AIB Connacht Club Intermediate Hurling Championship Quarter-Final
Four Roads 0-19
Four Roads’ Connacht championship campaign was short-lived as they were shown a clean pair of heels by a hugely impressive Tooreen outfit at cold but sunny Athleague last Sunday. The visitors were clinical in attack all through and thoroughly deserved their ten-point win. They now go on to meet the London champions in Athleague next Sunday with the winners facing the Galway champions in the decider.
With 48 points scored by both sides, this was a splendid encounter with some marvellous score-taking on view, particularly from the Mayo side. Led by dual star Fergal Boland, they pulled away in the second quarter and in the ten minutes before half-time they outscored Four Roads by 0-8 to 0-2 and that proved decisive in the end.
It was score for score early on. Fergal Boland, Sean Kenny and Shane Boland were on fire for Tooreen and always looked dangerous. But in fairness to Four Roads Padraig Kelly and Brendan Mulry looked sharp, while Cathal Dolan his customary deadly accurate self from play and frees.
It was 0-4 apiece after eleven minutes with only two points having come from placed balls. With nineteen minutes gone it was 0-8 apiece with Dolan for Four Roads and Fergal Boland grabbing some inspirational scores from a variety of angles.
But Tooreen got to grips with Padraig Kelly and Brendan Mulry and they prospered even further after that. Wing back Conor Henry scored two magnificent long-range points as they tightened their grip on proceedings and by half-time they led by 0-16 to 0-10.
Despite a free-taking exhibition from Cahtal Dolan after the break, Tooreen were always able to keep Four Roads at arm’s length and the good sized crowd were treated to some breath-taking skills from the teams as the scores rained over the crossbar at both ends of the ground.
With Fergal Boland scoring seven magnificent points from play Tooreen were ten points to the good when referee Shane Hynes blew the final whistle. Conor Henry, Sean Kenny, Sean Regan, Shane Boland and Kenny Feeney were also very impressive for the winners. Make no mistake; it will take a very good team to beat this Tooreen outfit.
It was not Four Roads’ day and they will admit that they were beaten by a better team on the balance of play. Jack Donnelly, Padraig Kelly, Brendan Mulry and the outstanding Cathal Dolan were their best performers.
Tooreen: Stephen Lenehan; Gary Nolan, Michael Morley, John Cassidy; Conor Henry (0-2), Stephen Coyne, David Kenny; Cathal Freeman, Daniel Huane; Sean Kenny (0-7, 5 frees, 2 ’65s), Fergal Boland (0-7), Sean Regan (0-3, 1 s/l); Shane Boland (0-5, 3 frees), Kenny Feeney (0-2), Eoin Delaney (0-3).
Subs: Ciaran Finn for Feeney (47), Conor English for Kenny (55), Liam Lavin for Regan (57), David Harrison for Freeman (59).
Four Roads: David Dowd; Cormac Coyle, Jamie Lawlor, Martin McLoughlin; Johnny Moran, Micheal Kelly, Jack Donnelly; Shane Curley (0-1, s/l), Conor Coyle; Cathal Dolan (0-10, 5 frees ’65), Noel Fallon (0-1), Padraig Kelly (0-4 1 free); Andy Lawlor, Brendan Mulry (0-2), James Cunniffe (0-1).
Subs: Paddy Gannon for A Lawlor (29), Diarmuid Treacy for C Coyle (h/t), Johnny Coyne for Fallon (38), Donal Kelly for Moran (43), Niall Hynes for Cunniffe (61).
Referee: Shane Hynes (Galway)