Walsh stars in Nire stroll

The David Ryan (Nire) comes under pressure from Tom Dunphy (St Brendan) during their County Senior Football Championship game at Fraher Field.

The David Ryan (Nire) comes under pressure from Tom Dunphy (St Brendan) during their County Senior Football Championship game at Fraher Field.

The Nire 3-19 St Brendans 2-8

County Senior Football Champions The Nire began their defence of the championship in fine style on Sunday evening last when they had a comprehensive 14-point win over group side St Brendans at Fraher Field.

There was never any doubt about the outcome of the game, it was simply a case of how much the men from the Valley would win by, and the 15-20 point margin predicted in the press box by yours truly was not far off the mark.

The six-time champions were dominant throughout the hour and seldom if ever got out of first gear, kicking scores with ease at times.

What such a defeat will do for the group side is hard to see and one has to wonder is there any benefit in allowing them to enter the senior championship if they are going to handed such defeats, which could have been even worse to be truthful.

Over the course of the weekend a number of players with hopes of been selected for the Munster Senior hurling Championship game against Limerick on June 14 failed to impress for their club side but this could not be said of dual star Shane Walsh who was magnificent in all he did for The Nire. Not for the first time in a saffron and blue shirt Walsh finished as top scorer with a total of eight points, all from play.

A part from a spell between the third and fifth minutes the Conway Cup holders were in complete command. Walsh opened the scoring on two minutes which was followed by a pair of points from St Brendans’ Ray Hennessy and Richie Walsh. After Brian Wall pointed a free on five minutes the champions never fell behind.

Wall added a third Nire point on seven minutes, and the lead was soon extended when Liam Lawlor, not playing in his customary sweeper position, kicked two quality points.

Mick Ahearne and Brian Wall exchanged points before Richie Fenton and Martin Walsh pointed for Sean Guiry’s charges.

Niall Hennessey cut Nire’s lead to double-scores with 11 minutes of the opening half remaining, but when the ever dangerous Michael Moore scored the first of his goals five minutes before the break the Nire had all but sealed victory.

The magnificent Walsh kicked three points in as many minutes before the interval to ensure that the champions held a 1-11 to 0-5 lead at half-time.

Comeback

The Nire continued in the ascendancy on the resumption. Shane Walsh and Liam Lawlor opened the second-half scoring before Ray Hennessy pointed for Brendans. Richie Fenton followed up with a point before the Saints hit their best patch of the game. Andy Hubbard scored a goal on 42 minutes which was followed by points from Richie Welsh and Dermot Casey, cutting the Nire lead to six points.

However, any sign of Nire nerves were eased when Michael Moore got his second goal of the evening with 12 minutes to go, and when Martin Walsh added a third goal a minute later following some sloppy defending the Ballymac’ men were once again in cruise control.

Walsh added two more points before Anthony Kiely scored a somewhat dubious goal for the losers with eight minutes remaining.

Michael O’Gorman sent over two late points for The Nire, after which Shane Walsh kicked his eighth of the evening to seal a comprehensive victory.

The Nire: T Flynn; J Walsh, T O’Gorman, Maurice O’Gorman; J Moore, D Ryan, P Prendergast; B Wall, Michael O’Gorman; D Wall, S Walsh, S Fenton; L Lawlor, M Walsh, M Moore. Subs: C Power for D Ryan, D Ryan for R Fenton.

Scorers: S Walsh 0-8, M Moore 2-0, M Walsh 1-1, B Wall (0-2 frees), L Lawlor 0-3 each, R Fenton, Michael O’Gorman 0-2 each.

St Brendans: T Wall; K Mulcahy, G Hayes, R Kirwan; F Whelan, G Dunphy, S Cummins; N Hennessy, A Hubbard; A Kiely, R Hennessy, C Hennessy; R Walsh, M Ahearne, T Dunphy. Sub D Casey for T Dunphy.

Scorers: A Hubbard, A Kiely 1-0 each R Hennessy R Walsh (0-1 free), M Ahearne 0-2 each, N Hennessy, D Casey 0-1each.

Referee: M Condon (Clashmore).

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