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North IHC 1st Round 2012

posted 23 May 2012, 14:26 by Unknown user
Goals help Newport to victory

Denis' Meats Intermediate Hurling Championship

Newport 4-08
Ballinahinch 1-14

by Kieran Mullarkey at Dolla. (NenaghGuardian)

Newport continued their recent dominance over neighbours Ballinahinch in the opening round of the Intermediate Championship, but as the scoreline suggests there wasn't a whole lot between the sides on Saturday evening.

Both teams showed signs of rustiness but there was certainly a bite in the clashes as well as some entertaining passages of play. Ultimately it was Newport's ability to find the net that got them over the line, but only just.
Their intent was evident as early as the third minute when Aidan Moloney ran hard at the Ballinahinch defence but his shot at goal was tame. However after Ballinahinch failed to clear the same player made no mistake second time round with a low shot from fifteen yards. This gave his side the lead after an early Brendan Ryan free for Ballinahinch.
Ryan would have his side's first four points from placed balls inside a quarter hour as Newport needed to foul to contain Adrian Kelly and John Kelly. Eoin Shinners hit a free in response when the lively Martin Carey was fouled and Aidan Moloney seized a Conor O'Mahony free before firing over in style to keep his side's narrow advantage.
On the quarter hour Newport struck for their second goal. Odhran Floyd burst forward down the right and put a decent ball in toward the square. But when Ballinahinch full back Marcus Ryan failed to connect with his batted effort Martin Carey had time to pull first time past Cormac McGrath in the Ballinahinch goal.
Ballinahinch responded with a notable increase in intensity from the likes of Alan Kelly at centre back and midfielders Brendan Healy and Shane McGrath. They landed four unanswered points from play with Mark Kelly, Adrian Kelly, Brendan Ryan (2) all finding the range as well as an inspirational point from John Foley from the right wing.
Newport were visibly unnerved and at times were guilty of overplaying the ball as well as hitting some poor wides. Moloney did manage a point after a probing run by Eoin Shinners, and Shinners himself pointed a free after a foul on Martin Carey as the physical hits came thick and fast.
A massive Shane McGrath free from inside his own 45 tied the game but county colleague Conor O'Mahony converted a 65 to give Newport a slender and perhaps fortunate one-point interval lead.
The second half saw the trend of the opening half continue with Ballinahinch dominating possession but Newport grabbing another two goals and the spoils in the process.
Sean O'Brien was busy all evening at centre field for Newport and his direct running earned his side an early free which Eoin Shinners duly converted. Christopher Doyle was soon denied a goal chance by Cormac McGrath but moments later Doyle showed a real turn of pace to latch on to a ball over the top and coolly kicked low to the net to increase the lead to four points.
Ballinahinch needed a quick response and John Foley led by example with a determined run before being dragged down. Brendan Ryan's effort at goal from the free was blocked but Ryan made amends moments later with a point to end an impressive Ballinahinch move.
McGrath added a 65 but Eoin Shinners replied after Odhran Flyod, who dominated his patch all evening, was fouled. Substitute Richard Shinners looked lively too and he finished casually after a fine pass from Padraig Hogan.
With Newport opening up a five-point gap entering the final quarter Ballinahinch finally found the net. A long delivery was gathered by Liam Berkery and he slipped away from Brian O'Sullivan all to easily before finishing well.
With the lead now two Ballinahinch looked to have all the momentum but were undone almost immediately. Substitute Vinny Moloney had hit two bad wides but his high delivery into the Ballinahinch goalmouth somehow found its way over the line, although the low sun couldn't have helped Cormac McGrath in the goal.
That was to be Newport's last score and despite a resilient final spell by Ballinahinch, which yielded two Shane McGrath pointed frees the clock denied his side a chance to gain something for their brave display.

Ballinahinch scorers: Brendan Ryan (0-7, 6f), Shane McGrath (0-4, 3f), Liam Berkery 1-0, John Foley, Mark Kelly, Adrian Kelly 0-1 each.