SEAN O’Mahony’s got their Avonmore Intermediate Championship bid underway in spectacular fashion as they blitzed local rivals Na Piarsaigh by a massive 18 points in Clan na Gael Park on Sunday afternoon.
Many arrived at the Castletown venue expecting a hotly contested derby affair. Instead, they were treated to a mismatch as the men from the Point Road ran riot, sending out a warning that they are ready to make a return to the Senior grade after being relegated in 2009.
Tormentor in chief for the Seans was Stephen Fisher who helped himself to a total of 2-7. He was assisted by fellow full forward Barry Mackin; the duo causing all sorts of bother for an out of sorts Na Piarsaigh defence.
The game looked to be as good as over by the 16th minute. At that stage the O’Mahony’s had put 2-3 on the scoreboard with Gary Mulligan and Fisher hitting points inside the opening seven minutes.
The writing was on the wall for Na Piarsaigh when the O’Mahony’s went on to hit two goals in the space of three minutes. Fisher helped himself to his first three pointer when he swept home a loose ball after Na Piarsaigh goalkeeper Paul O’Hare had saved well from Stephen Kilcoyne in the 10th minute.
And the O’Mahony’s pair combined again three minutes later. Kilcoyne’s booming pass from 45m was brilliantly plucked from the air by Fisher and he cooly slotted the ball away. When Conor Finnegan added a point shortly after, the warning signs were flashing into overdrive for the Rock Road outfit.
Their cause wasn’t helped by five wides inside the opening 20 minutes before David Boyle did get them on the scoreboard, followed by a Mark Larkin effort seconds later.
The O’Mahony’s, however, kept them at arms reach by hitting three points in succession - a well worked score by Keith McLaughlin the pick of the bunch - before Na Piarsaigh gave themselves a glimmer of hope by scoring the last three points of the half to reduce the arrears to seven at half-time.
Any hopes of a miraculous comeback were blown away as the Seans hit seven of the first eight scores of the second-half. Gary Mulligan and Mackin helped themselves to early points before Fisher gathered a Conor Crawley punt to smartly fire over. The O’Mahony’s no 13 then added another with a tidy finish on the turn.
Boyle intervened to stem the tide for Na Piarsaigh but points from Mackin, Fisher and Ronan Byrne – the half-back driving through a gaping hole in the Na Piarsaigh defence – gave the men from the Quay a commanding 13 point lead with 17 minutes still on the clock.
Brace of scores
A brace from Larkin sandwiched another effort from Fisher but it was one way traffic for the remaining 10 minutes as Alan Craven’s men finished in style. Barry O’Brien found his way on to the scoresheet before Finnegan helped himself to a second point of the game.
It was then time for the substitutes to get in on the act with Colin Finan and Brendan Traynor - the latter with two excellent scores - knocking over before Fisher had the final word with a last minute free.
SCORERS - Sean O’Mahony’s: Stephen Fisher (2-7, 3f), Barry Mackin (0-3), Conor Finnegan, Gary Mulligan, Brendan Traynor (0-2 each), Ronan Byrne, Barry O’Brien, Keith McLaughlin, Colin Finan (1f) (0-1 each).
Na Piarsaigh: Mark Larkin (0-4, 2f, 1 ’45), David Boyle (0-2), Shane Callan, Niall Franklin.
Sean O’Mahony’s: Keith Brennan; Alan Watters, Liam Dullaghan, Shane Brennan; Brendan Nordon, Ronan Byrne, Barry O’Brien; Conor Crawley, Conor Finnegan; Gary Mulligan, Niall McLaughlin, Keith McLaughlin; Stephen Fisher, Stephen Kilcoyne, Barry Mackin. Subs: David Dowling for B Mackin, HT; Brendan Traynor for N McLaughlin, Colin Finan for K McLaughlin, Johnny Connolly for B Nordon, Michael Crawley for S Kilcoyne, all 52 mins. Booked: Barry O’Brien, 30 mins.
Na Piarsaigh: Paul O’Hare; Conal Shields, Gary O’Hare, Stephen McGuinness; John Garvey, Michael Woods, Damien McGeeney; Chris Cotter, Shane Callan; Mark Larkin, Ronan McCartney, Alan McCartney; Sean McAuley, Niall Franklin, David Boyle. Subs: Brendan Nash for C Shields, 15 mins; Cormac Malone for J Garvey, HT; Daniel Berry for R McCartney, 47 mins; Aidan Marks for D McGeeney. Booked: David Boyle, 38 mins; Paul O’Hare, 59 mins.
Wides: Sean O’Mahony’s - 4 (all second-half), Na Piarsaigh - 9 (6 first-half).
Referee: Kevin Carroll