Gorey boys hit Shels for six
Naomh Eanna 6-9 Shelmaliers 1-7
Naomh Eanna were given a tough test by Shelmaliers in Páirc Uí Shiocháin on Tuesday but eventually pulled clear to further enhance their New Ross Standard Under-13 football Division 1 championship credentials.
The hosts came into the game on the back of two straight wins and were looking up the table and focusing on booking a knockout spot in the top division. On this showing it was easy to see why they have been in strong form.
Right from talented goalkeeper Reece Price, to their combative, miserly defence that was led by captain Tiarnan Maher, through the workhorse midfield, into a set of forwards led by the deadly Cathal O'Brien, Gorey impressed.
Yet maybe the most impressive thing about their performance wasn't how their stars played, it was the way each and every one of the Naomh Eanna players worked hard for each other. If they are to go on and succeed this season, they will need every bit of that teamwork.
Jack Roche tested Price early but Gorey quickly got a foothold in the game. Luke Christie and Robert Wall kicked tidy points before the latter set up Jack Nolan for the opening goal in the seventh minute.
Joe O'Leary replied with a dead-ball at the other end, and Rian Ormonde then followed it with a classy point to make it 1-2 to 0-2.
Shels couldn't keep the pressure up and O'Brien soon netted the first of his major treble, while Nolan and John Connors also registered to send Gorey in 2-6 to 0-2 ahead at the interval.
The visitors needed a big burst after the break and to their credit they delivered. O'Leary kicked a couple of frees and then turned provider for a mazy Jack Roche run that ended with the powerful wing-forward drilling low to the Gorey net.
Suddenly, with just five between the sides, Naomh Eanna responded. They needed a hero at this stage and it came in the guise of Cathal O'Brien. He scored 2-3 in the next nine minutes to send his team into an unassailable 4-9 to 1-5 lead.
Freed from goalkeeping duties, Paddy Connors landed two fantastic points for Shelmaliers heading into the final stages.
The scoreline got a bit skewed in added time as Cian Wilson and Luke Christie both raised green flags to see Gorey to an impressive victory.
Naomh Eanna: Reece Price; Alex Cousins, Tom Stokes, Conor Robinson; Casey Travers, Tiarnan Maher (capt.), Darragh Kelly; James Kenny, Robert Wall (0-1); Cathal O'Brien (3-4, 0-1 free), George Kavanagh, Luke Christie (1-1); Bradley James, Jack Nolan (1-2), Cian Levingston. Subs. (rolling) - John Connors (0-1), Cian Wilson (1-0), Conor Flynn, Matthew Ryan.
Shelmaliers: Paddy Connors (0-2); J.P. Fielding, Jack Kelly, Joshua Roche; Alan Neville, Evan Gillen, Evan Hearne; John Sunderland, Rian Ormonde (0-1); Jamie Doyle, Joe O'Leary (0-4 frees), Jack Roche (1-0); Jack Delaney, Conor Martin, Joe Coone. Subs. (rolling) - Eoin Howlin, Colm Kelly, Mark Palmer, Seán Denton, Luke Corrigan, Liam Kielthy, Cian Hanrahan.
Referee: Catherine Boggan (Kilrush).