HWH-Bunclody 3-11 Crossabeg-Ballymurn 1-7
A blistering opening 30 minutes proved crucial as HWH-Bunclody went on to forge a comfortable ten-point victory over Crossabeg-Ballymurn in this Greenstar Under-21 football Premier championship preliminary round game in Bunclody on Sunday.
It was a big statement from the eventual winners as through that opening half they were the dominant side. Their game was packed with decisive, direct football which led to three well-executed goals, leaving them in a comfortable position at the break with an eleven-point lead.
While they may have been blitzed through that spell, credit to Crossabeg-Ballymurn who showed real improvement on the resumption, but despite enjoying far more possession they still could only contribute 1-3.
Many of their attacks fell down close to goal either through erratic finishing or coming up against some staunch defending on the part of the home side.
Within five minutes of the start HWH-Bunclody had 1-1 on the scoreboard, the point from Cathal Doyle. And following fine outfield play from Eddie Dunbar, the chance fell to John Dunne who applied the goal finish from 14 metres with a rising shot to the corner of the net.
While the visitors responded with two Conor Maddock pointed frees, the eventual winners continued to dictate the game through an Eoin Kelly point.
Dunbar also saw a goalbound effort rebound back into play off the post before eventually being cleared to safety.
Then in the space of 90 seconds the outcome was decided. After Cathal Doyle set up Eoin Kelly for a fine 19th-minute goal, Darren Murphy applied the goal finish 90 seconds later, scores that helped the home side to a 3-6 to 0-4 interval lead, with the opposition points arriving through Oran Maddock and Paddy Devereux.
Crossabeg-Ballymurn had the ideal start on the resumption, with Evan Kinlough pointing within one minute of the re-start, while two minutes later he got his fist to a breaking ball on the fringe of the square to finish to the corner of the net, reducing the deficit seven points (3-6 to 1-5).
But Bunclody managed to maintain the momentum, with points from John Dunne and Peadair Cowman helping to lift the siege.
Both sides had periods of supremacy for the remainder of the half but there was never any doubting the eventual result, with Bunclody finishing out the game with points from John Dunne and substitute John McCormack to advance comfortably through to the 'A' quarter-final.
HWH-Bunclody: Bobby McKeown; Adam Hogan, Conor Crean, Diarmuid Crean; Byron Byrne, Martin O'Connor, Stephen Kavanagh; Josh Martin, Peadair Cowman (0-2); Eddie Dunbar (0-2), Eoin Kelly (1-1), Darren Murphy (1-0); Lee Conroy, John Dunne (1-2, 0-1 free), Cathal Doyle (0-2). Subs. - Jack Regan for McKeown, inj., Tadhg Kelly for D. Crean, John McCormack (0-1) for Martin.
Crossabeg-Ballymurn: Ben Turner; Conor Gormley, Conor Barlow, Stephen Cullen; Eoin O'Connor, Oisín Foley, Alex Sludds; Paddy Devereux (0-1), David Kehoe; Robbie Murphy, Conor Maddock (0-4, 3 frees), Jack Fortune; Oran Maddock (0-1), Robert Byrne, Evan Kinlough (1-1). Subs. - Dylan Ring for Cullen, Lorcan Leacy for Foley, black card (48).
Referee: James Owens (Kilrush).