Intermediate Hurling Championship quarter-final
St Enda’s 1-13 Lámh Dhearg 0-09
By Kevin Herron at St Teresa’s
St Enda’s cruised into the semi-final of the Intermediate Hurling Championship after a 0-09-1-13 win over last year’s junior champions Lámh Dhearg at St Teresa’s this afternoon.
The Hightown men made use of the strong wind in the first-half, establishing a ten-point lead at the interval. Lámh Dhearg fought back bravely however the pivotal moment arrived just after the midway point in the second-half as St Enda’s full-forward John McGoldrick fired the ball past Paddy Joe Herron to give his side the springboard to victory.
McGoldrick took the accolades after his role in last week’s preliminary round victory against Armoy, however the full-forward was off target with his first attempt of the afternoon and it was midfielder Cormac Jennings who opened the scoring on the Glen Road.
McGoldrick sharpened his accuracy though and fired over two frees to give his side a 0-03-0-00 lead with ten minutes on the clock.
Lámh Dhearg struggled playing against a strong wind at St Teresa’s and it was the Hightown Road side who continued to keep the scoreboard ticking.
Jennings claimed his second score of the afternoon from play on 11 minutes before McGoldrick took control again; converting two frees with a point from play in between to make it 0-07-0-00 with almost twenty minutes gone.
Michael Herron went close registering the Lámhs first score with a long range free which just fell short in the wind; he wouldn’t miss at the second time of asking though and placed an attempt from a similar angle over the bar to register the Hannahstown sides first score.
St Enda’s finished the half in the ascendancy as McGoldrick pointed from two sideline balls, converted a free and a further point from Dubaltach MacAoidh Baicier gave St Enda’s a commanding 0-11-0-01 lead at the break.
Lámh Dhearg came out after the restart hungry for a few scores which they hoped would turn the tide, substitute Paddy Cunningham made an immediate impact as he split the posts, though the red hands failed to make further inroads with St Enda’s sweeper system paying dividends.
Paul Baker landed St Enda’s first score of the half on 41 minutes to restore his sides ten-point advantage, Lámh Dhearg responded though with points in quick succession through Cunningham and Brendan McComb and Cunningham chalked up his third point since his introduction on 46 minutes to make it 0-12-0-05.
The games turning point arrived on 47 minutes when McGoldrick turned on a six pence and bore down on the Lámhs goal, despite Paddy Joe Herron charging out to meet the St Enda’s full-forward he had enough time to crash the ball to the net and in the process re-establish his sides ten-point lead, 1-12-0-05.
McGoldrick converted a free in the aftermath to stretch his sides lead, but Lámh Dhearg continued to battle on in the hope of landing a major of their own.
Cunningham hit his fourth point from play and then converted a free with Brendan McComb slotting over this second point in between to reduce the gap to eight, 1-13-0-08. The Hannahstown men struggled to create that elusive goal chance however, Mark Finnegan’s low ball across the area was cut out before it could reach Joe Doone, while McComb and midfield partner Mervyn were both denied by a compact St Enda’s rearguard.
Mervyn landed an injury-time point, but the final score of the afternoon belonged to McGoldrick who ended on a personal tally of 1-09 as his side progressed to the semi-final of the Intermediate Championship for the second successive season.
Lámh Dhearg: PJ Herron, SP Gibson, M Lynch, C Nolan, C Herron, M Herron (0-01f), C Kelly, B McComb (0-02), P Mervyn, C McConville, C McCloskey, R Diamond, M Finnegan, J Doone, M McGuigan. Subs: P Cunningham (0-05, 0-01f) for M McGuigan (33 mins) J Trainor for C Herron (49 mins).
St Enda’s: P Magill, M Mullan, J McPoland, E Maguire, R Diamond, C Ross, D McAoidh Baicier (0-01), C Jennings (0-02), R Donaghy, C MacShoinin, P Baker (0-01), E O’Connor, P Curran, J McGoldrick (1-09,0-06f), B Cormican. Subs: M McNicholl for C Jennings , J Arthurs for M McNicholl.
Referee: Darren McKeown (St Galls)