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'We had a dressing-down, a few home truths were told' - Water break key as Shelmaliers book final spot

Shelmaliers 3-20 Glynn-Barntown 0-16

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Joe Kelly of Shelmaliers scores his side's first goal despite the efforts of Ger Dempsey of Glynn-Barntown

Joe Kelly of Shelmaliers scores his side's first goal despite the efforts of Ger Dempsey of Glynn-Barntown

Joe Kelly of Shelmaliers scores his side's first goal despite the efforts of Ger Dempsey of Glynn-Barntown

Water breaks are designed to quench thirst in a safe manner, but they can also be momentum generators, or breakers, as Shelmaliers found out to their benefit and Glynn-Barntown to their cost in this first Wexford SHC semi-final yesterday.

When referee John Carton blew around the 17th minute for some quick respite, Glynn-Barntown were 0-7 to 0-2 ahead and comfortable.

By the time Carton called for half-time, the game was careering off in a completely different direction, Shelmaliers’ recovery yielding 2-6 to their opponents’ solitary point as they established a 2-8 to 0-8 interval lead.

You could hear the harsh words from the Shelmaliers’ water break ‘discussions’ booming across a sparsely populated Wexford Park.

“The water break came at a good time for us, we had a dressing-down, a few home truths were told,” acknowledged Shelmaliers’ Wexford defender Simon Donohue.

“From playing in the full-back line you could see that we just weren’t working. When we went in we just had a go at each other. When you work things can fall into place, balls will fall to you.”

For manager Vinny Parker, it was the players themselves who identified that they “hadn’t been up to the mark”. “Another bad five minutes and it was slipping away,” he said.

The transformation was telling. Conor Mahoney did get in for Glynn-Barntown’s solitary second-quarter point, but otherwise it was all Shelmaliers as their touch and anticipation improved.

With Eoin Doyle and Conor Hearne managing to break the early grip that John Lacey and the impressive Brendan Doyle had established around midfield early on, and Shelmaliers reverting to a ‘man-to-man’ approach after deploying Donohoe as a sweeper early on, their dominance began to tell.

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Jody Donohoe swept over a long-range point to level, 0-8 each, and those kind ‘breaks’ that Simon Donohoe referenced as a reward for hard work manifested for both goals.

Rebound

Joe Kelly read the rebound off a post from a Doyle shot to pounce in the 32nd minute before Sean Keane Carroll, who wore the No 6 jersey but played at half-forward, read a break off Kelly correctly to race through for a second goal less than a minute later.

Needless to say, the half-time ‘chat’ was a little more reserved than the previous one.

Glynn-Barntown, who had knocked out reigning champions St Martin’s in the quarter-final, regained some ground with early second-half points from Mahoney and John Lacey from a free and were still just four points off in the 38th minute, 2-11 to 0-13, when Gary Moore pointed after a great catch. But a third Shelmaliers goal in the 41st minute, this time from James Cash who read a dropping ball to perfection in behind the cover, knocked the wind out of them.

“We have been told we don’t have forwards to score goals or we don’t score enough but we scored 22 points the last day against a blanket defence (Faythe Harriers), we scored 3-20 today,” Simon Donohoe reasoned.

Rowan White scored Glynn-Barntown’s last point in the 49th minute to make it 3-13 to 0-16, with Shelmaliers then hitting the last seven in succession as Kelly and Glen and Brian Malone in the half-back line really stood up.

Wexford drew some criticism for their decision to front-load the hurling championship instead of alternating the codes from weekend to weekend – the suggestion being that they were facilitating Wexford’s hurling training schedule.

But the benefits of a sole focus from week-to-week for a county stacked with dual clubs was clearly evident in the standard and pace of this game.

“The way forward is to split your hurling and football championships,” said Simon Donohoe.

“We’re a dual club, we want to give both championships a good rattle, and when you can concentrate on one, you can work on tactics better.

“When you have this format (week-to-week) all you are doing is playing matches. That’s all you want.”

Shelmaliers were last Wexford champions in 2014, but on this evidence that’s a short gap that they could well be about to bridge.

Scorers – Shelmaliers: R Banville 0-8 (5fs, 1 ’65), J Kelly 1-2; S Keane Carroll, J Cash 1-1 each; J Donohoe 0-2; A Cash, E Doyle, G Malone, A Murphy, C Hearne, C Walsh 0-1 each.

Glynn-Barntown: J Lacey 0-5 (5f), C Mahoney, R White 0-3 each; M Doyle, G Moore (1 sl) 0-2 each; M Joyce 0-1.

Shelmaliers – B Murphy; J Donohoe, S Donohoe, A Cash; G Malone, B Malone, C Walsh; C Hearne, E Doyle; J Cash,

R Banville, S Keane Carroll; E Nolan, J Kelly, C Shaughnessy. Subs: A Murphy for Banville (55), K Roche for Hearne (56), D O’Neill for J Cash (60), A O’Brien for Donohoe (62).

Glynn-Barntown – M Fanning; J Fenlon, P Donnelly, Dempsey; D Clarke, M O’Regan, A Cowman; J Lacey, B Doyle; M Doyle, C Mahoney, M Doyle; M Joyce, G Moore, R White. Subs: F Cooney for Cowman (39), S Wilde for Joyce (52), D Bannon for Mahoney (53).

Ref – J Carton.


Cullen inspires Naomh Éanna surge

Naomh Éanna 1-20 Oulart-The Ballagh 1-19

A towering display from Jack Cullen drove Naomh Éanna back to a Wexford SHC final but they left it late against a spirited Oulart-The Ballagh.

Conor McDonald had struggled to make an impact on Conor Goff for much of the game but he rose to the occasion when it mattered most with the lead point at the death, denying Oulart who led for much of the game.

Cullen scored two points, one a magnificent effort when he returned a clearance from Oulart goalkeeper Darragh Hayes in the second half, and ruled the skies. Naomh Éanna had led only once before that late score, when a Gary Molloy goal put them a point ahead, 1-3 to 0-5, after nine minutes but the advantage didn’t last long.

Instead they were made to chase a game on which Gareth Sinnott made a big impact with a tally of 1-3 and Billy Dunne fired over eight frees.

Naomh Éanna got level on 48 minutes with a Pádraig Doyle free but they were hit after the second-half water break with that Sinnott goal.

They kept coming and that Cullen point had them level again in the 58th minute and while they fell behind one more time their persistence paid off.

Scorers – Naomh Éanna: P Doyle 0-7 (4f); C McDonald 0-3; G Molloy 1-0; J Cullen, D Hayes, C Dunbar, all 0-2; C Molloy, D O’Brien, A Doyle, S Doyle, all 0-1. Oulart-The Ballagh: B Dunne 0-8 (8fs); G Sinnott 1-3; K Sheridan, P Sutton 0-2 each; J Roche, C O’Leary, M Doyle, M Óg Storey, all 0-1.

Naomh Éanna – J Cushe; P Travers, T Stafford, B Travers; S Doyle, J Cullen, E Conroy; A Doyle, G Molloy; C McGuckin, P Doyle, C Molloy; C Dunbar, C McDonald, D O’Brien. Subs: D Hughes for O’Brien (48).

Oulart-The Ballagh – D Hayes; N Redmond, C Goff, J Roche; A Roche, S Murphy, K Sheridan; E Moore, B Dunne; G Sinnott, M Doyle, C O’Leary; T Storey, M Óg Storey, P Sutton. Subs: N Kirwan for Doyle (32), D Gray for T Storey (42), T Dunne for O’Leary.

Ref – G McGrath


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