Lismore 0-15 Fourmilewater 1-11
In a few weeks’ time when the Nire take to the field in the first defence of their County Senior Football Championship crown, if some of the players come out minus chunks of hair from their heads we might know why.
For after three rounds of the senior hurling championship and three one-point defeats, all to late scores, many people in the Ballymacarbry/Nire Valley area must be asking themselves what it will take to win a game of hurling.
At the start of the year Fourmile’ were one of the teams many were tipping to do well, but with two rounds of the league stages of the championship remaining they’ve no points on the table and would appear destined to miss a place in the knockout stages.
To a certain degree, if Fourmilewater do fail to advance they will have only themselves to blame. Against Mount Sion they operated a two-man full forward line for most of the game, leaving Tony Browne as the free man to sweep up, and it was much of the same against Lismore at Fraher Field last Saturday evening when they brought Shane Walsh out around the centre of the field when he might have proved more beneficial in a three-man full-forward line.
Fourmilewater did have the better of the early exchanges, pointing twice inside the opening minutes thanks to Richie Fenton. Lismore did have a great chance to score a goal on two minutes but Conor Ryan dealt expertly with Chris O’Gorman’s effort.
Midway through the opening half Fourmilewater led by double scores. Shane and Martin Walsh added points to Richie Fenton’s early scores, with Lismore replying through Maurice Shanahan and Stephen O’Keeffe.
Richie Fenton added four points in the last 11 minutes before the break, and Paul Horkan scored one to bring Fourmilewater’s first-half total to nine points. Padraig Prendergast, Stephen O’Keeffe and three Maurice Shanahan points in the same period meant that Fourmile’ went in 0-9 to 0-7 to the good.
John Prendergast and Richie Fenton exchanged early points for their respective sides soon after the change of ends, before Dan Shanahan missed a good goalscoring chance, sending his effort across the goal and wide.
His brother Maurice added a brace of points to tie the scores and when Dan hit a point on the three-quarters-of-an-hour mark Lismore were in front for the first time in the game.
However, their lead was to be short-lived as a sideline cut from Shane Walsh found its way to Thomas O’Gorman lurking around the Lismore goal and he put the ball to the back of the net to leave Lismore trailing once again.
Lismore’s free-taking was not as it should be and Dave Bennett was brought on with fourteen minutes remaining – a move that paid off.
Bennett’s first piece of action saw him rifle over a point from play and followed it up six minutes later with one from a placed ball. Richie Fenton added a point with five minutes to go to put Fourmilewater one in front and it looked as if the spoils were going to go their way.
But no-one told Bennett and the former inter-county hurler struck two late free, as he did against Ballyduff Upper a week earlier, but on this occasion he converted both to give his side a 0-15 to 1-11 win at the sound of the last blast.
Lismore: B Landers; S Bennett, J O’Connor, L Byrne; S Kearney, D O’Gorman, T O’Brien; D Howard, J Prendergast; J Shanahan, S O’Keeffe, D Shanahan; C O’Gorman, M Shanahan, P Prendergast. Sub: D Bennett for J Shanahan.
Scorers: M Shanahan 0-6, D Bennett 0-4, S O’Keeffe 0-2, P Prendergast, J Prendergast, D Shanahan 0-1 each.
Fourmilewater: C Ryan; L Walsh, L Lawlor, J Walsh; D Wall, B Wall, R Rice; P Horkan, Seamus Lawlor; Ml Ó Gorman, S Walsh, M Walsh; R Fenton, A Lawlor, T O’Gorman. Subs: T Walsh for Ml Gorman, Mce Gorman for A Lawlor, Shane Lawlor for D Wall.
Scorers: R Fenton 0-8, T O’Gorman 1-0, M Walsh, Shane Walsh, Paul Horkan 0-1 each.
Referee: M. Condon (Clashmore).