Bunclody turn on power
A POWERFUL second-half performance propelled HWH-Bunclody into The Courtyard Ferns Intermediate hurling championship quarter-finals in St. Patrick's Park on Sunday last.
They looked to be heading for a big battle to keep their title ambitions alive when they trailed by 2-5 to 1-7 at half-time, but with a light breeze at their backs in the second period a barrage of scores sent HWH-Bunclody clear and Geraldine O'Hanrahans spiralling into a relegation battle.
A scoring error in the opening half by referee Brian O'Leary, which left the score at 2-6 to 1-6 in the New Ross side's favour, was rectified once the Crossabeg-Ballymurn man had realised his mistake, meaning Billy Kelly's 31st-minute point tied the game.
The Geraldines did edge ahead again when Ronan Carroll blazed a 20-metre free narrowly over the crossbar but HWH-Bunclody grabbed a brace of goals in two minutes at the end of the third quarter to turn the tide in their favour.
The industrious Mylie Connors rattled the first of the double after hauling in a long clearance, while young star Aidan Nolan was on hand moments later to beat Mark Purcell with a second bullet shot in as many minutes (3-8 to 2-6).
From that point HWH-Bunclody sauntered to victory with both Kelly and Bryan O'Hara grabbing a pair of minors late on to cement the eleven-point win.
Things weren't quite so easy for HWH-Bunclody in the opening half. The New Ross town side hit the front in the opening minute when Matt Crowdle pounced to goal after his brother David's initial shot was saved.
The 'Gers' stayed ahead until Colm Farrell collected from Barry Kehoe and fired home the game's second goal. A low, bouncing 20-metre free from Carroll did give his side the interval advantage but it was all Bunclody after the resumption and they will now face newcomers Naomh Eanna in the quarters.
HWH-Bunclody: John Byrne; Matty Byrne, Colm Kehoe, Enda Slevin; Billy Kelly (0-3, 1 '65), Conor Kinsella, James Moorhead; Bryan O'Hara (0-2), Seán Kenny; Colm Farrell (1-2, 0-1 free), Mylie Connors (1-0), Art O'Neill (0-1); Mark Murphy (0-1), Aidan Nolan (1-6, 0-3 frees), Barry Kehoe. Subs. - Paudge Kehoe (0-1) for B. Kehoe, Conor Crean for Slevin, Kevin Dunne for Kelly, Jason Cowman for Murphy.
Geraldine O'Hanrahans: Mark Purcell; James Ryan, John Donovan, David McCarthy; Dylan Egan, Gary Hill, Ronan Carroll (1-1 frees); Conor Cleere, Niall Hickey (0-1); Matt Crowdle (1-1), Stephen Somers, Jimmy Goggins (0-2, 1 '65); Eoin Kelly (0-3 frees), Jimmy Smith, David Crowdle. Subs. - Mark Rellis for Smith, Danny Conway for Somers, Eoin Bailey for Rellis (temp.), Eoin Bailey for D. Crowdle, Bryan Haberlin for Hickey, Colin Fenlon for Hill.
Referee: Brian O'Leary (Crossabeg-Ballymurn).
New Ross Standard