Wins for Cootehill and East Cavan Gaels hurlers

Senior Hurling League round-up

Cootehill Celtic 5-16

Mullahoran St. Joseph’s 1-4

Defending champions Cootehill Celtic sent out a powerful warning to their rivals for the senior county league title when they overwhelmed Mullahoran St. Joseph’s in a lop-sided tie at Hugh O’Reilly Memorial Park, Cootehill.

Cootehill hit the ground running and never looked back as they put a hugely understrength opposition to the sword in clinical fashion.

Star man Mark Moffett notched a brace of points inside the opening 90 seconds to set the tone and while Bart Nannery got the visitors up and running with a point in the 9th minute, the lights remained stuck on green and white as the first half gathered pace.

Mullahoran netminder James Gallagher had to be smart to save on the double from James McKay and Moffett in the same incident as Cootehill laid siege to their opponents’ goal.

Cootehill eventually found the net in the 16th minute when Christopher Dunne scored in a one-on-one with ‘keeper Gallagher and Moffett’s clinical strike less than a minute later helped propel the Hoops into a mammoth 2-11 to 0-2 interval lead.

Cootehill rang the changes on the restart but their dominance remained unaltered with a point apiece from Emmet Magee and Moffett making it a 17 point game by the 36th minute.

Mullahoran did get some relief in the 39th minute when Anthony Sheridan fed Andrew Donohoe for their only goal of the game to make it 2-14 to 1-3.

Cootehill’s superior mobility and cohesion kept their opponents under the cosh and a Moffett goal (41) and a Conor Bannon major (58) completed the rout.

Cootehill Celtic: Niall Clerkin; Padraig Jackson (0-1), Enda Shalvey; Darragh Boyle, Colm Shalvey (0-1) ; Lonan McKenna (0-1), John Carney (0-1); Rian Delaney (0-1), Mark Moffett (2-6, 2f); Christopher Dunne (1-0), James McKay (0-2).

Subs used; Thomas Leonard (0-1); Shay Denning; Conor Bannon (1-0); Ronan Brady; James McKitterick; Emmet Magee (0-3); Brandon McGerty; Philip McCabe; Conor Shalvey; Oliver Leddy (1-1); Jason Halton; Joe Kelly.

Mullahoran St. Joseph’s: James Gallagher; Sean Óg Brady, Caolan Kelly; Ryan Smith, Ronan O’Hagan (0-2, 2f); Bart Nannery (0-1), Shane Shiels; Anthony Sheridan, Christopher Dalton (0-1); Vincent Dolan, Andrew Donohoe (1-0).

Ref; John Emo (Butlersbridge)

East Cavan Gaels 3-19

Pearse Óg 0-5

It was a case of ‘no contest’ in Ballyhaise on Monday evening last as East Cavan Gaels made short shrift of their senior hurling league rivals Pearse Óg.

Seldom has a scoreline fairly reflected the difference in sharpness, fitness and appetite for the fray with the ECG crew the dominant force for all but fleeting moments in a game played in perfect conditions save the fading light in the dregs of the second half.

The winners’ impressive level of fitness and their superior stickwork were stand-out features of their game with some of their finishing also redolent of a higher stage.

With the underrated Cian McEntee brilliantly anchoring the defence and county star Jack Barry lord of all he surveyed in the middle of the field, the likes of former Kilkenny underage star Canice Meagher and dual star Rory Farrell were given ample supply of the ball and they, along with their lieutenants gave the hugely disappointing Pearse Óg crew a torrid time.

The game was largely a one-sided affair with the tide almost incessantly racing head-long the way of the Pearse Óg rearguard as early points from messrs. Meagher and McGuinness got ECG up and running.

Pearse Óg seemed powerless to prevent their opponents from hoovering up breaking ball and breaking forward at speed with just intermittent attacks – supplemented by the free taking of James Smith – halting ECG’s progress.

And despite the best efforts of players such as Daire Madden, the aforementioned Smith and Brian O’ Rourke, the chasing team were soon chasing shadows, going seven points behind before ECG bagged their first goal.

Indeed, once the hat-trick of goals were notched by Bailieboro Shamrocks clubman Rory Farrell midway through the first half any doubt surrounding the destination of the spoils was immediately removed.

Farrell’s majors allied to some fine point taking from the likes of Meagher and Jack Barry helped to catapult ECG into an insurmountable 3-14 to 0-1 interval lead with James Smith’s free (11) the would-be losers’ only reply on the scoreboard.

Pearse Óg did improve on the restart but even their game of damage limitation was long over with James Smith’s subsequent points of merely consolation value.

With the fading light and a more stubborn Pearse Óg performance in the second half, ECG’s tally of scores declined but they had done more than enough to suggest that they will be a major force in senior hurling circles this year.

East Cavan Gaels: Dave Higgins; Declan Mernagh, Cian McEntee, Derek Argue, Adam Baldwin, Joey Jordan, Jack Barry (0-3), Conor Walsh, Tadhg Barry (0-2), Canice Meagher (0-8, 3f), Philip Duffy (0-1), Kyle McGuinness (0-3), Rory Farrell (3-2).

Subs used; Gary Leddy; Andrew Farrelly.

Pearse Óg: Michael Hill; Colm Brady, Darragh Brady, Daithí Neary, Liam Óg Cooke (0-1) , Matthew Plunkett, James Smith (0-4, 3f), Brian O’Rourke, Darragh Madden, Bo Last, Conor Masterson, Jamie Masterson, Niall Plunkett.

Ref; James Clarke (Killinkere)