Super sub JJ Hutchinson was the game-changer for Ballygunner in the final quarter as the champions blitzed Dungarvan with the last nine points of yesterday’s Round 2 contest at a wet, wet, wet Walsh Park (1-18 to 0-14).
The Gunners, who are unbeaten on the local scene since June 2015, were two points down when Hutchinson entered the fray.
The Déise inter-county footballer scored three points off the bench to turn the game on its head.
Pauric Mahony got four to increase his tally to 11 while Peter Hogan and Barry O’Sullivan also tagged on late points.
Gunners boss Darragh O’Sullivan hailed Hutchinson’s impact. “He’s a bit of a Billy Byrne! He’s done it for the last two or three years. I know JJ would say ‘I don’t want to be a 15- or 20-minute man’ but he made a savage statement when he came on today.”
Seven Ryan Donnelly singles (five frees and a 65) left Dungarvan 0-10 to 1-6 ahead at halfway. The sides were level five times.
Tim O’Sullivan blasted home on seven minutes for the Gunners after he collected a cross from Conor Power. Mahony nailed five frees.
The champions were down eight players that featured in the All-Ireland semi-final against Ballyhale Shamrocks in February.
Dungarvan wasted two goal opportunities.
Stephen O’Keeffe saved a Patrick Curran penalty while sub Joe Allen shot across the face of goal.
Michael Kiely sent them two up on the resumption. Mahony and Hogan levelled it again. They were tied eight times in total. Donnelly’s ninth made it 0-14 to 1-9 on 44 minutes but Dungarvan wouldn’t score again.
De La Salle also finished with a flourish to see off a plucky Passage in the curtain-raiser, 2-15 to 1-12. Jack Fagan shot nine points while super sub Sam Flynn got 1-2 after he replaced first-half goalscorer Eddie Meaney.
Richard Hurley completed a flowing move on 36 minutes to put Passage in front for the first time. Two Killian Fitzgerald points gave them a 1-11 to 1-8 advantage eight minutes into the second half. Fitzgerald flashed over 10 points in all.
Salle out-scored their opponents 1-7 to 0-1 for the remainder of the contest. Flynn whipped to the net on 39 minutes. Fagan was on fire with five points (two frees, two from play and a 65).
Manager Brian Phelan didn’t read too much into yesterday’s game. “It was only like a challenge game out there. There wasn’t much hitting or tackling today. The quarter-final or semi-final would be different if we met again.”
Meaney struck in the first minute as his shot trickled under Eddie Lynch. He suffered an arm injury a minute later, however, and left the action. Points from Fagan, Dean Twomey and Jake Dillon moved them 1-5 to 0-2 up. Six Fitzgerald conversions (five frees and a 65) cut the arrears to two by the break (1-6 to 0-7).
Abbeyside made it two wins out of two as goals by Michael Kiely, Mark Ferncombe and Sean Whelan-Barrett saw Peter Queally’s charges prevail 3-15 to 0-22 against Mount Sion at Walsh Park.
They were two goals to the good at half-time (2-10 to 0-10). Sion got within a point before Whelan-Barrett swooped nine minutes from the end for the Villagers.
Two Kenneth Kearney goals proved crucial as Tallow beat Clonea 2-19 to 1-14 at Fraher Field on Saturday. The number four was the perfect target man as he netted in each half for the Bridesiders.
County panellist Billy Power was the catalyst for a Clonea comeback in the second half with 10 points but he missed the chance to level the match on 53 minutes.
Tallow posted the last seven points, including four from Waterford front man Thomas Ryan, to put their first win on the board under former Cork boss Denis Walsh.
In the second game, Roanmore defeated Fourmilewater for the second year in succession (1-18 to 2-9). Emmet O’Toole netted a second half goal for the Sky Blues while county man Billy Nolan bagged five points (four beauties from play). Seven players contributed to the scoresheet in a slick team performance. Jamie Barron converted a first half penalty and Shane Walsh got a late consolation for a flat Fourmile.
It was the Maurice Shanahan show in Cappoquin on Thursday night. He returned to Lismore training a day after Waterford’s championship exit to Cork and was unmarkable at full-forward. Twelve points, six from play and six from placed balls, gave them a 1-21 to 0-15 local derby win over Ballyduff Upper. He also set up 1-3.
The black and amber were 11 points up after 14 minutes with the wind assistance. Jordan Shanahan batted home a goal after just 50 seconds while Maurice supplied seven points.
Ballyduff got back into the contest with six unanswered points. Eoghan Murray was their main source of scores with 0-11. Two Finbar Reaney efforts saw Lismore lead 1-11 to 0-8 at the break.
Lismore pulled away again in the second half as Oisin O’Gorman, Jack Prendergast, Iarlaith Daly and Stevie Barry added to their tally. Dan Shanahan came on as a late sub, playing in his 27th season for the first team. “He’s still trying to get one more medal!” quipped Maurice afterwards.