Courtesy of the KiIlkenny People
This was a great win for the men in red, whose fortunes have turned dramatically in all levels over the past number of weeks. From the third minute when Phil Lonergan belted over the opening score for Windgap to the final minute when Cian Ryan fired a free over, the Windgap men never lost their concentration, or their unabridged determination to succeed.
This was a tough bruising encounter, with very little freedom afforded, or sympathy extended.
Mooncoin were certainly hampered by the red carding of one of their forwards for a cynical transgression, that certainly cost his side dearly.
Thanks to points by Phil Lonergan (3), Gary Lyons (2), and a Cian Ryan free, Windgap were in front by five points to a single Ethan Ryan free for Mooncoin by the 11th minute. They were further ahead by the 11th minute, when a long delivery by Conor Lonergan was contested by Pauric Walsh as it arrived in the vicinity of the Mooncoin goal, eventually ending up in the Mooncoin net. Ethan Ryan, Jamie McGrath, and Cormac Fleming were busy trying to prevent the scoring difference being extended beyond manageable proportion, as they clipped over a number of very fine points before the half time break, which saw the scoreboard read, Windgap 1-7, Mooncoin 0-7.
To give credit to the Mooncoin lads, it was a big ask to expect them to win the game with the numerical odds stacked against them . They certainly gave it a very decent rattle, and could probably claim that the Gods construed against them getting over the finishing line in front. By the 43rd minute, Mooncoin were level against a faltering Windgap outfit. However Windgap were not for capitulation either, and a trio of nice points by Lonergan (2) and a booted effort by Tommy Fleming handed the initiative to the visitors by the 53rd minute. But again the Mooncoin lads, hurling well on their own patch, came storming with a late spurt. Points by Robbie Cody, Ethan Ryan (free), and substitute Andy Brennan levelled matters as the game swung into the final three minutes. However points by Phil Lonergan and a Cian Ryan free sealed the game for the men in red.
A good contest, where the advantage of a full team for all of the journey was key.
Windgap had fine performers in Niall Walsh in goal, whilst exceptionally youthful, made a string of bravely important saves. Aidan Mackey, Dara O’Shea, Phil Lonergan, and Peter Hennessy also made strong contributions.
Mooncoin were well served by Sean Wall, Niall Madden, Cormac Fleming and Jamie McGrath.
Windgap: Phil Lonergan (0-6); Cian Ryan (0-4, three frees, one ’65); Pauric Walsh (1-0); Gary Lyons (0-2); Tommy Fleming (0-1).
Mooncoin: Ethan Ryan (0-5, frees); Cormac Fleming (0-3); Sean Wall, JP.Purcell, Jamie McGrath, Robbie Cody, Johnny Phelan, Andy Brennan (0-1 each).
Windgap: Niall Walsh, Aidan Mackey, Peter Landy, Dara O’Shea, Ger Purcell, Matt Enright, Conor Lonergan, Tom Lonergan, Cian Ryan, Tommy Fleming, Phil Lonergan, Peter Hennessy, Gary Lyons, Eamon Hawe, Pauric Walsh.
Subs (used): Michael Power, Paul McKenna.
Mooncoin: Eoin Purcell, Niall Blanchfield, Dick Mackey, Ian Dunphy, Conor Brophy, Sean Wall, Niall Madden, Ethan Ryan, David Kearns, JP.Purcell, Jamie McGrath, Cormac Fleming, Robbie Cody, Liam Walsh, Johnny Phelan.
Sub (used): Andy Brennan.
Ref: Jim Fitzgerald (Piltown).