Holders Shelmaliers stay on course
SHELMALIERS 2-10 BALLYHOGUE 0-5 THE HOLDERS, Shelmaliers, are through to meet their old rivals and beaten finalists of the last few years, Enniscorthy Starlights, in next Sunday's Jim Byrne Cup Minor football semi-final at Bellefield, having been too experienced for a hard-trying Ballyhogue in blustery conditions at Bree on Sunday last. The strong crossfield wind made it difficult for both sides to cope, but even so an entertaining game of football ensued.
Ballyhogue had a few early chances which they failed to take, and it was soon evident that the greater experience would see the Shels advance as Tony Smith kicked over some well-taken points, aided and abetted by Conor Forde and Simon Donohoe with a point each, and Graham Staples who scored a fine individual goal in the twelfth minute. Twenty-four minutes had elapsed by the time Declan Power accounted for the Ballyhogue opener, and by then the winners had scored 1-6.
Graham Staples and Dylan Dalton exchanged further points, making it 1-7 to 0-2 at the changeover. Although Ballyhogue did show occasional flashes of very good play, their finishing at times let them down.
Shelmaliers too will need to improve their shooting as they amassed a total of twelve wides over the hour, and they were also denied certain goals due to some fine goalkeeping by Enda Byrne.
Their second goal was scored by Colin Cleary in the sixth minute of the second-half, and this finished off any possibility of a Ballyhogue recovery.
Noel Roche scored the home team's third point by the end of the third quarter, but Eoghan Nolan and Stephen McGuire had increased the visitors' tally to 2-8 by then.
Tony Smith exchanged two late points with substitute Joe Byrne and corner-back Peter Doyle who roamed up-field to find the range.
Shelmaliers: Aodhán Foley, John Forde, Glen Malone, Evan Devereux, Aaron Murphy, Eoghan Nolan (0-1), Graham Staples (1-1), Simon Donohoe (01), Conor Forde (0-1), Tony Smith (0-5, 2 frees), Colin Cleary (1-0), Shane Carter, Stephen McGuire (0-1). Subs. - Eoin Lambe, Jody Donohoe, Cian Marley, Dean Murphy, Enda Cloake, Aaron Hearne, Brian Kehoe.
Ballyhogue: Enda Byrne, Graham Parker, Fionn Rochford, Peter Doyle (01), Conor Long, Tom Murphy, Cormac Byrne, Conor Byrne, Cian Rogers, Dylon Dalton (0-1), Rowan Minogue, Declan Power (0-1), Noel Roche (0-1). Subs. - Ger Walsh, Joe Byrne (0-1), Mick Condon, Dean Sinnott, Darragh Crosse.
Referee: Pat Kehoe (RathgarogueCushinstown).