Castletown hit back
SFC Group A: Castletown 0-17 Gusserane 0-4
Castletown got their first Senior football championship Group A win of the season under their belts in convincing fashion against Gusserane in Bellefield on Friday.
The men in maroon trailed to Adrian Flynn's third-minute point, but they were never behind again after Robbie Brooks equalised as their opponents failed to score again from play in the rest of the contest.
That says a little about how this game went but it is only part of the story. The New Ross District side were competitive for most of the first-half and only trailed by 0-6 to 0-3 when they began to get struck down by a string of injuries.
Seán 'Mini' Ryan never looked fully fit but battled away for 27 minutes for his side's cause. While that left 'Plan A' in turmoil, it was blown to pieces when Adrian Flynn clutched at his groin after sprinting back looking for possession three minutes later.
Up to that point Flynn had been the focal point of the Gusserane attack and was edging a fascinating battle with Danny Gardiner. While he carried on impeded, his side never looked the same after that and Castletown were dominant.
The Gorey District crew looked like they were stinging from their opening round loss against St. Martin's. The defeat gave them added pep in their performance and they never really came off the accelerator throughout the 60 minutes.
Every one of their starting forwards scored from play and that in itself says a lot about how they were purring in attack, content to work possession to the free man, safe in the knowledge that they were in complete control the longer the game went on.
Two Jonathan Bealin points helped Castletown into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead at the end of the opening quarter, but Flynn scored two of the next three minors to leave just two between the sides after 21 minutes.
Bealin rattled the crossbar in the 23rd minute but his team-mates didn't panic, as they worked the ball back out to Ben Brosnan and he kicked his third point.
A manageable three-point deficit expanded to five by the break after two more Bealin points (0-8 to 0-3).
Flynn scored a 32nd-minute free to close the gap to four but his side rarely threatened again. James Holmes, Brendan Halpin and Peter Devine all added their names to the scoresheet as Castletown eased 0-13 to 0-4 in front at the end of the third quarter.
Their victory was marred when Colm Morris was dismissed for lashing out at Shane Cullen in the final ten minutes, but Gusserane also finished with 14 after Liam Dillon was subsequently sent-off.
Ross Cody and Jody O'Shaughnessy registered late and Bealin brought his tally to seven as Castletown eased further clear.
Castletown: Anthony Masterson; Conor Carty, Danny Gardiner, Peter Devine (0-1); Killian Pierce, Colm Morris, Ross Cody (0-1); Joe Gardiner, Rory Heffernan; Robbie Brooks (0-1), Jonathan Bealin (0-7, 5 frees), Jody O'Shaughnessy (0-1); Brendan Halpin (0-1), James Holmes (0-1), Ben Brosnan (0-4). Subs. - Donnacha Holmes for J. Holmes (49), Stephen Moloney for O'Shaughnessy (55), Joe Ahern for Pierce (60+1).
Gusserane: Micheál Ryan; Liam Dillon, Gavin Sheehan, Jack Burford; Adrian Redmond, Mark O'Neill, Sam Wall; John Roche, Cillian Kehoe; Eoin Ryan, Graeme Cullen (capt.), Páraic Conway; Darragh Doyle, Adrian Flynn (0-4, 3 frees), Seán Ryan. Subs. - Shane Cullen for S. Ryan, inj. (27), Kenneth Cahill for Doyle, inj. (31), Donal Kiely for Flynn, inj .(50), Tom Foran for S. Cullen, inj. (52), Mark Kehoe for G. Cullen, inj. (55).
Referee: John Carton (Monageer-Boolavogue).