A vastly superior Youghal outfit inflicted a humiliating defeat on Tracton in this one-sided Premier IHC meeting at Caherlag on Saturday.
It was a relief to all in attendance that there was no repeat of the fighting which marred last year’s encounter between these two sides, however the game provided little in the way of edge-of-the-seat entertainment as Youghal dominated throughout.
Playing with the strong breeze, Youghal hit top gear from the first whistle and by half-time they had racked up a 2-11 to 0-2 lead and should have been further ahead, having registered eight wides.
Captain Brendan Ring proved flawless from the dead ball, knocking over seven frees and a 65 as well as striking two points from play to claim a tally of 0-10.
Potency in attack was a major difference between the sides. Tracton never looked like creating a goal while Youghal threatened the net every time they got the ball to their full-forward line.
Corner-forwards Alan Frahill O’Connor and Jonathan Ormonde claimed goals in each half with centre forward Brendan Coleman also netting in a ruthless display of finishing.
Tracton couldn’t be faulted for resilience, to their credit they battled until the final whistle but they had no answer for the pace and skill of Youghal, who seemed to have the edge in every department.
The extent of Youghal’s control was reflected in the fact Tracton only managed three points from open play in the 60 minutes, from Seán O’Sullivan and Kieran Lynch, and those came in the final quarter.
It didn’t take Youghal long to get a grip on proceedings with O’Connor handing them the lead with a point inside the opening minute.
Tracton did little to help their cause by repeatedly giving away needless frees in their own half and with Ring on form Youghal were able to build up an early lead without breaking a sweat.
Having missed two early frees, Ronan Walsh finally opened Tracton’s account after 15 minutes but Youghal’s response was immediate with O’Connor flicking a pass from Brett Maloney into the net to open up a seven-point lead.
A second Walsh point was followed by three Ring frees before Ormonde got on the end of a long Andrew Curtin ball to hit Youghal’s second goal and knock the wind out of Tracton on the stroke of half-time.
Youghal got off the mark in the second half with another goal. This time Coleman applied the crucial touch, when he flicked a long Ring free into the Tracton net.
James O’Mahony looked to have netted seven minutes later but Tracton keeper Damien Walsh kept the effort out only for Ormonde to knock in the rebound to make it 4-11 to 0-4.
With the contest decided, Youghal understandably sat back somewhat and the sides traded point for point during a rather lacklustre third quarter.
Tracton tried to up their game late on, hoping to bring some respectability on the scoreboard and O’Sullivan produced two fine points in quick succession to mark their only purple patch in the match five minutes from time.
But Youghal were determined to go out on a high and it was O’Connor who supplied the final flurry with a tremendous double score, sending over a brilliant point before smashing an unstoppable effort into the top corner of the net to complete the rout.
Scorers for Youghal: B Ring 0-10 (7fs, 1 65), AF O’Connor 2-3, J Ormonde 2-0, B Coleman 1-0, J O’Mahony 0-2, A Curtin 0-1.
Scorers for Tracton: R Walsh 0-8 (7fs, 1 65), S O’Sullivan 0-2, K Lynch 0-1.
YOUGHAL: R Cunningham; B Ring; J Grace; S Twomey; B Goggin; C Spillane; D Ring; N Roche; J O’Mahony; A Curtin; B Coleman; B Maloney; J Ormonde; B Ring; AF O’Connor.
Subs: K Dempsey for Brendan Ring (56), K Walsh for O’Mahony (57).
TRACTON: D Walsh; B Lynch; M Barry; C McGuinness; R Cronin; K Corrigan; C Lordan; K Lynch; J Harrington; S O’Sullivan; J Kingston; G Kingston; R Walsh; F Lynch; M Sullivan.
Subs: David O’Callaghan for G Kingston (36), T McGuiness for Harrington (37), J Kingston for F Lynch (54).
Referee: J Sexton (Ballyhea).
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