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Sunday 23 September 2018

Firman on fire

GAA Greenstar U-20 Hurling Championship Round 2: St. Martin's 1-19 Oylegate-Glenbrien 4-8

Michael Heffernan, Division 1A in Piercestown

A clinical display by Kyle Firman proved to be crucial in St. Martin's seeing off Oylegate-Glenbrien in round two of the Greenstar Under-20 hurling Division 1A championship in Piercestown on Wednesday.

While there was very little separating the sides in the end, St. Martin's were the stronger throughout, playing a much more confident brand of hurling.

This was exemplified by Firman who hit a personal salvo of 1-7, all of which came from play bar one superb line ball just metres from the end line.

The visitors started brightest, running into a four-point lead after eight minutes largely thanks to a long-range goal from Richard Murphy.

The home side closed the gap through Firman and Conor Coleman but, after a well-worked move, Eoghan Herlihy was on hand to bury a shot to the roof of the net midway through the half.

But Oylegate-Glenbrien failed to capitalise on this lead as the home side got down to business, with Coleman hitting a brace before he set up Firman for a well-taken goal.

Firman added two more to put his side ahead and, with help from Coleman, St. Martin's were three ahead with five minutes remaining in the half.

They kept this lead up to the break even after conceding a penalty which Jack Reck converted.

With Firman continuing to do damage every time he got possession, it was a lead that the eventual winners managed to hold throughout the second-half.

Firman, Jack Devereux and Philip McDermott exchanged scores with Barry Doyle, and a stubborn defence marshalled by Ben Maddock and Philip Dempsey ensured that the visitors were made work for every ball and scores were hard to come by.

A late goal by a substitute, Tommy O'Rourke, did offer some hope but ace marksmen Firman and Coleman closed out the game with some well-taken scores to ensure St. Martin's made it two wins from two.

St. Martin's: Shane Walsh; Sam Audsley, Philip Dempsey, Paddy Gallagher; Conor Kelly, Ben Maddock (0-1), Philip McDermott (0-2); Adam Cantwell, Jack Devereux (0-2); Conor Devereux (0-1), Conor Coleman (0-6, 5 frees), Ben Stafford; Liam Ó Lionáin, Kyle Firman (1-7, 0-1 line ball), Jack Roche. Subs. - Zac Firman for Stafford, Michael Codd for Gallagher, Brandon Dodd for Ó Lionáin, Conor Stafford for Kelly.

Oylegate-Glenbrien: Kevin Cosgrave; Evan Kelly, Lee Kehoe, Joe Foley; Conor Nolan (0-2), Peter Rowley, Gary Conroy; Tom White (0-1), Jack Reck (1-1, 1-0 pen., 0-1 free); Ryan Hill, Eoghan Herlihy (1-0), Richard Murphy (1-0); Fiachra Hourihane, Pierce Murphy, Barry Doyle (0-4, 2 frees). Subs. - Tommy O'Rourke (1-0) for Kehoe, Adam Shanahan for Foley, Adam Gethings for R. Murphy.

Referee: David O'Leary (Rathnure).

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