Upperchurch breeze into the third round thanks to a seven-point win

Clean Recycling Ireland County Senior Hurling Championship Upperchurch-Drombane 1-19 Holycross-Ballycahill 0-15

Clean Recycling Ireland County Senior Hurling Championship

Upperchurch-Drombane 1-19 Holycross-Ballycahill 0-15

Upperchurch Drombane breezed into the next round of the County Senior Hurling Championship with a comfortable and controlled performance against Holycross Ballycahill on Sunday afternoon last in the Ragg.

A shemozzle five minutes after the break seemed like the remedy necessary to kick start the Holycross assault on the scoreboard but this never materialised and with seven minutes left to play Paul Ryan put the game to bed by rattling the back of the net. Jody Brennan collected an angled pass in front of his marker but as he swivelled to beat his opponent he lost his balance as his boot came off. When Brennan stumbled he managed to release a shot that flew high into the air and off target only for the stiff breeze to hold it up and as all defenders completely switched off Paul Ryan collected out of the sky just left of the posts. From here the clever wing forward stepped back inside and off his right fired to the corner of the net to put nine between the sides and kill the contest.

This Upperchurch side are improving as the year progresses and with the injured James Barry to return along with Jody Brennan and Colm Ryan getting closer to full fitness they will be more than a match for any side they meet in the next round.

The manner of this defeat will sting Holycross more than anything as they never really mustered up any questions for the opposition to answer and lacked a constructive method playing into or with the breeze either side of the break.

Playing with the wind, which was quiet strong, in the opening half Upperchurch started fast and an angled effort from the industrious Paudie Greene’s stick warranted the first adjustment to the scoreboard after four minutes of play.

Pat Shortt who had an extremely impressive first half added two more soon after, one from play off his left and the second a free before Jamie Woods got the Holycross off the mark with a free of his own after nine minutes.

Rob Stakelum was lively when ball was delivered in his direction and he notched up a point off his left but the men in black and amber took over at the mid way point of the first half led superbly by man of the match Andy Kinnane in the half back line. In the middle of the field LJ Ryan found his range and fired two superb efforts from distance off his right and in attack Pat Shortt scored off both right and left from play along with being clinical from set plays notching up a magnificent haul of eight first half points leaving the score at the interval 0-13 to 0-4 in favour of ‘The Church’.

All was not lost at this point for Holycross as the elements were going to be in their favour in the second period but they failed to adjust and Paul Ryan registered early again for Upperchurch with a well worked team score laid on by Paudie Greene.

Holycross did manage to start closing the gap however it was mainly through the free taking of Jamie Woods as they only managed four scores from play all afternoon, Patrick Stakelum accounting for two of these with good strikes from midfield late on.

Despite this Upperchurch always appeared in control as the result never looked in danger and Ryan’s goal seven minutes from the end only put the seal on what was a well deserved victory for this impressive and progressive team.

Upperchurch Drombane: C. Shortt; M. Ryan, J. Ryan, P. Stapleton; A. Kinnane, J. McGuire, L. Purcell; J. Quinn (0-1), LJ Ryan (0-3); P. Shortt (0-9, 3F, 2-65), P. Shanahan, P. Ryan (1-3); P. Greene (0-2), M. Greene, C. Stapleton. Subs: J. Brennan (0-1) for C. Stapleton (27), C. Ryan for M. Greene (44), J. Greene for L. Purcell (51), E. Shortt for P. Ryan (56).

Holycross Ballycahill: T. Lowry; C. Carroll, J. Doyle, C. McGrath; Pierce Stakelum, S. Ryan, T. Comerford; T. Leahy, Patrick Stakelum (0-2); A. Stakelum, M. Doyle, T. Quinlan; J. Woods (0-12,11F), D. Duggan, R. Stakelum (0-1). Subs: S. Nally for T. Leahy (23), L. Moloney for A. Stakelum (44).

Referee: John Cleary