SHC: Pearses 2-18 Moycullen 1-15

Pearses got off to a winning start in the First Round of the Senior Hurling Championship yesterday evening in Kenny Park, Athenry. They entered the game as favourites and justified this tag with the 6 point winning margin. Pearses led from the start, but never pulled away from Moycullen like they threatened to do several times.
Pearses played into the town end in the first-half and after 7 minutes lead by 0-4 to 0-2, through points from Tom Flannery (2), Cyril Donnellan and Emmet Ward. Then in the 8th minute Pearses captain Cormac Ward struck for the game’s first goal. Flannery tacked on two more points to stretch the lead to 1-6 to 0-2 by the 13th minute. Moycullen responded with a good point from play and then somehow scrambled ball to the net, after working it along the endline. After Pearses’ good start the margin was suddenly down to 3 points, 1-6 to 1-3.
Flannery again from a free and Cormac Ward added two Pearses points. The score now 1-8 to 1-3 in the 22nd minute. However, from here until the half-time whistle Moycullen outscored Pearses 0-4 to 0-2. Flannery and Donnellan, the Pearses scorers. Midfielder Eanna Noone leading the Moycullen charge with 3 of the 4 points. Half-time: Pearses 1-10 Moycullen 1-7.
Pearses hit the first 0-3 of the second half (Cormac Ward and Shane Raftery 0-2) before Moycullen hit back with 0-2. Then in a decisive six minute spell Pearses struck 1-3 to stunt the Moycullen fightback, 2-16 to 1-9 in the 15th minute. Cyril Donnellan hitting the killer goal after an assist by hardworking Championship debutant, Darragh Skehill. Then much like the first half Moycullen won the final 15 minutes 0-6 to 0-2, but it could be argued that Pearses had taken the foot off the pedal at this stage.
Best for Pearses were captain Cormac Ward and Tom Flannery. Cyril Donnellan was watched closely by the Moycullen defence, but still plundered 1-3, his goal at an important time when Moycullen were threatening. Richie Lally, Shane Raftery and Darragh Skehill also put in solid displays. Pearses now advance to the Group stages, with the four-team groups to be drawn after Round 2. Moycullen enter Round 2, for a second chance at qualifying.
Pearses: Fearghal Flannery; Anthony Kenny, Tomandamp;aacute;s Kenny, Paraic Raftery; Richie Lally, Shane Raftery (0-2), Kerrill Hardiman; Seandamp;aacute;n Hardiman, Jimmy Gelston; Darragh Skehill (0-1), Cormac Ward (1-2), Cyril Donnellan (1-3), Gary Lally, Emmett Ward (0-1), Tomandamp;aacute;s Flannery (0-9). Subs used: Ronan Bellew, Colm Raftery, Robbie Donnellan and Tommy McDonagh.