Pearses 0-20 Ardrahan 0-16: Our Senior hurlers got their Championship off to a winning start this afternoon in Kenny Park, Athenry. Pearses had the better of the first half and lead 0-12 to 0-7 at the break. That lead stretched to seven points shortly after the break, but Ardrahan battled back to within one point with ten to go. Our men responded well with three vital points to keep some breathing space between the sides.
The teams were level (0-3 each) after ten minutes of play. Ronan Bellew and Emmet Ward the Pearses scorers. Cianan Fahy, Ger Forde and Maurice Callanan on target for Ardrahan, who had the returning Jonathan Glynn in the number 14 shirt. Pearses reeled off the next four points in a dominant spell. The fourth of these was a well worked team move culminating in Tomás Flannery pointing from play, 0-7 to 0-4.
Jason Kennedy ended the scoreless spell for Ardrahan, before Kerrill Hardiman, from long range, and Cyril Donnellan added to the Pearses tally. Kennedy and Maurice Callanan (free) pointed at the other end, 22 minutes: 0-9 to 0-6. In the remainder of the first half Pearses outscored Ardrahan three-one. Ronan Bellew and Enda Cunniffe from play, Emmet Ward accurate again from a placed ball. Half time, 0-12 to 0-7.
Three quick-fire points in the first five minutes of of the second half (Flannery, Ward and Sean Hardiman) seen Pearses pull eight ahead. However, the following fifteen minute spell seen an Ardrahan purple patch. They landed eight points to Pearses’ one. Kennedy, Forde, Cian Fahy and Callanan keeping the umpires busy. Midfielder Cian Fahy’s point cut the gap to one (0-16 to 0-15) with ten minutes left.
The Pearses reaction was excellent. Cyril Donnellan hit an important point from a tight angle, before substitute Jimmy Gelston did likewise from the same left corner at the town end. Tomas Flannery added another from play, 0-19 to 0-15. The teams added a point apiece before an Ardrahan attack, with one minute of normal time remaining, yielded a penalty. The penalty was sent blazing wide of Fearghal Flannery’s right hand post and Pearses recorded a deserved victory.
Pearses: F Flannery; R Lally, T Kenny, K Donnellan; D Wynne, R O’Neill, K Hardiman (0-1); S Hardiman (0-1), C Fahey; E Cunniffe (0-1), E Ward (0-7), R Bellew (0-3); G Lally, T Flannery (0-4), C Donnellan (0-2). Subs used: J Gelston (0-1), C Ward. Referee: Derek Kelly.