It has been a while since Slieverue glued three adult wins together, but they completed the hat trick with a merited, convincing win over Windgap in Slieverue on Saturday evening. The winners of this game stood to wrest top spot away from the Rower Inistioge, and dependent on the result, the losers could also qualify for the play-offs if their scoring differences was better than others.
Slieverue won because they had the greater willingness to work hard for each other. They also enjoyed a distinct advantage in physical power, and experience, with many of their players experiencing Junior Championship fare over a number of years.
Slieverue jumped into an early four-point lead which settled them. However the doughty Windgap lads, never ones to shirk a challenge, came storming back, and their corner forward, Seamie Hennessy had the ball in the Slieverue net to give his side some hope of coming out on the right side at the finish of what seemed an uphill proposition from the start. An unimpeded run of eight points by the winners in the middle of the first half really pushed the Slieverue cause into a forlorn cause as far as the trailing Windgap lads were concerned. But again, they are courageous if nothing else, and some points by James Murray, and Hennessy left them trailing by 0-11 to 1-3 at the break.
Again gutsy Slieverue had the better of the early second half exchanges, with three unanswered points by Bill Irish, Martin Dowling and free-taker, Ricky Hogan. Windgap hung on to their coat tails in their efforts to stay in touch. Martin Dowling (0-4), Robbie Roche, Cian Tyler, Oliver Mullally slipped over some delightful points, but the evergreen PJ Barron, and JJ Phelan mustered some optimism in the Windgap resolve with goals in the 50th and 58th minutes. It was never going to be sufficient to get their noses in front, and it was surely an impossible ask when Martin Knox slammed home the Slieverue goal in the dying minutes.
The better team won, and poor Windgap’s losing margin denied them a place in the play-offs. They needed a deficit of no more than seven points.
Slieverue: Martin Dowling (0-6); Ricky Hogan (0-5, frees); Cian Tyler (0-4); Martin Knox (1-1); Bill Irish, David Dowling, Robbie Roche, Oliver Mullally (0-1 each).
Windgap: Seamie Hennessy (1-0); Steven Purcell (0-3); PJ.Barron, JJ.Phelan (1-0 each); James Murray (0-2, frees); Peter Hennessy (0-1).
Slieverue: Donnacha Griffin, Steven Dolan, Alan Atkins, David Dowling, Richie Roche, Ricky Hogan, Jamie Murphy, David Walsh, Robbie Roche, Bill Irish, Martin Dowling, Aaron Cullinane, Cian Tyler, Martin Knox, John Rellis.
Subs (used): Oliver Mullally.
Windgap: Michael Power, Darren Walsh, Shane Walsh, Edward Cunningham, Garry Lyons, Ger Purcell, Darragh O’Shea, Adrian Landy, Peter Hennessy, Steven Purcell, JJ.Phelan, Paul McKenna, Brendan Power, James Murray, Seamie Hennessy.
Subs (used): Paul Comerford, Kieran Purcell, PJ.Barron.
Ref: Tom Duggan (Mullinavat).