Minor footballers lose out in Ennis
It was a most frustrating evening for the Waterford Minor Footballers as they went to Limerick on Wednesday of last week in the opening game of their Provincial campaign. The final scoreline of 1-10 to 0-9 probably does not do justice to the huge effort put in by the young lads from the Deise.
The opening score of the game came for Waterford after seven minutes as Sean Whelan-Barrett pointed. The home side reacted immediately with points from midfielder Karl Moloney, Niall McAuliffe, Noel Callanan and Sean Ryan which saw them
0-4 to 0-1 ahead as the clock passed the twenty minute mark. Waterford were dealt a huge blow in the 23rd minute when Rathgormack dual player Billy Power was ordered off although there was an amount of frustration and anger on the part of the players and management as it did appear that a free should have accrued to Waterford just before that sending off. Behind 0-7 to 0-2 and playing with fourteen players, few would hold out hope of a win for the visitors.
In the 33 minute Mark Twomey converted a point for Waterford and scores from Ballinacourty clubman Whelan-Barrett, Tom Barron and Daragh O'Keeffe saw the Deise trail by three 0-9 to 0-6 midway through the half. Indeed the Barron effort had goal written all over it but the ball just grazed the crossbar as it flew over. Over the following minutes
Waterford had two efforts just off target as they fought to reduce the deficit and a superb save from Limerick keeper Cian Walsh denied Sean Whelan-Barrett a certain goal. As the game entered the final minutes and a point between the sides, a penalty appeal for Waterford was turned down and almost immediately after the home side had swept upfield for substitute Calvin Moran to breach the Waterford defence and goal. Game over but a huge effort from the Waterford lads.
The Waterford lads will travel to Ennis on Wednesday next for meeting with Clare and if they can win their following game would be at home to Tipperary. However let's take one step at a time. We've seen a splendid effort which I'm pretty sure will give the lads plenty of confidence as they cross the Shannon.
GUNNERS SHOW FAVOURITES FORM
The opening round of the JJ Kavanagh Waterford Senior Hurling Championship had very few shocks. Reigning kingpins Ballygunner showed they still have the winning mentality as they powered through Tallow in Fraher Field, running out hugely comprehensive winners on a 3-25 to 0-5 scoreline. The Gunners were sent on their way to this win compliment of goals in the opening half from Paudie Mahony (18 mins) and Tim O'Sullivan (27 mins), giving them a lead that they never subsequently looked like losing. The third goal came midway through the second half and saw the champions lead extended to 3-17 to 0-5. Tallow had lost the will and Ballygunner continued with "shooting practice" right to end.
On Saturday in Walsh Park there was an opening day success for Roanmore who accounted for Portlaw1-17 to 1-12. The "Light Blues" were in control from the start and led 1-10 to 0-4 at the break thanks to a Paul O'Sullivan goal and some superb shooting from Billy Nolan. In the second half the men from the Tannerytown lifted their game and fought hard to close the deficit. However, they just could not get within striking distance despite some heroic efforts. Roanmore were reduced to fourteen following the dismissal of Gavin O'Brien and DJ Foran blasted to the net but that all important goal, when it arrived, was too late. Emmett O'Toole and his Roanmore colleagues closed out the win.
Honour laden Mount Sion and Fourmilewater faced off in Fraher Field on Saturday evening in a repeat of their 2016 opening group game. The Ballymacarbry club have been quietly building their force’s over the past few years and believe that a real challenge for the Waterford news and Star Cup may not be far away. However they knew that a positive start can also be a huge help and this accomplished with aplomb as they completed the task courtesy of a 0-23 to
1-13 scoreline. County players
Jamie Barron and Conor Gleeson were the architects of the Fourmilewater win although they did see their defence breached late on for Stephen Roche to goal. Mount Sion have been through this crisis before and manager Nicky Mackey and his backroom team will be only too aware that a couple of positive results can change the whole season.
City side De La Salle were also on the winner's list at the weekend as they overcame Ballyduff Upper on a 0-21 to 1-13 scoreline. The winners who saw veteran John Mullane and Shane Ryan in sparkling form, led 0-13 to 1-6 at the break although the sides were deadlocked on fifteen minutes 0-4 apiece. The Ballyduff Upper goal came from Kevin Casey in the 21st minute. The Stephen Street outfit continued to hold the upper hand throughout the second half and will be delighted to have put two points "in the bank" from their opening encounter.
What appeared the tie of the round in Fraher Field really turned out to be most disappointing as Dungarvan completely overwhelmed Abbeyside on a 2-19 to 0-8 scoreline. The winners, who have certainly promised much in recent years, were boosted by a goal from Ryan Donnelly in the 12th minute on their way to a 1-6 to 0-4 half time lead. A goal early in the second half from Cormac Curran extended the lead to nine points 2-7 to 0-4. Abbeyside were playing catchup but never really looked like breaching the deficit. Four superb points from Cathal Curran extended the Dungarvan lead and in the end they had a very comfortable fifteen points to spare.
The biggest shock of the opening round featured in the double header in Fraher Field. Intermediate champions of 2016, Lismore, faced Passage who were, quite rightly, short listed by many as one of the teams with the potential to win the competition. It all went as expected in the opening half as Passage swamped the opposition to lead 3-13 to 1-3 at the break. The Passage goals from Eoin Kelly, John Whitty and Thomas Connors served to show what many believed was the perceived gap between the top senior sides and the next rung. However few expected Lismore to be overwhelmed like this. Dan Shanahan had the Lismore goal as the Cathedral Town lads just failed to fire in the opening half. On the turnover Maurice Shanahan breached the Passage defence and goaled and when he set up brother Dan for another goal a minute later there was a chink of light beginning to appear 3-13 to
3-3. A chink of light and climbing the mountain are two completely different things. A point from Eoin Kelly was answered with Maurice Shanahan shooting four points 3-14 to 3-7.
Were we witnessing the mother of all comebacks? The game was going through a complete transformation. Forty year old Dan Shanahan billowed the net on 45 minutes for his hat trick and when Maurice added two points and then goaled Lismore were ahead 5-10 to 3-14. Incredibly from sixteen points down and looking completely overawed the Cathedral Town were in front and threatening with every ball.
The last goal for the winners saw "Big Dan" collect and crash the ball to the net ultimately a winning strike. Lismore keeper Seanie Barry had to be called into action to keep his line intact as Passage saw this game slip away. Few could have predicted the second half turnaround. It was a terrific second half performance from Lismore who outscored their opponents 5-10 to 0-6 in that second thirty minutes. The losers will no doubt recharge their energy and will still be a force in the competition but on this day the Shanahan Brothers (Dan and Maurice) were the architects of a Lismore win and contributed a combined 6 goals and 9 points between them.