Cloughbawn 1-19 Crossabeg-Ballymurn 1-11
CLOUGHBAWN HAD been quite competitive in their two losing outings, so it came as no great surprise when they finally managed to break their duck in Group A of the Pettitt’s Senior hurling championship with a comfortable win over Crossabeg-Ballymurn in Bellefield on Sunday.
The only unexpected aspect was the margin of victory, with the losers looking well off the pace for long spells and failing to build on the momentum that success against Faythe Harriers at the same venue just six days earlier should have generated.
Already well deserving of a 0-14 to 0-8 half-time lead – with just two wides registered in the process – the outcome was effectively put to bed with a lovely Cloughbawn goal just 20 seconds into the new period.
Bob Whitty was the instigator, flicking a ground pass to Páidí Cullen, cutting through the defence after receiving the return, and then passing unselfishly to his right for Paddy Whitty to bat to the net.
When Crossabeg-Ballymurn did manage to respond, it came in unplanned circumstances. Oisín Foley – who had moved from full-forward out to the left flank at an early stage – was clearly aiming for a point in the 44th minute, but Seán Keating misjudged his strike from distance and the ball ended in the net (1-18 to 1-10).
Cloughbawn were still too far ahead for that error to make any difference, although they may be concerned by their failure to score again after Harry Kehoe posted a fine point from near the left sideline in the 46th minute.
In truth, the fare from then until the end was quite poor, with eight barren minutes following before substitute Andrew Butler hit the game’s last point, and another eleven minutes including additional time to be endured after that.
Pádraig Foley did see a low free saved, while at the other end both Bob Whitty and Liam Flood were thwarted by netminder Noel Scallan.
Crossabeg-Ballymurn had the added annoyance of finishing the game with 14 men, after Matthew Sludds was dismissed for an incident that the already grounded Shane Kehoe was on the receiving end of in the 58th minute.
Cloughbawn had already established a nice bit of daylight by the end of the first quarter, leading by 0-7 to 0-3 after a point from Páidí Cullen after a mere 14 seconds set the tone and was added to by Liam Flood, Paddy Whitty, Bob Whitty (three, two frees) and Harry Kehoe.
Mark Byrne pulled one back from a free before the leaders pushed on even more, with four points on the trot from Bob Whitty, Connal Flood (free), Paddy Whitty and Harry Kehoe making it 0-11 to 0-4 in the 23rd minute.
Crossabeg-Ballymurn moved Shane O’Rourke in on Flood at that stage in a bid to curb his influence, and they did enjoy an improved spell as Mark Byrne (free and play) plus Oisín Foley rifled over points.
Still, Cloughbawn always seemed likely to score on their regular attacks, with Bob Whitty enjoying the freedom available on the right wing while Liam Flood and Alan Carton also chipped in.
Indeed, when the latter closed the first-half scoring to leave the Enniscorthy District side with that 0-14 to 0-8 lead, he also ensured that all six attackers had registered from play.
Bearing in mind that their goal was soft, Crossabeg-Ballymurn’s tally of just 1-3 after the break was quite poor, with nine wides amassed in the process to leave them with 14 overall.
That early Paddy Whitty major only served to increase Cloughbawn’s control, with Bob Whitty (three, two frees) and Connal Flood picking off points to ensure they weren’t even remotely upset when the green flag was surprisingly raised at the other end near the conclusion of the third quarter.
Cloughbawn: Seán Keating; Shane Kehoe, Barry Carton, James Dempsey; Barry Kehoe (capt.), Connal Flood (0-2, 1 free), Colm Kehoe; Johnny Cullen, Darragh Kehoe; Bob Whitty (0-8, 3 frees), Harry Kehoe (0-3), Páidí Cullen (0-1); Alan Carton (0-1), Liam Flood (0-2), Paddy Whitty (1-2). Subs. – Gary Kennedy for Dempsey, inj. (52), Jack Fleming for A. Carton (54).
Crossabeg-Ballymurn: Noel Scallan; Aaron Cummins, David Kehoe, Seamus Carroll; Matthew Sludds, Pádraig Foley (capt.), Bill Eviston (0-1); Ronan Devereux, Jack Fortune; Shane O’Rourke, Conor Devereux (0-1), Mark Byrne (0-6, 5 frees); Brody Murphy, Oisín Foley (1-2), Mark O’Connor. Subs. – James White for O’Rourke (34), Andrew Butler (0-1) for Fortune (47), Fortune for Cummins, inj. (52).
Referee: Gearóid McGrath (St. James’).