‘Fourmile’ off to a flier

Waterford captain Michael Walsh of Stradbally finds his path through Fraher Field blocked by Fourmilewater\'s Maurice O\'Gorman and Liam Walsh. Photos: Michael Kiely

Waterford captain Michael Walsh of Stradbally finds his path through Fraher Field blocked by Fourmilewater's Maurice O'Gorman and Liam Walsh. Photos: Michael Kiely

Fourmilewater . . . 2-11; Stradbally . . . 0-9

In the end, it was as clear cut and decisive as the scoreline suggests. The men of Fourmilewater saw off the stern challenge of Stradbally in Dungarvan on Saturday evening.

During the first half, there was little to separate the sides until Shane Walsh’s speculative shot evaded Stradbally goalkeeper Eoin Cunningham and found the net to leave Fourmilewater two points up at the break.

Walsh’s goal came at a time when the Taysiders, marshalled by the excellent Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh, were just finding their feet in the fixture.

But, to Stradbally’s credit, they rallied well and remained in contention until the game’s three-quarter mark until captain Shane Walsh struck again – via a penalty – to put two goals between the sides.

Richard Fenton’s laser-guided free taking ensured that ‘Fourmile’ were not going to be caught and despite Stradbally’s earnest efforts, the winners were good value for their seven-point win.

Walsh’s goals ultimately proved decisive during this all-western affair, though Fourmile didn’t hit the front until the 17th minute – thanks to Shane Walsh, who hit 2-2 in total.

The manner of the opening goal will be one which Eoin Cunningham will soon wish to forget. Walsh’s speculative centre was poorly handed by the Stradbally goalkeeper as the sliothar sneaked under the crossbar and into the net.

This put the Blues in the driving seat and even though the lion-hearted Michael Walsh produced hurling and points of the top drawer, Stradbally trailed by 1-5 to 0-6 at the break.

Six minutes into the second half, Trevor Costelloe surged out of defence to narrow the gap to the minimum – yet Fourmile’s response proved both timely and effective.

A Brian Wall point and a Richard Fenton free put three points between the sides before the match’s decisive score in the 48th minute when an en-route for goal Shane Walsh en-route for goal was impeded, leaving John Kelly with no option but to award a penalty.

Walsh dusted himself down and judiciously picked his spot in the three man wall to billow the ball home and put daylight between the teams.

Three successive points off the stick of Richard Fenton put the outcome beyond any doubt.

But to give Stradbally their due, in no small part to the outstanding Brick Walsh, the men in red plugged away, knocking over a late brace of points to offer a slightly better complexion to the final score.

Fourmilewater look like a side capable of even better things and with another game or two under their belt could well present a major obstacle for the more favoured contenders.

Admirably led by Shane Walsh, they had other outstanding performers in Liam, Seamus, Maurice and Michael O’Gorman, Rory Rice, Brian Wall and Richard Fenton,

As for Stradbally, Michel Walsh proved colossal around the middle of the field, finding time to repeatedly help out in defence and knocking over a couple of points.

He was ably supported by Oliver and Trevor Costelloe, Shane Lannon, Stephen Cunningham and John Coffey.

Teams and scorers

Fourmilewater: Conor Ryan, Shane Lawlor, Liam Lawlor, Justin Walsh, Paul Horkin, Rory Rice, Liam Walsh, Seamus Lawlor, Maurice O’Gorman, Shane Walsh, Michael O’Gorman, Diarmuid Wall, Thomas O’Gorman, Richard Fenton. Subs: Declan Spellman for T O’Gorman, Craig Guiry for D Wall, Alan Lawlor for B Wall, Shane McGrath for Shane Lawlor.

Scorers: Shane Walsh (2-2), Richard Fenton (0-8) and Brian Wall (0-1).

Stradbally: Eoin Cunningham, Kevin Coffey, Oliver Costelloe, Thomas Walsh, Trevor Costelloe, John Coffey, Paddy Doyle, Michael Walsh, Shane Lannon, Paddy Kiely, John Hearne, Stephen Cunningham, Niall Curran, George Walsh, Trevor Curran. Subs: Alan Lawlor for P Kiely.

Scorers: Trevor Curran (0-3), Michael Walsh and Stephen Cunningham (0-2 each), Niall Curran and Trevor Costelloe (0-1 each).

Referee: John M Kelly (Shamrocks).

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