uphill after their elimination.

St. Mary’s: Shane O’Neill, Liam Ryan, Kyle Peters, Fergal Condon, Richie Gunne (0-1), Seamus Kennedy (0-2F), Sammy Ryan, Stephen Buckley (0-1), Gearoid Buckley, Jason Lonergan (0-5), Brian McDonald, Ross Peters (0-4, 0-2F), Emmet Ryan (1-4), Matt Barlow (2-1), Alan Lonergan (0-2).

Subs: Luke Moore for G. Buckley (48 minutes); Brian Carroll for Barlow (56); Gavin Power for E. Ryan (57); Paul Nolan for S. Ryan (59).

Cashel King Cormacs: Owen Quirke, Paddy Morrissey, Ross Doyle, Shane Murphy, Cormac Ryan, Lee Burke, John Darmody Jnr, Robert Anglim, James Cummins (0-1), Simon Delaney (0-2), Dylan Fitzell, Adrian Cummins (1-0), Jonathan Walsh (0-10, 2x65, 0-7F), Alan Cummins, Eoghan Ryan.

Subs: Tony Hewitt for Morrissey (18); Pat Muldoon for Alan Cummins (22); William Fitzell for Murphy (22); Gearoid Slattery (1-1) for E. Ryan (39); Conn Bonnar for D. Fitzell (39).

Referee: Johnny

McDonnell (Roscrea).