Clongeen earn a vital lifeline Mellows start was false dawn
CLONGEEN GAVE their qualification hopes a lift when they recovered from a bad start to beat Liam Mellows in this Top Oil Intermediate 'A' hurling championship Group A clash in Hollymount on Sunday last.
The wind-aided north county men were boosted by a Gavin Stamp goal from a Yusuf Frih handpass after two minutes, but they failed to make the most of the wind and only led by 1-5 to 0-7 at the break.
Midfielders Conor Carty (two) and Danny Gardiner were responsible for some good long-range points, although the accuracy of free-takers Jamesie Rochford and Emmet Kent plus centre-forward Donal Murphy ensured that Clongeen stayed in touch.
Tony Bennett equalised within seconds of the re-start, and the key score arrived in the 32nd minute when a Paudie Cullen delivery was finished to the net by his namesake, Christopher, for a 1-8 to 1-5 lead.
Ten scoreless minutes followed before Emmet Kent increased the advantage from a long-range free, and spirited Clongeen were looking like winners thereafter even though Danny Gardiner replied with a Liam Mellows point.
Kent (free), Tony Bennett and Jamesie Rochford widened the gap before the Coolgreany men were thrown a lifeline seven minutes from the end when Gavin Stamp struck for his second goal after Stephen O'Rafferty's free from the left was batted out (1-12 to 2-6).
However, Clongeen kept their composure and added points through Donal Murphy, Emmet Kent ('65) and Jamesie Rochford (free) while Stephen O'Rafferty (free) and Yusuf Frih responded.
Clongeen: Danny O'Grady; Stephen Curtis, Lorcan Kent, Marty Reville; David Whelan, Emmet Kent (0-5, 3 frees, 2 '65s), Nicky O'Sullivan; Paudie Cullen, Donal Whelan; Enda Murphy, Donal Murphy (0-3), Jamesie Rochford (0-4, 3 frees); Tony Bennett (0-2), Collie Byrne, Christopher Cullen (1-1). Subs. - Paul Curtis for David Whelan (48), Paudie Cahill for Byrne (57), Jamie Keating for C. Cullen (62).
Liam Mellows: Tom Lawlor; Conor Cleary, Barry McGlynn, Peter Fogarty; George Sunderland, Risteárd Kinsella, Andy Merrigan; Conor Carty (0-2), Danny Gardiner (0-2); Stephen O'Rafferty (0-2 frees), Donal Kavanagh, Richard Farrell; Yusuf Frih (0-1), Gavin Stamp (2-1), Jesse Foley. Sub. - Pat Byrne for Kavanagh (26).
Referee: James Flood (St. Mary's, Maudlintown).
New Ross Standard