Naomh Mearnog succeed in scoring emphatic win over Parnells
GAA Club Hurling Championship: Nh Mearnog 4-15 Parnells 1-8
As Naomh Mearnog continue to relay their front pitch, senior hurling manager Gary De Loughrey is laying down his own foundations at the Torcaill-based club.
Promotion from the Junior A grade last season has been followed up by an impressive start to the 2019 campaign and last Saturday they certainly turned on the style with an emphatic 16-point win at home over Parnells.
Mearnog seemed to have benefited from a few weeks off during the Easter period and some of their hurling was breathtaking in the first half.
They would put Parnells to the sword with a tally of 3-12 from play as the visitors struggled to cope with Mearnog's scintillating play.
With Shane Ryan anchoring the half forward line and Donal Lean giving another towering display at full back, Mearnog bombarded the opposition with a series of long balls into the inside line.
And the stats told their own story. On the day Mearnog's full forward division registered 3-8 of their team's overall tally, while former Dublin underage star Cian Henricken would turn in an impressive cameo off the bench in the second half.
One of the key sectors that cannot be overlooked was the middle third where Shane Nangle at right half forward worked his socks off, while 'Mr reliable' Stan Kinnane was again on top form alongside Brian Powell.
The former would send over a terrific score from the right off a long diagonal pass from younger brother Tommy in that first half, when everything Mearnog touched seemed to turn to gold.
Perhaps the only disappointment was the late dismissal of Diarmuid Keavey in the second half at a stage in the game when things started to get messy.
It was a reminder to Mearnog as they prepare for next week's big championship derby clash with next-door neighours St Sylvester's, that it's a 60-minute game and that four-pointer will undoubtedly merit their full attention.
Nonetheless, they go into next Wednesday week's fixture with some degree of confidence and one can expect a very big turnout for a game that could well define their season.
To Saturday evening's game which had seen Powell cancel out an early effort from Parnells' top scorer on the day, Colm McDonald.
And then three minutes into the game a long ball in from Ryan would play in Mark Phelan and he duly finished past the Parnells netminder.
Davy Byrne, playing just behind the inside two of Mark Phelan and Shane Warren would send over back to back points before Warren delivered a cracking shot past the keeper on 13 minutes.
Parnells were still recovering from that score when Phelan drilled home Mearnog's third.
While McDonald endeavoured to keep Parnells in touch, there was little respite for the Coolock club, with Marcus Fitzmaurice at right half back halting their advances into the Mearnog half.
And with Mearnog goalkeeper Cian O'Daly showing excellent leadership between the posts, they were able to quickly get the ball upfield.
They would would close out the half with points from Phelan, Arthur Creane, Warren, Brian McCarthy and a second from Kinnane to lead 3-12 to 0-5 at the break.
The second half would see the introduction of Eoin Kelly and Chris O'Sullivan in the half backs, and Mearnog, although losing Warren to injury, kept up their intensity levels.
After McDonald sent over two early points, Mearnog were then awarded a penalty, but the keeper did well to stop Creane's effort with 12 minutes gone in the second half.
Shortly afterwards Parnells pulled a goal back from close in, but Henricken, having collected a crossfield pass from Dylan Kilbride, then delivered an angular shot past the keeper.
The game ended with a few scuffles, with Keavey, having become entangled in a scuffle with the Parnells forward, sent to the line.
Naomh Mearnog: Cian O Daly, Gar O Driscoll, Donal Lean, Stan Kinnane, Marcus Fitzmaurice, Shane Ryan, Diarmuid Keavey, Stan Kinnane 0-2, Brian Powell 0-2, Shane Nangle, Arthur Creane 0-1, Brian McCarthy 0-1, Shane Warren 1-2, Davy Byrne 0-5(0-3f), Mark Phelan 2-1. Subs: Eoin Kelly for Ryan, Dylan Kilbride for McCarthy, Tom Cosgrove for Fitzmaurice, Chris O'Sullivan for Warren, Cian Henricken 1-1 for Byrne.