By Brian McDonnell at Newport
County Senior Hurling
Championship Round Two
Cappawhite 0-20 Borrisokane 2-13
Cappawhite over-turned a five-point interval deficit (0-8 to 1-10) to beat a depleted Borrisokane side thanks a storming second half display at Newport on Friday night.
Borrisokane, fielding without the influential Tadhg Slevin while the normally outstanding Colm Larkin also carried an injury into the game, played some good hurling in the opening half with Gordon Harding and Shane Dooley tormenting the Cappawhite defence.
Indeed, Borrisokane were full value for their half-time lead.
Cappawhite, coached by Adare’s Brian Foley, were a side transformed in the second half however. Although they were encouraged by a slight breeze after the break Cappawhite were inspired by a half-back line led by Tom Treacy and a terrific display from veteran Eugene O’Neill.
Indeed, the switch of Treacy and O’Neill mid-way through the first half proved absolutely vital.
Thanks to a Seosamh Cleary point and two Shane Dooley frees Borrisokane led 0-3 to no-score after five minutes. Cappawhite responded through Jerry O’Neill and Kevin Stapleton, but Borrisokane were moving much the better and led 0-6 to 0-2 thanks to efforts from Philip Austin, a Shane Dooley free and then an absolute smasher of a point from Dooley in the tenth minute.
Michael O’Neill then plundered a Cappawhite point, but that effort only served as a precursor to further Borrisokane points which arrived courtesy of Shane Dooley (free) and Gordon Harding - 0-8 to 0-3 by the 16th minute.
Cappawhite then opted to switch Tom Treacy to centre-back and Eugene O’Neill to midfield, a tactical move which transformed this game - the men from the west, for instance, won the remainder of this contest 0-17 to 2-5.
Two Michael O’Neill points got Cappawhite moving in the right direction and cut the deficit to three points (0-5 to 0-8) by the 17th minute.
A minute later however Gordon Harding sucked in the Cappawhite defence before passing to Andrew Austin who lashed his shot into the roof of Franny Quinn’s net.
By the 27th minute three Eugene O’Neill points cancelled out Austin’s goal - O’Neill fired one over from a placed ball while the other two were absolute crackers from distance.
Borrisokane closed out the half in positive fashion with efforts from Gordon Harding and Shane Dooley (free) leaving five between them at the break (1-10 to 0-8), but there was a sense that Cappawhite had turned a significant corner.
Cappawhite dominated right from the off in the second half with points from Jerry O’Neill (free), Niall Hayes and Russell Quirke cutting the deficit to two points (0-11 to 1-10) by the 36th minute.
Shane Dooley (free) managed a response for Borrisokane with 20 minutes to play, but there was no stopping a Cappawhite side who found themselves level (0-14 to 1-11) by the 47th minute thanks to efforts from Russell Quirke, Niall Hayes and Johnny Ryan.
In all Cappawhite hit 12 wides (Borrisokane four) with 11 of those materialising in the second half alone.
Such profligacy did frustrate the Cappawhite supporters somewhat, but when Eugene O’Neill fired his side into a 0-15 to 1-11 when converting a long-range free in the 49th minute the effort was greeted with roars of approval.
Full-forward Jerry O’Neill followed that effort up with a brace of points (one free) and suddenly Cappawhite were three points clear with nine minutes to play.
Seosamh Cleary responded for Borrisokane, Paul Fitzgerald smacked over a Cappawhite point and when Shane Dooley’s effort was deflected over in the 56th minute just two points separated the sides (1-13 to 0-18). A Michael O’Neill point, his fourth from play, helped Cappawhite into a three-point lead before an ugly melee broke out in the 58th minute - Cappawhite’s Paul Fitzgerald paid most dearly for his involvement in the fracas when he was shown a straight red card.
Borrisokane poured forward in search of vital scores, but Cappawhite struck for a fine point on the hour mark when they moved the ball into the hand of the hard-working Donagh Heffernan who left four between them. Cappawhite were delighted with Heffernan’s contribution, especially when Andrew Austin passed to Shane Dooley in the 62nd minute and Dooley rifled home a superb goal from a tight angle.
Borrisokane then hoped to engineer a late equaliser, but time ran out for the men from the north.
Cappawhite: Franny Quinn, John McGrath, Thomas Costello, Ger Ryan, Seán Ryan, Eugene O’Neill (0-4, 0-2 frees), Mathew Ryan, Tom Treacy, Michael O’Neill (0-4), Johnny Ryan (0-1), Niall Hayes (0-2), Donagh Heffernan (0-1), Jerry O’Neill (0-4, 0-2 frees), Russell Quirke (0-2), Kevin Stapleton (0-1). Subs: (7th) James Bradshaw for Mathew Ryan, (50th) Paul Fitzgerald (0-1) for Kevin Stapleton.
Borrisokane: Paul Egan, Conor Forde, Ray Harding, Shane Nevin, Rob Davis, Enda Forde, Brian Davis, Seosamh Cleary (0-2), Peter McSharry, B Reddan, Gordon Harding (0-2), Philip Austin (0-1), Shane Dooley (1-8, 0-6 frees), Colm Larkin, Andrew Austin (1-0). Subs: (26th) K Gleeson for B Reddan, (39th) Éanna Dooley for Colm Larkin, (62nd) Gary Power for Rob Davis.