By Derek Kiely
Evening Echo Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship
Youghal 2-12 Watergrasshill 2-09
YOUGHAL showed that when it comes to seeing out victories in this years championship, they could have been forgiven for thinking that their first round defeat was a little unfair, but Peter Queallys men made no such mistake last Thursday evening at St. Catherine’s, when they deservedly held on for victory, but an Eight point lead at the short whistle should have been a bigger cushion in the second half.
Youghal played a brilliant first half of hurling, where Bill Cooper, Stephen Twomey and Brendan Ring were outstanding.
Youghal strolled into a four point lead with scores from play from Ring, Cooper, Leigh Desmond and Brett Moloney. It took the hill 11 minutes to register a score, eventually it came from a free from midfielder Paddy O’Regan.
Brendan Ring responded with a free of his own a minute later, but a ‘65’ from O’Regan on the 15th minute made it a four point game once more.
Youghal then got their first goal of the match, when Richard Cunningham played the perfect pass to Desmond who rounded the Watrergrasshill keeper Aidan Foley and carefully slotted the ball home.
Seconds later Ring was on target again from play and a rather shocked looking Watergrasshill side, significantly playing into the breeze trailed by seven.
Eoin Barry pointed for the Hill on the 21st minute, but it did nothing to suppress the Youghal pressure.
Relentless in attack Youghal again found a big gap in the Watergrasshill defence, when Cooper fielded a magnificent ball on the right he found Desmond who fooled the former Tipperary Inter-County hurler Eddie Enright with ease and found Richard Cunningham who drilled the ball into the Watergrasshill net for Youghal’s second goal of the evening.
The Hill had the last say of the first half with a Jason Foley pointed free, but at the break confidence was booming out of the many Youghal supporters who had made the journey to Ballynoe./
The second half performance from the Hill dented that confidence significantly with an early goal from John Halbert and a couple of early points drew the Hill eventually to within a goal, but Youghal had something extra about them and kept chipping away at the score board.
With just 7 minutes remaining Watergrasshill scored their second goal, this time from Jason Foley and just two points separated the sides, but cometh the hour cometh the men as both Cooper and Ring slotted over the winning scores, add to that a couple of significant saves by the Youghal captain and keeper Eoin Coleman and you can round off a very good team performance from the Youghal Gaels
Youghal: E Coleman; S Twomey, J Grace, B O’Sullivan; K Walsh, C Spillane, B Coleman; B Moloney (0-1) B Ring; N Roche, B Cooper (0-3) R Cunningham (1-0); A Curtin (0-1) B Ring (0-6) L Desmond (1-1)
Subs; M Cronin for B Coleman (40) J Ormonde for A Curtin (58)
Watergrasshill; A Foley; E O’Reilly, E Enright, W O’Leary; D McCarthy, S O’Callaghan (0-2) G Hogan; A Cronin, O’Regan (0-3); K Coakley, N O’Riordan, J Foley (1-3); P Cronin, J Halbert (1-0) E Barry (0-1)
Referee; Diarmuid Cronin (Eire Og)