2022 Senior C’ship, Round 2

Pádraig Pearses 0-18 Ahascragh-Fohenagh 0-13
Report by Darren Kelly, Connacht Tribune

DEAN Reilly led the charge last Saturday as Padraig Pearses secured their first senior B hurling championship win this season over local rivals Ahascragh/Fohenagh.

The former Galway minor contributed seven points from play while top scorer Tomas Flannery was equally influential with eight frees.

With both teams suffering defeats three weeks earlier, there was a lot of stake in a contest, while not dirty, had more need- less altercations then required resulting in two red cards.

Ahascragh/Fohenagh started off brightly with Niall Glynn forcing a save from Fearghal Flannery. That chance was set up by Cathal Mannion who converted the resulting 65 on three minutes.

They proceeded to lead by 0- 4 to 0-2 on 11 minutes. After Tomas Flannery equalised for Pearses, Sean Bleahene and Robert Greene put two between them.

Enda Cunniffe replied for the Gurteen/Ballymacward outfit but Eoghain Delaney’s score left it 0-4 to 0-2. That being said, Padraig Pearses squandered some opportunities. However, Ahascragh/Fohenagh goalkeeper Colm Freyne was also responsible for two crucial saves and plucked two point-bound deliveries from the sky.

Luke Cosgrove also blocked Reilly as Ahascragh/Fohenagh stretched the margin. After Tomas Flannery’s point on 18 minutes, Cathal Mannion landed two placed balls to give Padraic Leonard’s team a 0-6 to 0-3 advantage six minutes later.

Then Pearses finally started troubling the umpires with three points in 90 seconds. Tomas Flannery converted a free before setting up Gareth Lally. On 28 minutes, Reilly’s first levelled at 0-6 apiece. Glynn replied for Ahascragh/Fohenagh but a second for Reilly, set up by Tomas Flannery, left it 0-7 each at the break.

However, both sides were regularly guilty of late challenges. In fairness to referee Sean Byrne, he tried to avoid booking players but his patience finally ran out on 23 minutes when a late altercation between Freyne and Conor Fahey led to both names been taken.

The Tomas Flannery/Reilly duo commenced the second half with two scores before the Mannion brothers matched that. Padraic Mannion made it 0-10 to 0-9 before Reilly hit back with two specials in 60 seconds. A third from play for the former Galway captain left it 0-11 apiece on 40 minutes.

With 20 minutes remaining, there were plenty of twists remaining with the one consistent being Padraig Pearses gradually pulling away. Tomas Flannery and Cunniffe tallied put before they were down to 14 when Fahey’s late charge on Freyne resulted in his second yellow card on 42 minutes.

Ahascragh/Fohenagh needed to take advantage but couldn’t as Pearses’ defence, led by centre back Oisin Flannery were defiant. Stephen Kelly did finished a beautifully worked move on 48 minutes, but that only cancelled out a Tomas Flannery free leaving it 0-14 to 0-12 to Anthony Kenny’s team.

Then Ahascragh/Fohenagh lost Laurence Tully whose late high challenge into Ronan Bellew led to a straight red card. Tomas Flannery and Reilly pointed to put four between them. Padraic Mannion converted a free but Reilly and Tomas Flannery again ensured the result in the closing stages.

Padraig Pearses showed enough to suggest they are con- tenders for the knockout stages. Fearghal, Oisin and Tomas Flannery, along with Reilly, Cunniffe, Mark Hennelly and Tommy McDonagh stood out.

Ahascragh/Fohenagh have lost six consecutive championship games ahead of taking on a resurgent Liam Mellows. Freyne in goal, Stephen Kelly, Cosgrove, Bleahene, Padraic (second half ) and Cathal Mannion worked hardest.

Padraig Pearses: F Flannery; R Carr, T Kenny, M Hennelly; J Barrett, O Flannery, T McDonagh; E Cunniffe (0-2), T Flannery (0-8, all frees); D Fahey, R Bellew, G Lally (0-1); C Fahey, E Ward, D Reilly (0-7). Subs: C Raftery for Barrett (45), J Gelston for D. Fahey (47), L Mitchell for Lally (56), S Hardiman for Bellew (60). 

Ahascragh/Fohenagh: C Freyne; L Tully, S Kelly (0-1), J Kennedy; D O’Brien, L Cosgrove, S Bleahene (0-1); C Mannion (0-4, 0-2 frees, 0-1 ’65), N Warde; R Kelly, P Mannion (0-4, 0- 1free), E Delaney (0-1); D Glynn, N Glynn (0-1), R Greene (0-1). Subs: F Glynn for Kennedy (HT), J Finnerty for Warde (44 mins), M Kelly for R Kelly (51 mins).

Referee: S Byrne.