Sport Hurling

Tuesday 20 March 2018

O'Donnell does the damage as Fullen Gaels show their mettle



Manchester's Fullen Gaels sent Leinster champions Ballinamere crashing out in this war of attrition.

The exiles raced into a four-point lead within four minutes with corner-forward Peter Ryan's excellent strike past Kieran McLoughlin the only goal of the game.

The Offaly champions rallied through a couple of Stephen Weir points but Fullen Gaels struck back with four frees by wing-forward Robert O'Donnell.

Three points down at the restart, Ballinamere made the most of the wind at their backs to go level thanks to excellent long-distance efforts by Paddy Murphy and Jamie McKeogh. And it was midfielder McKeogh who blasted them into the lead midway through the half.

Martin Og Buggy tapped over a 10th point but last season's All-Ireland finalists fought back as wing-forward O'Donnell notched two vital scores to set up a January semi-final date with Antrim's Creggan Kickhams.

Scorers -- Fullen Gaels: R O'Donnell 0-6 (4fs), P Ryan 1-0, E Gleeson, G Jacob 0-1 each. Ballinamere: P Murphy 0-4 (1f); S Weir 0-3; J McKeogh 0-2; M Og Buggy 0-1.

Fullen Gaels -- T Goulding; R Wedel, L Knocker, S Wallace; E Gleeson, J O'Shaughnessy, C Maskey; S Lawless, R McEntee; R O'Donnell, G Jacob, V Morrissey; P Ryan, A O'Neill, P Duggan. Subs: E O'Brien for Wedel (19), J B O'Halloran for Morrissey (56), D Walsh for Ryan (63).

Ballinamere -- K McLoughlin; K Molloy, E Buggy, D Spollen; D Magner, G Spollen, P McDermott; K Mealiffe, J McKeogh; P Murphy, M Murphy, M Og Buggy; D Wyer, S Weir, N Minnock. Subs: A Scully for Minnock (56); R Buggy for M Murphy (60).

REF -- J Keane (Galway)

Irish Independent

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