Gusserane come good
GAA Greenstar U-20 Hurling Championship Round 2: Gusserane 3-15 Rathgarogue-Cushinstown 3-12
Gusserane gave neighbours Rathgarogue-Cushinstown a nine-point head start before stepping up considerably to edge the verdict in this entertaining Greenstar Under-20 hurling Division 2A championship clash in sun-splashed Tom Somers Memorial Park, Ballygarvan, on Wednesday.
The visitors were rampant in the first ten minutes, surging into a 2-4 to 0-1 lead after rattling the net twice in the early stages.
Industrious full-forward Shane O'Connor finished the first after a strong solo run by midfielder Tadhg Cody, with the second swept home 90 seconds later by Jack Murphy.
The Gusserane revival got under way at the start of the second quarter when centre-back Gavin Sheehan joined the attack to crash home a fine goal (2-6 to 1-3).
And although Cody sent over a free in reply, the home side netted again in lucky circumstances on the 18-minute mark.
Stand-in Rathgarogue-Cushinstown netminder Eric Cummins - who later moved outfield - misjudged a ball in from the left by Kevin O'Donohoe, and this resulted in a simple finish for Micheál Ryan who is more regularly seen between the posts for his side's adult teams.
Free-taker Sam Wall, Mark O'Neill and O'Donohoe all contributed points for Gusserane, but they still trailed by 3-8 to 2-8 at half-time after Jack Murphy and Darragh Roche combined to set up Eoin Devereux for a well-worked Rathgarogue-Cushinstown goal in the 27th minute.
The exchanges remained even on the re-start, with Gusserane taking the lead for the first time near the end of the third quarter when Kevin O'Donohoe cut in from the left corner and blasted the ball past new Rathgarogue-Cushinstown goalkeeper Eoin Devereux (3-11 to 3-10).
Tadhg Cody brought the visitors level, but they were outscored by four points to one in the closing 13 minutes.
Sam Wall (three, two frees) and Martin Stafford got the game-clinchers for Gusserane, with that sole response arriving from Darragh Roche.
Gusserane: Tommy Ryan; Donal Kinsella, Donal Kiely, Stephen Whelan; Jamie Sheehan, Gavin Sheehan (1-0), Eoin Codd; Mark Kehoe, Martin Stafford (0-2); Eoin Stafford, Mark O'Neill (capt., 0-3), Micheál Ryan (1-0); Seán Maher (0-1), Kevin O'Donohoe (1-1), Sam Wall (0-8, 7 frees). Sub. - Micheál Hennessy for E. Stafford.
Rathgarogue-Cushinstown: Eric Cummins; John O'Keeffe, Ricky McGrath (capt.), Tomás Aspel; Darragh Roche (0-2), Eoin Porter (0-1), Adam Bookle; Tadhg Cody (0-7, 4 frees), Liam Roche; Aodhán Slattery, Paddy Barron, Eoin Burke (0-1); Jack Murphy (1-0), Shane O'Connor (1-1), Eoin Devereux (1-0). Subs. - John Forristal for Slattery (48), Patrick Kehoe for Cummins (51).
Referee: Fintan Whyte (St. James').
New Ross Standard