Laois Shopping Centre Senior Hurling Championship Group A Rd 1
St Lazarian’s Abbeyleix 0-14
By Brian Moss
ABBEYLEIX can have little complaints leaving O’Moore Park on Saturday evening having being well and truly outclassed by their neighbours Ballinakill in what was a very one sided championship opener.
Abbeyleix’s failure to score from play from the 10th minute on tells its own story. Ballinakill for their part were stronger in all the important areas of the field and ran out easy and deserving winners.
Ballinakill got the scoring proceedings underway inside the first two minutes through an Eamon Jackman free. Abbeyleix’s reply was immediate through Dayne Peacock but from there Ballinakill took the initiative hitting a hat-trick of unanswered points to lead by three inside the first eight minutes, a Cha Dwyer long range effort being the pick of these.
Abbeyleix were struggling to create from open play and were far too reliant on Eoghan Fennelly placed balls to keep in touch. The big number 14 hit back to back frees to in the 14th and 15th minutes to see his side trail by five and further illustrating this point.
An excellent Cha Dwyer catch and dispatch for Ballinakill from the right hand side-line in the 25th minute further emphasised the gap between the two sides. Edward Dwyer was next to get in on the act for the men in maroon with an excellent score in the 27th minute, Dwyer rose highest to grab the puck out and with a minimal of fuss flashed over from 50 metres.
To Abbeyleix’s credit they stuck in it and two further Fennelly frees saw them go to the break just four adrift, 0-13 to 0-9.
The second half took some time to get going with both sides guilty of having their minds elsewhere in the opening exchanges after the restart.
After over seven minutes of reacquainting themselves with each other Abbeyleix, through Fennelly, got the second half scoring underway once again from the placed ball to leave three between them but that would be as close as Abbeyleix would get to reeling in their neighbours.
Between the 40th and 48th minutes Ballinakill hit five in a row to set the platform for their canter home, the ever reliable Dan Bergin hitting three frees and classy long range strikes from Cha and Edward Dwyer making up this quintet of scores, giving their side a 0-11 to 0-19 lead heading into the final 10 minutes.
Fennelly put over two more placed balls for Abbeyleix in the 50th and 51st minutes but in truth the result had long since not been in doubt.
The final score of the game in many ways encapsulated the whole encounter. Superb interplay between Cha Dwyer, Damien Carter, TJ Lalor, and Dan Bergin released Seamus Fitzpatrick to flash over from 30 metres for an excellently worked score and deliver the local bragging rights on a final score line of 0-21 to 0-14.
Ballinakill will be happy with much of their performance but will know that they will have to overcome far tougher tests if they hope to progress to the business end of this year’s championship.
For Abbeyleix, their lack of creativity up front will be of real concern. Failing to score from play in the second period will rightly raise alarm bells and a lot of work on the training pitch is needed if they are to have any chance of improving upon what was a very disappointing performance.
BALLINAKILL: Paul Simms; MJ Dunphy, Podge Lalor, David Phelan; Sean Downey, John Walsh, Brian O’Mara (0-1); Adam Kenna (0-1), Seamus Dwyer; Dan Bergin, Eamon Jackman (0-9, 0-7f), Cha Dwyer (0-5); Edward Dwyer (0-3), Shane McEvoy, Seamus Fitzpatrick (0-2).
Subs: TJ Lalor for McEvoy (49m), Tony O’Shaughnessy for Bergin (62m)
ABBEYLEIX: Enda Rowland (0-2f); Conor Bergin, Oisin Carroll, Alan Lynch; Jake Cranny, Declan Phelan, Aaron Carroll; Joe Bergin, Ciaran Carroll; Liam Delaney, Eoghan Fennelly (0-9, 0-6f, 0-1 ’64, 0-1 sl), Steven Reilly; Dayne Peacock (0-1), Rory Dunne (0-1), Eoin Reilly (0-1f).
Subs: Daniel Coffey for Delaney (41m), Barry Walsh for Lynch (54m), Rory McEvoy for S Reilly (58m, inj)
Referee: Anthony Doheny (Castletown)