Nolan and O’Donoghue do the harm as Crotta O’Neills energy previous Ballyheigue in SHC opener

Date:



COUNTY SHC GROUP 3 ROUND 1

Crotta O’Neills 2-16

Ballyheigue 1-10

Shane Nolan could or could not have performed his final inter-county recreation within the inexperienced and gold of Kerry (solely time will inform in that state of affairs), however the Crotta O’Neill’s captain was in excellent kind for his membership because the County SHC bought underway at Austin Stack Park this night.

In a Group 3 Spherical 1 encounter with Ballyheigue that by no means rose to any nice heights, with climate circumstances not making issues straightforward for the protagonists, Nolan was all the time the sport’s most influential determine, whether or not he discovered himself in the midst of the park or within the inside ahead line.

Ten factors in complete from the long-serving Kingdom star (together with 4 from play) was, unquestionably, a match-winning contribution, with a two-goal blast within the second quarter from full-forward Declan O’Donoghue, additionally taking part in a pivotal function in Crotta’s nearly untroubled passage to their first championship victory of the season.

Whereas the likes of Ryan McElligott, Rory Mahony and Sean Weir have been additionally persistently stable for the winners, Nolan’s management all through, and O’Donoghue’s ruthlessness when he bought his alternatives, have been the proverbial rocks on which the Ballyheigue problem perished on.

The primary half was a story of Crotta’s possession and territorial dominance, even with Ballyheigue having the advantage of the sturdy wind of their favour. Strive as they could, the underdogs merely struggled to win sufficient of the soiled ball of their ahead division, they usually always lived off scraps in consequence.

Three pointed frees from Nolan gave the Kilflynn males the early initiative earlier than Nathan Guerin (free) bought Ballyheigue off the mark within the twelfth minute, however with the latter starting to stand up and working, and the full of life James Sheehan to the fore, Crotta held a 0-5 to 0-2 lead on the finish of the primary quarter.

Nonetheless, with Michael Leane maintaining a decent rein on Jordan Conway, fellow inter-county star Colin Walsh quickly burst into proceedings for Ballyheigue, making an exquisite catch from a puck-out, driving on, and organising wing-forward Philip Lucid for a superbly-struck aim within the sixteenth minute to actually ignite their problem.

When Walsh was virtually instantly fouled for an additional Guerin free, Ballyheigue have been within the ascendancy for the primary time within the recreation, 1-3 to 0-5, however that was pretty much as good as issues would get for them. Crotta full-forward O’Donoghue was about to verify of that.

The talismanic Nolan (with two factors on the bounce) regained the lead for Crotta earlier than their quantity 14 would make his presence felt in a giant manner, slotting to the online with nice composure after being assisted by Cillian Trant within the twenty third minute, 1-7 to 1-3.

The hard-working Felim O’Sullivan and Nolan then exchanged wonderful factors from play, and with Guerin firing over one other free, Ballyheigue would have been hopeful of getting into on the break inside a few factors of their opponents.

Nonetheless, two minutes into injury-time, after being plied by Sheehan, O’Donoghue, after finally shrugging off the problem of corner-back Seamie Foran, as soon as once more went straight for the jugular, and his rocket to the highest nook of the online was a sickening blow to Ballyheigue, and an inspirational enhance to his personal facet, simply earlier than the interval to make it 2-8 to 1-5.

Now, with a six-point cushion and with the weather of their favour on the resumption, Crotta may need been anticipated to drag away comprehensively however, in a second half that actually by no means actually caught hearth to any vital diploma, Ballyheigue deserve credit score for plugging away to the bitter finish.

Midfielder Walsh and corner-forward O’Sullivan, specifically, stored making an attempt their finest to instigate a revival from the seasiders, however with an enormous over-dependency on the free-taking of Guerin for almost all of their scores (he notched 0-9 in complete from positioned balls), that was by no means going to be sufficient to rattle Crotta.

Conway (who wasn’t at his sharpest on the night time) did briefly thunder into issues with a few factors from play for Crotta within the third quarter, on the finish of which the winners have been nonetheless in a cushty place, 2-12 to 1-8, with the sport tapering off to some extent from there to the end.

Ballyheigue did handle to scale back the deficit to 5 factors however, disappointingly from their perspective, they failed to attain within the final quarter-hour (together with injury-time), and it was Crotta who sauntered previous the profitable put up, the all the time outstanding Weir, man-of-the-match Nolan and aim hero O’Donoghue, fittingly, taking pictures their remaining 4 factors.

CROTTA O’NEILLS: Adam Sullivan; Ryan McElligott, Invoice Keane, Sean McGrath; Rory Mahony, Sean Weir 0-1, Tadhg McKenna; Tomas O’Connor, Shane Nolan 0-10 (6f); Cillian Trant, Darragh O’Donoghue 0-1, Sean O’Donoghue; James Sheehan 0-1, Declan O’Donoghue 2-1, Jordan Conway 0-2. Subs: Denis Nolan for S O’Donoghue (44 minutes), Darragh Kennelly for Sheehan (54 minutes), Dominic Nolan for O’Connor (59 minutes), Cormac White for Darragh O’Donoghue (62 minutes).

BALLYHEIGUE: Cormac Slattery; Seamie Foran, Jason Casey, Dara Kearney; Graham Slattery, Mikey O’Halloran, Michael Leane; Colin Walsh, Ciaran Casey; Philip Lucid 1-0, Tomas Casey, Diarmuid Walsh; Tomas Gaynor, Nathan Guerin 0-9 (all frees), Felim O’Sullivan 0-1. Subs: Jordan Goggin for O’Halloran (30 minutes), David O’Mahony for Gaynor (half-time), Eric Walsh for T Casey (half-time), Rory Duggan for C Casey (56 minutes).

REFEREE: David Deady (Limerick)

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