Wexford People

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Commanding second half show by Starlights

Starlights 2-10 Crossabeg-Ballymurn 0-7

Starlights booked their place in the last four of the Greenstar Under-21 football Premier 'B' championship with a commanding second-half display in Ballymurn on Saturday.

A stunning Dayle Donohoe goal late in the opening period helped them to a one-point advantage at the break (1-2 to 0-4), but they kicked on after the interval and were too hot to handle for the hosts.

Crossabeg-Ballymurn began brightly enough and got the first two points on the board, with Jack Fortune finding the range inside two minutes and Conor Maddock doubling their tally with a placed ball with 11 minutes on the clock.

There was a goal chance at either end in between those two scores, with Jack Doyle forcing a smart save out of Crossabeg-Ballymurn goalkeeper Ben Turner, after linking up with Diarmuid Byrne, and Lorcan Leacy seeing his effort blocked on the line after gathering an Eoin O'Connor pass.

Aaron Dobbs got Starlights off the mark with a well-struck free off the ground midway through the half and Craig Foley followed it up with an eye-catching point on the run after good work from William Doyle.

A Conor Maddock free nosed Crossabeg-Ballymurn back in front and Jack Fortune was inches away from raising a green flag for the hosts in the 26th minute, but they were hit by a sucker-punch in first-half injury time.

After a flowing move, Nathan O'Connor sent Dayle Donohoe in the clear and he unleashed bullet of a shot from 30 yards that fizzed past Turner and into the net.

Robert Byrne did manage an instant reply for Crossabeg-Ballymurn, when he turned well and fired over, but that late Donohoe goal definitely gave the visitors an extra pep to their step at the break.

As they had in the first-half, the hosts again got the first two scores, with Conor Maddock following a good point from play with a free, but Starlights took a firm grip thereafter, with the impressive Ryan Hadley coming out with the ball time and time again, Dylan Redmond a constant commanding figure and Dayle Donohoe causing all sorts of problems for the defence with his direct running.

The lively Donohoe edged Starlights in front with two points, before Redmond finished off a good move by planting the ball over the black spot.

Robert Byrne slotted over a free to bring the hosts back to within a point, but they failed to work the scoreboard again as the Enniscorthy side assumed full control for the final quarter.

Nathan O'Connor was covering plenty of ground on the right wing and he linked up well with Donohoe before popping over a point in the 45th minute and they tightened their grip on the contest when the impressive Craig Foley plundered their second goal moments later.

Dylan Redmond floated a free into the danger zone and Foley gathered amid a sea of bodies, before squeezing the ball to the net.

Starlights finished off the game with a flourish, with Dylan McVeigh, Craig Foley, Aaron Dobbs and Dayle Donohoe all contributing stylish scores as they set up a semi-final clash against Forth and Bargy Gaels in Tagoat on Saturday.

Starlights: Anthony Lynch; John Murphy, Ronan Kirwan, Ryan Hadley; Craig Foley (1-2), Dylan Redmond (0-1), Nathan O'Connor (0-1); Aaron Dobbs (0-2, 1 free), Dayle Donohoe (1-3, 0-1 free); Jack Doyle, Dylan McVeigh (0-1), Anthony Murphy; Diarmuid Byrne, Tyler O'Connor, William Doyle.

Crossabeg-Ballymurn: Ben Turner; Conor Gormley, Oisin Foley, Conor Barlow; Robbie Murphy, David Kehoe, Alex Sludds; Cathal Devereux, Conor Maddock (0-4, 3 frees); Oran Maddock, Robert Byrne (0-2, 1 free), Jack Fortune (0-1); Evan Kinlough, Eoin O'Connor, Lorcan Leacy. Sub. - Steven Cullen for Leacy.

Referee: Ian Plunkett (Marshalstown-Castledockrell).

Wexford People