Templederry put behind them the disappointment of defeat by their neighbours, Borrisoleigh, in the North championship a few days earlier, to decisively end Golden-Kilfeacle’s county senior hurling title aspirations in a one-sided first round tie at Drombane on Monday evening.
County hurling manager Declan Ryan was an interested spectator but there was no action for county panellist Thomas Stapleton who was sidelined with a groin injury.
The Kenyons’ manager, John McGrath, did a major shake-up in their side from that which lost to Borris, but in his wildest imagination he could not have expected to have had such an easy passage as this contest was over by the end of the first quarter at which stage Templederry led 2-9 to 0-2.
In those opening minutes, Eanna Murray did a one-man demolition job on the West representatives with goals in the 8th and 12th minutes, and he also registered four points in the period, three of the points from frees. He finished with a first half tally of 2-8.
He was ably abetted by Padraig O Leary who registered 1-4 in the half, his goal coming in the 20th minute after a defender fumbled a delivery that ought to have been easily dealt with. Templederry led 3-15 to 0-4 at the interval, Daithi Ivers, two frees, and Joshua Keane getting the Golden points.
Golden-Kilfeacle were still ”down” after a heavy defeat by Cappawhite in the West championship a few days earlier. They needed to start well to boost confidence but with their key man Jim Bob McCarthy absent through injury, it was never going to be easy.
They were severely punished for some slack defending and came out in the second half playing for pride and hoping to establish a decent platform to build on for the O Riain Cup and to avoid relegation.
From that perspective their last quarter showing when they outscored their opponents by six points to three, will give them encouragement, but the backroom team has a lot of work to do to “circle the wagons” for the struggle that lies ahead.
Golden needed a good start to the second half, but, even an easing down Templederry were still too strong.
They hit five unanswered points in the third quarter to put them 3-20 to 0-4 in front.
To the West side’s credit they kept at it, Joshua Keane landing a couple of fine points and Daithi Ivers converting three frees with Daithi Bargary getting another but it was all very academic.
So Templederry Kenyons advance to the next round when they can expect a sterner challenge, but even allowing for the quality of the opposition, they could still have a lot to say in the title race.
With Thomas Stapleton back to lead the defence, they will trouble a lot of teams and their hope now will be for a favourable draw in the second round to carry the campaign a stage further.
Eanna Murray’s first half showing was certainly eye-catching, and though he hit a few stray efforts later, he is a forward of great quality.
Likewise Padraig O Leary, and this duo will cause problems for many defences.
County man Gearoid Ryan operated at midfield in a quietly efficient manner, but Christy Coughlan, who manned the number three spot in Stapleton’s absence, Timmy Minogue, and James Hogan, all made significant contributions to the victory.
Golden-Kilfeacle have a mountain to climb to restore self-belief in the players after a demoralising few days.
However, now is the time for the squad to stick together and clearly there is a lot of ability in it, enough to get them out of dreaded relegation trouble. Aidan O Connell, Joshua Keane, Shane Stapleton, Paddy Ivers, and the accurate Daithi Ivers did most to stem the tide.
Templederry Kenyons – Mathew Ryan; Padraig Ryan, Christy Coughlan, Tadgh McLoughlin; Brian Stapleton, Timmy Minogue, Pio Kennedy; Matt Hogan, Gearoid Ryan(0-1); Donal McGrath, Eanna Murray (2-12, 9fs), Paul Murray; James Hogan(0-3), Padraig O Leary (1-7), Michael OLeary; Subs- Tomas Ryan for P Murray; Cathal Ryan for M Hogan;
Golden-Kilfeacle- Declan Donnelly; Aidan O Connell, Ronan Hayes, Kevin Moloney; Gerard Fogarty, James Hayes, Patrick Ivers; Daithi Bargary(0-1), James O Connell; Shane O Connell, Shane Stapleton, Daithi Ivers(0-5, all frees); John Colohan, Tomas Burns, Joshua Keane (0-4); Subs- Sean Hayes for Burns; Christy Ryan for Donnelly;
Ref- Keith Delahunty.