In a quiet weekend of action, only two games were played in the third round after the senior hurling management requested a postponement of fixtures involving members of the panel ahead of the All Ireland qualifier against Offaly next Saturday. They continued their preparations by conducting a challenge game against the county U21s at Fraher Field yesterday.
On a bright and breezy Saturday evening at the Dungarvan venue, An Rinn held firm in the face of a second-half fightback from Rathgormack (0-13 to 0-10).
After losing their opening fixture, they have put together two wins to put them joint top of the table and poised for the last eight.
An Rinn have reached the quarter finals for the last three seasons but they will look to progress under new manager Pat Curran, who guided Stradbally to the county title last year.
With the breeze in their favour, they blasted into a four point lead. Rathgormack were minus the services of inter-county duo Gavin Nugent and Ronan Cahill but they enjoyed a period of dominance in response.
Five points on the trot, three frees from the boot of John C Kirwan and two Tony Power efforts in open play, put them a point ahead after the opening quarter.
The superior movement from the Gaeltacht outfit saw them dominate the rest of the half and depart with a 0-10 to 0-5 advantage. Four of those came from frees as An Rinn punished the indiscretions of their opponents. Maidhc Tóibín and Donie Breathnach led the way with seven points between them.
The second half turned into an untidy affair. Alan Kissane flashed six yellow cards which were evenly distributed between the teams.
An Rinn tended to over elaborate in possession and Rathgormack gradually reeled them in. The green and red closed to within three points and pressed for an equaliser late on.
Donie Breathnach brought his total to five points to keep An Rinn on track. With 14 points in three games, Breathnach is their chief marksman.
There was almost a sting in the tail in injury-time, as Paudie Whelan’s free found its way to the net but Kissane ruled it out for a square ball infringement. A third defeat in succession leaves Rathgormack with relegation worries.
In driving wind and rain at Fraher Field last night, Brickey Rangers achieved their first win of the championship over Ballinameela (0-5 to 1-1).
Brickeys had first use of the fierce wind and led 0-3 to 0-0 at the break. Carthach Shalloe posted two early frees but they were wasteful thereafter and shot nine wides.
It took 27 minutes for Conor Phelan to land their first point from play as the rain continued to hammer down. Substitute Conor McGrath extended their advantage two minutes after the resumption as they dealt capably into the elements.
Against the run of play, however, Eamonn Walsh slipped a ground shot to the net on 37 minutes to put Ballinameela back in the picture. Cian Culloo then levelled matters entering the final quarter but Shalloe’s third free nudged Brickeys back in front. Shalloe then saw his penalty saved with eight minutes left, yet they still held on.