Hospital edge past Blackwater to top Harty Cup group

A gutsy second-half comeback means Hospital edge past Blackwater to finish top of Group C in the Dr. Harty Cup.

Hospital edge past Blackwater to top Harty Cup group

Blackwater CS 0-17 John the Baptist, Hospital 2-14

A gutsy second-half comeback means Hospital edge past Blackwater to finish top of Group C in the Dr. Harty Cup.

Hospital started the game fast when Dylan O’Shea pulled on a breaking ball that rocketed into the net after two minutes.

Blackwater’s Aaron Ryan replied when he slotted a free, but two points from Hospital’s Brian O’Grady and O’Shea increased their sides lead.

Another Ryan free for Blackwater was cancelled out by a point from Hospital’s Michael Martin, but Blackwater’s young side began to dominate in midfield, and two more arrow-like free’s from Ryan made the gap two points.

Discipline was an issue for Hospital, and Blackwater’s Ryan converted another free and nailed a point straight after to bring the sides to level after 15 minutes.

Hospital’s puck outs weren’t sticking, and points from Oisín O’Gorman and Ryan increased Blackwater’s lead to two points.

O’Grady then broke a 15 minute scoring drought for Hospital with an important point, but Blackwater hit back with Gavin Fives’ first point of the game.

Another successful free from Blackwater’s sharpshooter Ryan was followed by a point from Hospital’s O’Shea, but the free’s kept coming for Blackwater as Ryan drove over another to make it a five point lead.

Late points from Hospital’s Ryan Tobin and Oisín O’Grady made the scores Blackwater 0-12 Hospital 1-7 at halftime.

Blackwater furthered their lead to begin the second half when Fives popped over his second point, but Hospital’s Oisín O’Grady hit back with one of his own.

O’Gorman then curled over a point over for Blackwater as they looked to make the game comfortable, but Hospital didn’t lie down, and three clinical points from Brian O’Grady, O’Shea and Eoin O’Mahony levelled the scores.

Hospital began to use centre back Kevin Bonar as a sweeper, and the switch was paying dividends when a Martin point gave Hospital the lead 15 minutes into the second half.

Two more Ryan scores for Blackwater were followed by a levelling point for Hospital’s Conor Burke, but with seven minutes to go, Hospital’s Oisín O’Grady cleverly volleyed a high ball into the net to score the all important goal.

Late free’s from Hospital’s Brian O’Grady and Blackwater’s Ryan finished the days scoring as Hospital ran out three point victors.

Speaking on the win, Hospital’s manager Ivor McCaffrey said, “It was a great fightback in the second half, Blackwater played very well and put us under huge pressure. We were very careless with the ball, but we pulled through in the end and topped the group.

“There’s a lot of areas we need to work on, particularly with our distribution of the ball, so we’ll need to improve those if we want to be a serious challenger in the competition.

“We have some friendlies in the pipeline now and we’ll prepare well for the next stage of the draw.”

Scorers for Blackwater: A Ryan (0-13, 10 frees); G Fives, O O’Gorman (0-2 each).

Scorers for Hospital: D O’Shea (1-4, 2 frees); O O’Grady (1-1); B O’Grady (0-4, 1 free); M Martin (0-2); R Tobin (0-1).

Blackwater: D Beecher; B Wright, C Howard, J Power; I O’Neill, E Walsh, S Hickey; K Bennett, G Fives; T Flynn, K Crawford, A Ryan; J Walsh, R Bennett, O O’Gorman.

Subs: M Buckley for R Bennett.

Hospital: D MacAuley; K Reale, M Quinlan, P Byrne; B Heavey, K Bonar, A Buckley; E O’Mahony, P Reale; O O’Grady, B O’Grady, M Martin; A O’Heney, D O’Shea, R Tobin.

Subs: P Morrissey for A O’Heney, C Burke for P Reale.

Referee: Noel Cosgrave

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