Sixmilebridge 0-13 v Crusheen 3-9
Intermediate Hurling Championship Round 1 @ Tulla
The old saying 'goals win games' proved true in this contest earlier this afternoon as Crusheen's ability to riase the green flag proved vital. Sixmilebridge will be disappointed with their performance with their shooting letting them down at times. Over the hour they recorded a tally of sixteen wides compared to five for Crusheen which tells it's own story. Sixmilebridge went into this game without the injured Cyril Crowe while they were also dealt a blow with the loss of Noel Purcell, Kevin Lynch and Alan Mulready who were called into action for the seniors yesterday evening. Similarly, Crusheen also suffered the loss of a key player when Sean Weir made the step up to senior ranks on Friday evening.
The pitch at Tulla was only recently sanded with conditions overall good for hurling. Thomas Liddy opened the scoring in the first minute with a free from near the 65. David O'Connor added to this with a fine score after he linked up well with Jonathan Downes and Adrian Chaplin. Crusheen got off the mark when Darragh O'Doherty sent a free straight over the crossbar before in the 6th minute he planted the sliotar into the top right hand corner of the net for the games first goal. David O'Connor for the 'Bridge and Crusheen's Youen Horner traded scores by the 9th minute. Sixmilebridge were starting to get a foothold on the game and were guilty of recording some bad wides during this period. They did manage to level matters with two on the trot, the first one arrived via Liddy after O'Connor picked him out with a short free. Anthony Liddane fired over the second one on seventeen minutes, a short while before this he had a chance of a goal but he could not get enough power in his shot to trouble the Crusheen keeper.
Jonathan Downes showed his pace on the next attack when racing up from wing back to have a shot at the posts only for the sliotar to tail wide. Darragh O'Doherty punished ill discipline when he sent over a free shortly afterwards to edge Crusheen ahead. Tommy Morey did well to block the soaring run of Sean Dillon on the next attack as both sides tried to get the upperhand. O'Doherty converted a 65 in the 25th minute before Liddy sent over a free in the 27th. On the brink of half time Crusheen got through for a rather soft goal when Philip O'Donnell struck to the net. This score left the half time score 2-4 to 0-6 in favour of Crusheen.
Sixmilebridge started the second half the brightest and had three early scores from Liddy (two frees) and Anthony Liddane. Sam O'Sullivan got his first of the day on forty minutes before O'Doherty capitalised on a mishit clearance to split the posts. Jason Greene got Crusheen off the mark on 42 minutes before Sam O'Sullivan got his second on 45 minutes which was added to by Liddy, who coverted a free. By this stage Darragh Fitzgerald was introduced for Rory Liddane. Jason Greene sent over a fine effort for Crusheen shortly after before the 'Bridge started to get on top somewhat. They could not make the most of this however as they were guilty of ten wides in the second half alone, about half of which you would expect them to convert.
An injury to Briain Dillon held up play for a few minutes with the Crusheen wing back suffering a bad injury to be replaced by Donal Wylde. When play resumed Sam O'Sullivan fired over for the 'Bridge to leave his side trailing by just a point. Another stoppage followed after Errol Tuohy suffered a hand injury as he went off to be replaced by Eanna Burns. In the fourth minute of added time the contest was well and truly sealed when Youen Horner ghosted in behind the 'Bridge defence to give Pa Freeman no chance for Crusheen's third goal. There was still time for a final score which came from the stick of Darragh O'Doherty in the fifth minute of added time as he sent over a free.
Sixmilebridge: Pa Freeman; Ger Quilligan, Eoin Quinn, Kevin Phelan; Jonathan Downes, Tommy Morey, Sean Stack Jnr; David O'Connor (0-2), Anthony Liddane (0-2); Adrian Chaplin, Sam O'Sullivan (0-3), Errol Tuohy; Rory Liddane, Stiofán Fitzpatrick (Capt), Thomas Liddy (0-6; 0-5fs).
Subs: Darragh Fitzgerald for R.Liddane (44 mins), Eanna Burns for Tuohy (injury) (57 mins).
Crusheen: David McMahon; Donal Dillon, Conor O'Loughlin, Tony McMahon; Rory Halpin, Sean Dillon, Briain Dillon; Alan Tuohy, Jason Greene (0-2); Youen Horner (1-1), Thomas Vaughan, Philip O'Donnell (1-0); Niall Fitzgibbon, Patrick O'Grady, Darragh O'Doherty (1-6; 0-4 fs, 0-1 65).
Sub: Donal Wylde for B.Dillon (injury) (54 mins).
Referee: Damien Fox (Clooney-Quin).
Wides: 16 5
Frees: 21 8
65's: 0 1
Yellow Cards: Thomas Liddy (36 mins) Donal Dillon (27 mins).