Finn fires Marshalstown-Castledockrell to victory
A JAMES Finn-inspired Marshalstown-Castledockrell turned in an impressive second-half display which guided them to a deserved five-point victory over Rathnure in this Top Oil Intermediate 'A' hurling championship Group A game at Bree on Friday last.
Rathnure had much the better of the opening half and built a five-point interval lead, but their rivals took the initiative on the resumption and after Finn fired home a splendid 52nd-minute goal, they went on to take two valuable points in their bid for a place in the knockout stages.
Ciarán O'Connor pointed Rathnure in front after four minutes but the Marshalstown-Castledockrell response was swift, with Eoin Bennett sending over two fine points, one from a free, to move in front.
Rathnure led by 0-4 to 0-2 at the end of the opening quarter and they looked to have got the all-important breakthrough one minute before the interval when Anthony Westnott goaled from a Jamie O'Connell pass, a score that helped them to a 1-8 to 0-6 interval lead.
On the resumption, Marshalstown-Castledockrell showed huge improvement, with Finn winning lots of possession across the half-forward line and shooting the opening point of the half after just three minutes. With further points from John Cullen, Michael Kehoe with a long-range effort, Finn and Eoin Bennett, they were level at the end of the third quarter (0-11 to 1-8).
Rathnure had to wait until the 50th minute for their opening second-half score, an Anthony Westnott point, but after Finn found the net with a splendid shot from an acute angle eight minutes from the end, Marshalstown-Castledockrell went on to record an impressive victory with that hugely-improved second-half display.
Marshalstown-Castledockrell: Joe Swaine; David O'Connor, Joe Kelly, John Ormonde; Michael Kehoe (0-1), Johnny Frayne, James O'Connor (0-1); Paddy Jordan, Darragh Kehoe; Colm Bennett (0-1 free), Pat Kinsella, James Finn (1-3); Eoin Bennett (0-3, 2 frees), Micheál Jordan, John Cullen (0-3). Subs. - Andrew Quigley for E. Bennett, Bennett for Quigley, Declan Byrne (0-2) for E. Bennett
Rathnure: Kyle Byrne; Michael O'Connor, Shane Barron, Paul Holohan; Stephen Furlong (0-3, 1 free, 1 '65), Brian Quigley, Matty Creane; M.J. Murphy, Eoin Higgins (0-1); Anthony Westnott (1-1), Billy Conran (0-2), Ciarán O'Connor (0-1); Colin Flynn, Jamie O'Connell (0-1), Shane Foley. Subs. - Shane Murphy for Higgins, James Flynn for Foley.
Referee: Noel Stafford (Clongeen).