Sunday 17 February 2019

Goals scupper Meelin's hopes in the replay

County IHC Round 3 (replay): Kilbrittain 5-17 Meelin 0-18

Aubert Twomey

The opening game in the intermediate hurling championship encounters at Ballincollig on Saturday evening last was the replayed encounter involving Kilbrittain and Meelin and it was again expected that it would again go right down to the wire.

It appeared to be heading in that direction at the interval when the score read 0-14 to 1-9 in Meelin's favour, but nobody could have anticipated the collapse of the Duhallow side when the action resumed.

Meelin enjoyed a point advantage three minutes into the second moiety but then long serving Kilbrittain stalwart Maurice Sexton burst on the scene with a vengeance. A long range effort by the west Cork side appeared to be sailing wide of the upright but Sexton making the extra effort got his hurley to the sliotar and he turned it into the Meelin net.

It was clear from that major onwards that Kilbrittain were going to exploit the shortcomings in the Meelin defence and the latter's challenge was visibly dying when Sexton Struck again in the 40th minute. He connected overhead in spectacular fashion so another green flag was raised and Kilbrittain subsequently did not look back.

The early stages of last Saturday's encounter saw Meelin having the edge and they were ahead in the second minute when Eamon Brosnan raised a white flag. They were ahead 0-4 to 0-1 following ten minutes of action and the score-line at the end of the first quarter read 0-8 to 0-4.

Sexton in the 18th minute got a point back for Kilbrittain and the west Cork side got a huge boost following the puck out. A delivery goalwards by Declan Harrington was not capably dealt with by the opposing last line of defence and Philip Wall forced the sliotar over the goal-line.

Declan Harrington and Cian O'Leary added on points so the west Cork side were flattered to find themselves in the lead. Meelin finished the first period strongly however and two points from Jason O'Callaghan and one each from Eamon Brosnan (a free) and Jeremy Curtin ensured they were ahead at the break.

Meelin were still ahead five minutes into the second moiety as they scored three points to their opponents two but Sexton then ensured everything changed utterly. He raised his first green flag and quickly followed with a minor.

His second major in the 40th minute, his spectacular overhead effort was a clear sign of the crushing of the Meelin challenge. Kilbrittain now enjoyed a six points lead and their opponents were unable to turn their situation around.

Philip Hall scored his second major, his teams' fourth, in the 53rd minute and sexton completed the clinching of the Kilbrittain victory when he crashed home their fifth major and added on a point for good measure.

Kilbrittain: O Hodge, S Dewey, J Hurley, Damien Desmond, S Crowley, N O'Donovan, S Shorten (0-1), C Moloney, T Harrington, C O'Leary (0-2), R Cashman (0-3), David Desmond (0-2), P Wall (2-0), M Sexton (3-6, 4f), D Harrington (0-1) Subs: P Brennan (0-1) for Crowley (inj), 15, M Madden (0-1) for D Desmond, 47, P O'Mahony for S Shorten, 58

Meelin: S O'Sullivan, M Forrest, B O'Sullivan, D O'Riordan, S Brosnan, L Collins, M O'Keeffe, Jerry Forrest, W Murphy, E Brosnan (0-6, 2f), J O'Callaghan (0-4), J Curtin (0-2), James Forrest, John Forrest (0-1), S Hehir (0-3) Subs: D J O'Sullivan for James Forrest, 37, S Curtin for B O'Sullivan, 42, N Linehan for John Forrest, 52

Referee: G Scully (Killeagh)