LIAM MELLOWS 2-15 SHAMROCKS 1-10
LIAM MELLOWS continued their impressive form with a straightforward 2-15 to 1-10 victory over struggling Shamrocks in Sunday’s rather tame Joyces Expert Intermediate ‘A’ hurling championship round four game in Monamolin.
One of only two teams boasting a one hundred per cent record across the top three grades, along with Intermediate standard-bearers Oulart-The Ballagh, last year’s runners-up can secure top spot in Group A with a draw versus Shelmaliers this Saturday night in Camolin.
Shamrocks adopted a sweeper system, with the experienced Mick Weafer the designated free man, and if their intention was to keep it tight early on, they suffered a killer blow right from the throw-in when Joe Gardiner surged through the middle and fed Eoin Cullen to goal after eleven seconds.
And Cullen added two points from play either side of Gardiner finishing off a counter-attack to point after Gavin Stamp produced a good save from Jack Moorehouse.
Conor Carty swung over to make it 1-4 to 0-1 after 18 minutes, and he was soon conjuring up a goal out of nothing to put the game already beyond the Templeshannon lads.
Goalkeeper Jamie Dagg had gathered an under-hit ball and after surveying the options ahead of him, attempted to handpass to a colleague. However, Carty nipped in to block the pass and pulled to the net to open up a 2-7 to 0-4 lead by half-time.
Substitute John O’Connor and Podge Doyle both hit nice responses for Shamrocks after the break, to go with a free and ’65 from Seán Wildes, but Liam Mellows kept the scoreboard moving through Ross Cody (twice), Rory Heffernan, Jack Higgins and Cullen (free).
Shamrocks did finish better by outscoring the victors by 1-2 to 0-2, although some of that can be attributed to Liam Mellows easing off the throttle.
Still, Brandon O’Connor was particularly prominent down the home straight, rifling home an excellent consolation goal five minutes from time, and also firing another goal attempt just over the bar.
Wildes also tapped over a free with Carty adding his second point in injury-time to consign Shamrocks to their fourth straight defeat. However, destiny is very much in their own hands as they will avoid a relegation decider if they defeat St. Martin’s this Saturday night.
Liam Mellows: Gavin Stamp; Aaron Condren, Danny Gardiner, Andy Merrigan; Frank Roche, Colin Kennedy, Richard Farrell; Ross Cody (0-2), Rory Heffernan (0-3); Liam Coleman, Joe Gardiner (0-2), Brendan Halpin; Conor Carty (1-2), Robbie Brooks, Eoin Cullen (1-5, 0-1 free). Subs. - Jack Higgins (0-1) for Brooks (HT), Marc Halpin for B. Halpin (38), Seánie O’Hagan for Farrell (51).
Shamrocks: Jamie Dagg; George Wheelock, Anthony Wallace, Ricky Murphy; Aaron Wallace, Bob Jacob, Podge Doyle (0-1); Shane Larkin, Maurice Casey (0-1); Ciarán Joyce, Emmet Quirke, Seán Wildes (0-5, 4 frees, 1 ’65); Brandon O’Connor (1-2), Mick Weafer, Jack Moorehouse. Subs. - John O’Connor (0-1) for Moorehouse (HT), Glen Nolan for Aaron Wallace (39), George Jacob for Quirke (43), Rhys Dunne for Weafer, inj. (47), Jim Jacob for Larkin (60+1).
Referee: John Carton (Monageer-Boolavogue).