Hogan on fire as Gunners advance

Brian Flannery reports
Ballygunner asserted their Under-21 Championship credentials with a thumping 19 point victory over Clonea in the East Waterford semi-final at Dunhill on Sunday last.
A sparkling performance from Peter Hogan who contributed 4-1 from play was the highlight of this game as the Gunners are now short priced favourites to add the Under-21 crown to the minor and senior titles already won this season.

The final margin may be assessed as harsh on Clonea who were competitive until the final quarter and trailed by just five points prior to losing their influential centre-back Conor Dalton to injury in the 39th minute.
There was a mere eight seconds on the clock when Peter Hogan shot goal number one following a knock-down by Billy O’Sullivan. Billy Power and Harry Ruddle then exchanged pointed frees before Ruddle goaled from a penalty after Peter Hogan had been unceremoniously bundled over in the 10th minute (2-1 to 0-1).
Clonea battled back and hit three points in succession from Billy Power (2) and Kieran Power. Kieran Power was at this stage causing a lot of problems for the Ballygunner defence particularly in the air. Further white flaggers from Harry Ruddle and Peter Hogan closed out the half with Ballygunner leading 2-3 to 0-4 at the break.

Peter Hogan struck an incredible 4-1 as Ballygunner crushed Clonea Power.  									| Photo: Noel Browne

Peter Hogan struck an incredible 4-1 as Ballygunner crushed Clonea Power. | Photo: Noel Browne

The early second half exchanges were quite even with Jack Reach and Billy Power registering minors cancelling out similar scores from Harry Ruddle and Billy O’Sullivan.
With Conor Dalton now off the field with a damaged hamstring the Clonea defence became ragged and Peter Hogan took full advantage.
Goal number two for the county star arrived in the 40th minute with Hogan finishing from close range following a Harry Ruddle assist.
The third major was Hogan’s best effort when the youngster deftly controlled a long delivery from Tadhg Foley before rounding his marker to billow the net. After 48 minutes Peter Hogan was again perfectly positioned to finish to the net following a run by Harry Ruddle (5-8 to 0-7).
Clonea’s Sean Clancy saw red for careless use of the hurley in the 55th minute and the rout was complete when substitute Jack Troy hit goal number six in the final minute.

The winners had good performances from Conor O’Sullivan at centre-back with their half-forward line of Harry Ruddle , Mark Mullally and Michael Mahony all on top while Peter Hogan converted when the opportunity presented itself in a man of the match performance.
For a youthful Clonea side Conor Dalton, Mairtin Power, Billy Power and Kieran Power were best.
Ballygunner now await the winners of the replay between Passage and De La Salle in the other semi-final.

Ballygunner: Darragh O’Keeffe; Darragh Hogan, Eddie Hayden, Jeff Frampton; Gus Flynn, Conor O’Sullivan, Shane O’Kennedy; Tadhg Foley, Nicholas Byrne; Harry Ruddle, Mark Mullally, Michael Mahony; Billy O’Sullivan, Peter Hogan, Patrick Lambe.

Substitutes: David Dawson for Patrick Lambe (43 mins), Jack Troy for Billy O’Sullivan (46), Oliver Sharp for Peter Hogan (50), Darragh Dawson for Michael Mahony (52) and Matthew Kiely for Gus Flynn (56).

Scorers: Peter Hogan (4-1), Harry Ruddle (1-5; 1-0pen, 0-2f, 0-1 65), Jack Troy (1-0), Mark Mullally (0-2), Billy O’Sullivan and Conor O’Sullivan (0-1 each).
Clonea: Ciaran Power; Sam Corbett Barry, Sean Griffin, Adam Nugent; Patrick Hahessy, Conor Dalton, Mairtin Power; Billy Power, Stephen Curry; Kieran Power, Donnacha Hassett, Jack Reach; Michael Mulcahy, Sean Clancy, Conor Power.

Substitutes: Gavin Sheehan for Michael Mulcahy (HT), Paul Moore for Conor Dalton (38 mins), Sean Hahessy for Patrick Hahessy (40), Declan Hennebry for Jack Reach and Ger Holden for Conor Power (50), Conor Mulligan for Sean Griffin (54) and Eoin Dowley for Stephen Curry (57).

Scorers: Billy Power (0-7; 0-5f, 0-1’65), Kieran Power and Jack Reach (0-1 each).

Referee: Nicholas O’Toole (St. Pauls).

* Abbeyside took the Western Under-21 title at the second time of asking when defeating neighbours Dungarvan by 1-15 to 2-10 in last Saturday’s replay at Fraher Field. The game as in the melting pot all the way to stoppage time, and Dungarvan led by two points with eight minutes remaining. But the game’s remaining four scores were all recorded by Abbeyside with two Neil Montgomery points, in addition to singles by Eoin Kelly (a free) and Sean Whelan Barrett ensuring the title stayed in Abbeyside.

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