Hunterstown Rovers 2-14
O Raghallaigh’s 1-12
RYAN Burns sparkled in Páirc Uí Mhuirí as his Hunterstown Rovers side booked an Intermediate quarter-final spot with a five-point victory over O’Raghallaigh’s on Saturday afternoon.
Burns was forced to turn water into wine in the first half just to keep Rovers in the game. If his marker Stephen Murphy gave him half a yard, Burns was finding the target.
Be it outside of the right boot, swivel and quick shot or frees on his weaker foot, Burns was putting Rovers on his back and enjoying himself in the process.
Ironically, it was the support cast that proved vital in getting Peter Dooley’s side over the line. Jamie Ward and Dean Burns finding the net in each half, the former’s came when Hunterstown were struggling to get a foothold in the game and the latter was in the midst of a match winning blitz.
With Kyle McElroy comfortably stepping up to the senior grade, O Raghallaigh’s certainly have one for the future. McElroy opened the scoring and Ruairí Moore profited from some good work from his brother Eoin.
With Niall Flynn’s side on top, Jamie Ward played his way in front of the goals with quick hands from Glen Matthews and Dean Burns. The finish was high and handsome and allowed Rovers to take the lead.
The influenceof the Moore brothers couldn’t be curbed and Ruairí whipped over two more scores in direct response to the Hunterstown goal. Ryan Burns and Ryan Ward combined to give Hunterstown the lead but that would soon be cancelled out.
O Raghallaigh’s corner forward John Horan palmed in at the back post after some excellent Chris Smith play. Ben Rogan and Kyle McElroy from 45’ quickly tagged on points before the first-half water break.
That break in momentum allowed the Hunterstown management to clear their players heads and with that, Ryan Burns landed three in the run into half time to make it 1-8 to 1-6 in O Raghallaigh’s favour.
Again, with clarity in their play after the break, Hunterstown were ruthless in the third quarter. Dean Burns rounded his man to finish at the near post and Niall Carrie landed a brace in a 1-4 to no score sequence.
The seve- point turnaround went a long way in deciding the contest, with that cushion and Burns in such good of form, Rovers never looked vulnerable from that point onwards.
A good reason for that upturn in fortunes was the switch of Patrick Taaffe out the field to pick up Ruairí Moore. The former county man landed four in the fist half alone but only managed a free in the second period once Taaffe put the clamp on him.
Davy Finn scored his second before McElroy found his range with a free to make it 2-11 to 1-10. McElroy had chances to narrow the gap further.
Burns duly then closed the game out with three scores in a row, the awareness shown to glance behind his back to see where the opposing defender was, to then fire over from distance illustrated a man at the top of his game.
McElroy showed character to fire the last two points of the game for his side, they’ll need more of that this weekend in what looks to be a mouth-watering clash against Cooley Kickhams.
Huntrstown Rovers: Niall Carrie; Euan Woodlock, Patrick Taaffe, Martin Lennon; Daithi Carroll, Keith Brennan, Muiris O’Sullivan;Tony McKenna, Ryan Ward 0-1; David Finn 0-2, Paul Carrie 0-2, Glen Matthews; Jamie Ward 1-0, Ryan Burns 0-9 (1m, 3f), Dean Burns 1-0. Subs: Richie Taaffe for Brennan (48), Alan Landy for J Ward (51) Marc Ward for R Ward (58), Caolan McCabe for D Burns (61).
O’ Raghallaigh’s: Joe Flanagan; James Morgan, Stephen Murphy Alan Doyle; Emmet King, James Moonan, Ewan Sweeney; Chris Smith, Eoin Moore; Danny Morgan, Ruairi Moore 0-5 (1f), Danny Reilly; Kyle McElroy 0-5 (2f,1m), Ben Rogan 0-1, John Horan 1-1. Subs: Ciaran Brassil for J Morgan (36), Olan Walshe for D Morgan (43), Jack Carr for Sweeney (50), Cillian Curran for Horan (50).
REFEREE: Thomas Brennan