Oulart-the-Ballagh power to semi-finals

CHAMPIONS Oulart-the-Ballagh crushed last year’s defeated finalists St Martin’s 3-21 to 1-8 in a one-sided Wexford senior hurling championship quarter-final played at Wexford Park on Saturday.

Shaun Murphy and Stephen Doyle pointed Oulart-the-Ballagh into an early lead before Daithi Waters goaled for St Martin’s. This was the only time that St Martin’s led as the champions took control with Keith Rossiter, Paul Roche and Eoin Moore dominant in defence, while David Redmond and Conor Goff controlled midfield.

Up front, Murphy had a goal after six minutes as points from Roche, Garret Sinnott and Nicky Kirwan had them 1-13 to 1-3 ahead at the interval.

There was no let up in the Oulart-the-Ballagh challenge after the restart with goals from Kirwan and Sinnott heaping further misery on St Martin’s.

Buffers Alley engineered a hard-earned 3-15 to 0-17 victory over Enniscorthy Rapparees in the second quarter-final, having led 2-7 to 0-12 at the interval. But the Alley withstood a ferocious challenge from the Rapparees and were flattered by their seven-point victory margin with their third goal arriving in the 61st minute from Andrew Kenny.

The Alley’s two first-half goals arrived courtesy of minor star Kenny and Tomas O’Leary, while the point-taking of Tomas Mahon kept the Enniscorthy side in contention.

Mahon who finished with 10 points was to the fore in a tremendous second half, while the Alley through a scoring surge from sub Keith Burke, with 0-4, kept in front before securing their semi-final spot with a late scoring surge.

Elsewhere Rathnure turned in a storming second-half display to overwhelm Glynn-Barntown (5-18 to 0-11) in their quarter-final clash at Bellefield, having led 1-7 to 0-7 at the break, with Jack Guiney’s goal separating the sides.

Paul Carley points kept Glynn-Barntown but once Rathnure stepped up the tempo of their game, they added four second-half goals through Guiney, Trevor Hogan, Robbie Codd and John O’Connor.

In the remaining quarter-final at Bellefield, Cloughbawn with goals from Colm Kehoe and Paul Foley had to withstand a late Faythe Harriers surge before emerging with a 2-18 to 4-11 victory.

The semi-finals draw are made tonight.

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