Powerful Passage back in title hunt

Waterford SHC, Round 4: With their backs to the wall beforehand, county champions Passage came out fighting last night to claim a vital Group 1 win over Fourmilewater in a crunch fourth round clash at Fraher Field (3-18 to 1-18).

Powerful Passage back in title hunt

Goals from Eoin Kelly, Conor Carey and Rory Walsh got Passage back in the shake-up for the last eight with one round remaining.

Peter Queally’s charges started in swift fashion. Thomas Connors opened after 17 seconds and Killian Fitzgerald lashed over a brace from deep. In the ninth minute, Fitzgerald’s point attempt landed short but Eoin Kelly was lurking to deflect the ball to the far corner past Brendan Lawlor (1-4 to 0-2). Fourmilewater stayed in touch through two points from Waterford minor Conor Gleeson. Passage keeper Eddie Lynch also pulled off two saves. He didn’t know much about the first one as Tommy Cooney’s ferocious effort hit his helmet. Shane Ryan was next up but he blasted straight at the in-form keeper.

Lynch could do little about Fourmilewater’s goal on 25 minutes when Dermot Ryan flicked home a clever shot with his back to goal.

Passage rebounded on 27 minutes when Rory Walsh teed up Conor Carey to fire to the net and they went to the dressing rooms 2-11 to 1-9 in the ascendancy.

Although Fourmilewater reduced the deficit to three points with a Barron double from frees, a scrambled concession put them on the back foot once more. Sean Hogan dropped in a dangerous delivery and Rory Walsh eventually brought order to a crowded goalmouth with a wristy finish from close range.

Passagewill be disappointed however by their 15 wides. Eoin Kelly shot over an audacious point to complete the job and he contributed 1-5 in all.

Jamie Barron’s attempts from placed balls were in vain as the Ballymacarbry side enter the final round with just one win under their belt.

A double blast from John Keane allowed De La Salle to maintain their unbeaten streak as they dispatched Roanmore by 2-19 to 0-11 at Walsh Park.

They started short the services of five time All Star John Mullane but Salle still secured their fourth success to sit at the summit of the Group 1 standings.

Allen Dillon’s side were four in front at half time (1-8 to 0-7). Keane’s first came in a fortuitous manner as he managed to get his fingers to Kevin Moran’s cross on the quarter hour in an attempt to catch the sliotar. Gavin O’Brien accounted for six of Roanmore’s first half takings.

Paul O’Sullivan trimmed the gap to three but the Sky Blues were shaken when O’Brien hobbled off after 35 minutes. Salle added six singles without reply before Keane struck for his second with five minutes left. Ten different players chipped in as they coasted home.

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