Ballygunner 2-19 -
Ballygunner’s Barry Coughlan at full stretch against Tallow’s Bob McCarthy during their Co. SHC clash on Sunday in Fraher Field. Photo: Sean Byrne.
J. J. Kavanagh & Sons Co. S.H.C. Group A
Defending champions Ballygunner duly clinched their quarter final place with this victory over Tallow in Fraher Field on Sunday evening last but it was not as comfortable a passage for them as might have been expected. Indeed, Tallow were always in the hunt here, making the champions work right down to the final minutes when late points from halftime substitutes Conor Sheahan and J. J. Hutchinson final put daylight between the teams to secure a five point victory and their 30th SHC win on the trot.
It looked as though this game would play out as expected with Ballygunner getting off to a flying start with a point from Pauric Mahony and a cracking goal from Dessie Hutchinson rocking Tallow inside a minute. Another Mahony point from a free followed before Ryan Grey opened Tallow’s account with a point in the third minute. Further Ballygunner points from Mahony (F) and Hutchinson opened up a comfortable 1-4 to 0-1 lead after seven minutes but then Tallow began to settle into the game with points from Tommy Ryan and Bob McCarthy.
Two points from Pauric Mahony either side of a point from Darragh Buckley and a great score off the stick and on the run by Tommy Ryan saw the Gunner’s four point lead retained up to the 16th minute when Ryan collected from Ryan Grey and showed his pace as he raced through to give Stephen O’Keeffe no chance between the posts.
If Ryan’s pace was causing trouble for the Gunners’ defence then the same could be said at the other end where Dessie Hutchinson left defenders trailing in his wake as he cut in from the wing to smash the ball to the far corner of the net in the 18th minute. Pauric Mahony added two points (1F) before an exchange of scores between Tommy Ryan and Conor Power was followed by two great scores from Darragh Buckley to keep his side in the mix as the teams went in at half time with Ballygunner four points clear on a score of 2-9 to 0-11.
Ballygunner made two halftime substitutions with J. J. Huttchinson and Conor Sheahan replacing Tim O’Sullivan and Conor Power in attack. After an early exchange of points from frees between Pauric Mahony and Darragh Buckley Balllygunner looked set to pull clear as Peter Hogan, Conor Sheahan and Pauric Mahony (F) sent over to open up a seven point lead but Tallow were not going to be shaken off easily as Darragh Buckley and Ian Beecher kept pace with a point apiece.
Once again the Gunners extended their lead to seven points with Dessie Hutchinson and Pauric Mahony on target but by the 45th minute Tallow had pulled three points back with scores from Buckley (F), substitute Tommy Daly and Ian Beecher. Tallow wasted a great goal scoring opportunity in the 46th minute when Darragh Buckley got through with just Stephen O’Keeffe to beat from close range only for his weak shot to be easily saved by the experienced net minder.
A goal at that stage would have made for a very interesting finish but though the next four points were shared Ballygunner closed out the game with two late points from Conor Sheahan and J. J. Hutchinson to one in reply from Tommy Ryan leaving Ballygunner’s five point start the difference between the teams at the final whistle.
The game finished on something of a sour note with Ballygunner’s Shane O’Sullivan and Tallow’s Robert Geary being sent the line on straight red cards following an off the ball altercation the result of which will be that both players will miss their team’s next championship game. Minutes earlier Barry Coughlan had been sent off on a second yellow card for pulling a goal bound Tommy Ryan down leading to the last Tallow score from the free by Ryan.
Reports on all six of this weekend’s Co. SHC Round 3 games in this week’s Waterford News & Star.
Scorers:- Ballygunner – Pauric Mahony 0-11 (5Fs), Dessie Hutchinson 2-2, Conor Sheahan 0-2, J. J. Hutchinson, Conor Power, Shane O’Sullivan and Peter Hogan 0-1 each.
Tallow – Tommy Ryan 1-4 (0-1F0, Darragh Buckley 0-7(4Fs), Ian Beecher 0-2, Ryan Grey, Paul O’Brien, Bob McCarthy and Tommy Daly 0-1 each.
BALLYGUNNER – Stephen O’Keeffe, Paddy Leavy, Eddie hayden, Tadhg Foley, Barry Coughlan, Philip Mahony, Tom Gallagher, Shane O’Sullivan, Billy O’Keeffe, Dessie Hutchinson, Pauric Mahony, Barry O’Sullivan, Peter Hogan, Tim O’Sullivan, Conor Power. Subs – Conor Sheahan and J. J. Hutchinson for T. O’Sullivan and Power (HT), Conor Power for Gallagher (inj.60)
TALLOW – Shaun O’Sullivan, David O’Brien, Jake Beecher, Mark O’Brien, Robbie Beecher, Robbie Geary, Kieran Geary, Ian Beecher, Jordan Henley, Bob McCarthy, Tommy Ryan, Paul O’Brien, Darragh Buckley, Kenneth Geary, Ryan Grey. Subs – Robbie O’Sullivan for R. Beecher (42), Tommy Daly for McCarthy (44), Mike Tobin for Buckley (54).
Referee – Alan Kissane (Dunhill).