Ross Peters (left) scored a great goal when St Mary's beat Sean Treacys
St Mary's 2-19 Sean Treacys 2-16
St Mary's passed a stern test of their credentials from Sean Treacys at Bansha this evening to make it two wins from two in group 1 of the FBD Insurance County Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship.
The Clonmel team made most of the running from the fifth minute, when Peter McGarry collected a puckout from goalkeeper Enda Dunphy before advancing and arrowing a low shot to the net to give them a 1-2 to 0-2 lead.
They never subsequently surrendered that advantage, and while their victory may have been hard-earned it was just about deserved.
St Mary's looked set for a relatively comfortable victory ten minutes into the second half when Enda Dunphy's puckout broke for Ross Peters, who sent a piledriver to the net to give them a seven-points cushion (2-15 to 1-11).
However any thoughts that they might have entertained about strolling to the final whistle were soon dashed by the west team, who pushed them all the way to the finish.
In the space of the next eight minutes Sean Treacys outscored St Mary's by 1-4 to 0-1 to give themselves a real fighting chance of securing their first win in the group, after they had drawn their opening game against Burgess.
A Mike Feehan point was soon answered by a great point by Jason Lonergan, which the St Mary's player made for himself.
However, the next phase of the game very much belonged to Sean Treacys. When Mike Feehan supplied a pass, Jody Ryan made a great catch before turning swiftly to fire home his second goal of the evening. Darragh Kennedy and Patrick Carey quickly added points, followed by a converted long-range free from captain Brian Carey, and now they were only a point adrift (2-16 to 2-15) and right back in the hunt, with ten minutes of normal time remaining.
To their credit, St Mary's held their nerve in the tense closing stages. Gavin Ryan shot a point just before they had a scare at the other end when the ever-dangerous Pat Deegan lobbed a dangerous ball across the face of the goal, before the danger was averted.
A foul on Peter McGarry gave Sean Kennedy the opportunity to shoot his eleventh point from an acute angle with three minutes left on the clock (2-18 to 2-15).
Sean Treacys didn't give up the ghost and Brian Carey had a point. But they needed another goal and with the St Mary's defence stubbornly refusing to yield, that never looked likely, with substitute Sam Ryan sealing the Clonmel side's victory with his second point.
St. Mary's will be delighted to have maintained the momentum following their first round win over Newport. Captain Seamus Kennedy was immense at the heart of their defence while Jamie Peters and Matt Barlow gave little away either. Jason Lonergan came more into the game in the second half while Ross Peters, apart from his stunning goal, made his presence felt all over the field.
Sean Kennedy's tally of eleven points was crucial to their success, and he was also prominent in the general play. Substitutes Sam Ryan and Josh Ryan also made important contributions, goalkeeper Enda Dunphy's clever distribution was a major asset, while Gavin Ryan was another who gave his all.
Sean Treacys are still waiting for their first win of the campaign and 12 wides, six in each half, didn't help their cause. Jody Ryan took his two goals very well while freetaker Patrick Carey, Darragh Kennedy and Pat Deegan were always a threat in attack.
Seanie Ryan was busy at midfield while Emmet Ryan and captain Brian Carey also stood out. But they will regret their failure to push on when they had St Mary's on the ropes, after they trimmed their seven point lead back to just a point.
In an entertaining encounter that was always played at a brisk pace, St Mary's started with the fresh breeze, with freetakers Sean Kennedy (St Mary's) and Patrick Carey exchanging two points each in the early stages.
Peter McGarry's excellently-executed goal gave the Clonmel team a real boost. After Patrick Carey hit back with a point for Sean Treacys, the Clonmel team might have had another goal but Cathal Deely, having done the hard part to get on the end of goalie Enda Dunphy's clearance, couldn't get a clean shot away when he came under pressure. His effort was deflected by Sean Treacys goalie Shane Stapleton for a 65, which Sean Kennedy steered between the posts.
Peter McGarry followed up his goal with a point, and the pattern of the close exchanges continued when Sean Treacys struck three points without reply through Patrick Carey's free, Emmet Ryan and Darragh Kennedy to leave it 1-4 to 0-6 after a quarter of an hour.
St Mary's steadied the ship with three points in a row from Sean Kennedy; the first and third from frees, with the second coming from a lobbed effort that almost caught out Shane Stapleton and nearly ended up in the net.
Ross Peters chipped in with a point before Patrick Carey responded with a converted free. Patrick Carey and Sean Kennedy swapped further scores from frees, before Kennedy found the target from a 65 at the end of normal time. That was after Ruairi Leahy collected a pass from Tadhg Condon and, with defenders closing in, hit a low shot that Shane Stapleton pushed away for a 65.
At that stage Sean Treacys' freetaker Patrick Carey was keeping his side in contention. However, Jody Ryan breathed new life into their challenge in additional time when he accepted a pass from Pat Deegan and shook the net for their opening goal.
Stevie Carr added a point before St. Mary's regained their composure with points from Sam Ryan and Sean Kennedy, leaving them ahead at half-time by 1-12 to 1-9.
St Mary's: Enda Dunphy, Joe Gunne, Jamie Peters, Matt Barlow, Tadhg Condon, Seamus Kennedy (captain), James Morris, Jason Lonergan (0-2), Eoin McCarthy, Peter McGarry (1-1), Sean Kennedy (0-11, 8 frees, 2 '65s), Cathal Deely, Ross Peters (1-1), Ruairi Leahy, Gavin Ryan (0-1).
Substitutes: Sam Ryan (0-2) for Eoin McCarthy, Josh Ryan (0-1) for Cathal Deely, Dean Cagney for Gavin Ryan, Conor Deely for James Morris.
Sean Treacys: Shane Stapleton, Paul Nolan, Sean Hickey, Christy Egan, Emmet Ryan (0-1), Tom Hickey, Brian Carey (captain, 0-2, 1 free), Seanie Ryan, Andy O'Brien, Pat Deegan, Stevie Carr (0-2), Mike Feeehan (0-1), Patrick Carey (0-7 frees), Jody Ryan (2-0), Darragh Kennedy (0-3).
Substitutes: Cillian Kennedy for Stevie Carr, Mattie Feehan for Darragh Kennedy, Eoin Sheldon for Andy O'Brien, Brian Nolan for Patrick Carey, Brendan O'Dwyer for Christy Egan.
Referee: Paddy Russell (Emly).
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