MEELIN returned to winning ways on overcoming Aghabullogue in round 2 of the County Intermediate Hurling Championship in Mallow last Sunday.
The 2011 All Ireland Junior champions rediscovered the hunger and passion from former days particularly in the opening half on performing against a fresh breeze and the rain yet they enjoyed a nine point interval grip.
Such a commanding performance had been lacking against Aghada first time out. Though resuming with the elements, Meelin weren't near as assured after the break but the steady half time cushion was always enough to lay the groundwork for triumph.
Aghabullogue paid a price for a sluggish opening 30 minutes before subsequently offering a more committed approach. Still, the deficit was always going to be too much of a burden and a far more consistent effort will be required ahead of this Saturday 's last chance saloon tussle against St Catherines in Castletownroche.
A breeze assisted Aghabullogue made a decent start, a John Corkery point offering perfect encouragement, but it proved a false dawn for Meelin played their way into the game against both the elements and the rain. Crucially, Meelin took the scoring chances presented to them, none more so than Eamon Brosnan on pointing from both a free and play. Indeed, Meelin went about their task with hunger and desire.
In defence, TJ Brosnan, Brendan O'Sullivan and Diarmuid Linehan offered a composed unit, Liam Collins and William Murphy dominated midfield with Brosnan lighting up attack. Meelin's hopes rose signifcantly on 12 minutes, Shane O'Riordan finding the isolated Murphy to drive low to the Aghabullogue net. Follow up points to O'Sullivan and Brosnan consolidated Meelin position. Aghabullogue had played second fiddle and their cause wasn't helped on shooting seven first half wides.
That compared to a much sharper Meelin and in particular Brosnan, unerring from both placed balls and play. Full forward William Buckley also chipped in though Aghabullogue had the closing say on Donal Twomey pointing a free to cut the leeway 1-8 to 0-3 at the short whistle. As the sunshine shone over proceedings for the second half, both sides took a time to settle. Scores were difficult to come by during a dour third quarter, a pair of Brosnan points sandwiching an Aghabullogue effort.
Meelin substitute Jason O'Riordan got in on the act for his side enjoy a commanding 1-11 to 0-4 advantage. In fairness, Aghabullogue worked hard to mount a rescue package, encouraged by the efforts of Padraig Murphy, Michael Dennehy, Mark O'Flynn and John Corkery. O'Flynn delivered back to back points only for to be cancelled out by duplicate points to Buckley and Ben Collins at the opposite end.
For Aghabullogue, wing back O'Flynn offered leadership, goaling from a free, albeit too late in the 56th min. Meelin had failed to come near their best form of the opening but had a facility to respond on closing off to points from Brosnan and Jeremy Curtin.
MEELIN: S M O'Sullivan; D O'Riordan, T J Brosnan, B O'Sullivan 0-1; J Doherty, D Linehan, Jerry Forrest; L Collins, W Murphy; J Curtin 0-1, S O'Riordan, John Forrest; E Brosnan 0-9(0-5f), W Buckley 0-2, D J O'Sullivan Subs: J O'Callaghan 0-1 for John Forrest (42), B Collins 0-1 for D J O'Sullivan (55)
AGHABULLOGUE: D O'Leary; P Murphy, D Murphy, E Kennedy; D Quinlan, M Dennehy, M O'Flynn 1-4(1-3f), N Buckley, G Murphy; F Foley, P Twomey, J Buckley 0-1; J Corkery 0-2(0-1f), Dan Twomey, Donal Twomey 0-1f Subs: I Barry Murphy for J Buckley(39), P O'Rourke for P Twomey (50)
Referee: C O'Regan (Ballyhea)