JJ KAVANAGH AND SONS COUNTY SENIOR HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP
GROUP D ROUND 1
SUPERB PATRICK CURRAN GOAL THE KEY SCORE
DU NGARVAN 1-18 FOURMILEWATER 0-15
WITH 23 minutes played in this opening game of the Waterford senior hurling final at the Fraher Field last Thursday evening, a sixth Aaron Ryan point from placed balls gave Fourmilewater a 0-2 advantage on a score of 0-8 to 0-6.
Dungarvan required a reply and it came with the only goal of the game. County player Patrick Curran fielded a high delivery from his older brother Colm and from quite a distance he scored a very impressive major from his left side low into the town end goal with little space between the goalie Stephen Ryan and the upright.
Curran’s goal was the key score of this game, it came at the right time for Peter Smith’s charges and it gave the local side a little breathing space at half time on a scoreboard reading 1-8 to 0-9.
As per the existing agreement between the clubs, Fourmile wore the Nire colours on this occasion and Dungarvan agreed to bringing the game forward to facilitate a Fourmile wedding on the Friday. At the end of the day Dungarvan scored 1-10 from play with Fourmile contributing just 0-4 similarly and this was the main difference between the sides.
The exchanges were rough and tumble from the off with both sides attempting to put their mark on proceedings. Aaron Ryan pointed the first of his 0-10(9f) in the first minute with Patrick Curran replying similarly three minutes later. Both players repeated same by the 6th minute with Curran striking the first score from play one minute later.
The teams were level for the third and final occasion as early as the 9th minute with Ryan’s third pointed free before championship debutant Eoin O Callaghan, just out of minor ranks, edged the Blues ahead once more.
Aaron Ryan’s only wide from a placed ball came in the 13th minute followed by Patrick Curran’s fourth successful strike for the winners. Fourmile’s first score from play was a Ciaran Walsh minor at the end of the first quarter, another damning stat in sorts as their forward division contributed just two points from play.
Following a Patrick Curran pointed free in the 16th minute, Michael Ryan’s charges enjoyed their best scoring period between the 18th and 23rd minute as points by Aaron Ryan, 0-3(2f, 1’65) and Jamie Barron’s sole score from good play by Sean Walsh had their team ahead by 0-8 to 0-6.
The only goal of the game and perhaps the only player on the field likely to strike one of such quality from Patrick Curran was a defining one. However, he showed he was human in following up with two out of three missed free attempts and was later replaced in this area by brothers Cathal and Colm.
The first half concluded with another Aaron Ryan pointed free and a trade mark Michael Kiely score in the second minute of added time. Fourmile struck five first half wides and Dungarvan four. The winners won eight frees and Fourmile ten.
Playing with the aid of the breeze, Dungarvan started in impressive fashion though Fourmile scoffed an early scoring opportunity. Michael Kiely opened the new half as he finished the first with a fine score and then in the 32nd minute, Patrick Curran sent over a superb point from an unlikely position which showed he is hurling at his best at present.
In the 33rd minute, he and Darragh Lyons combined for Cathal Curran’s first of three second half points as the latter cleverly made himself available throughout in scoring positions. One minute later he struck once more from a Joe Duggan pass, the latter really coming into proceedings when moved to mid field at half time.
Trailing by 1-12 to 0-9 after just five minutes of the new half, Fourmilewater required a leader and Conor Gleeson did this and all that one man could do. He broke out of defence to score in the 35th minute and Aaron Ryan (f) brought the game back to 0-4.
After a wide from a free, Patrick Curran gave the next one short to an unmarked Michael Kiely who claimed point number three in the 42nd minute. Fourmile stayed in touch with a score of either variety by Aaron Ryan either side of a pointed free by Cathal Curran, 1-14 to 0-13 and 54 minutes on the clock.
Fourmilwater were not to score again and Dungarvan added four more minors. Patrick Curran pointed a close in free in the country end in the 57th minute but he was later the victim of a nasty strike through his helmet. He had to leave the field but returned, however, it’s a mystery why after all of the money that was spent on new facilities in Dungarvan hospital that he had to travel to Waterford to get stitched and as everyone knows the wait there can be a chore in itself.
Colm Curran(f) pointed close in after 59 minutes and sub Johnny Burke, who played well when introduced scored from play at the end of normal time. The final score came in the 63rd minute and fittingly it came from Patrick Curran(f) which brought his match tally to 1-9(7f).
Dungarvan struck seven second half wides which is something to work on while at the other end of the field, their much maligned defence of recent years more than stood up to the mark on this occasion magnificently led by John Curran at full back and Darragh Lyons at number 6 with Jamie Nagle rolling back the years with one of his best displays. Cathal Curran and Joe Duggan combined well at midfield while they require more of a return from some of their forwards.
Fourmiile will be disappointed with their start to the championship but such as Tom O Gorman, Conor Gleeson and Aaron Ryan did all that they could. The Ballymac side did not score enough from play and this led to their downfall here. They have two weeks to turn things round before they will play Clonea in their final Group fixture.
Dungarvan’s Top Three : Patrick Curran, John Curran, Cathal Curran.
Fourmilewater’s Top Three : Conor Gleeson, Aaron Ryan, Tom O Gorman.
Observer’s Man of the Match : Patrick Curran.
Number of Scorers : Dungarvan : 6. Fourmilewater : 4.
Scores From Play : Dungarvan : 1-10. Fourmilewater : 0-4.
Frees For : Dungarvan : 14. Fourmilewater : 18.
Wides : Dungarvan : 11. Fourmilewater : 7.
Score of the Match : Patrick Curran’s 25th minute goal for Dungarvan.
Dungarvan : Patrick Curran 1-9(7f), Michael Kiely 0-3, Cathal Curran 0-3(1f), Eoin O Callaghan, Colm Curran(f), and Johnny Burke 0-1 each.
Fourmilewater : Aaron Ryan 0-10(9f), Ciaran Walsh, Jamie Barron and Conor Gleeson 0-1 each.
Dungarvan: Darren Duggan, Michael Burke, John Curran, Gavin Power, Jamie Nagle, Darragh Lyons, Jack Lacey, Cathal Curran, Kealan Daly, Patrick Curran, Colm Curran,Joe Duggan, Eoin O’Callaghan, Gavin Crotty.
Subs: Johnny Burke for M Burke(h/t), Jack Fitzgerald for O’Callaghan(62)
Fourmilewater: Stephen Ryan, James McGrath, Thomas O’Gorman, Jake Mulcahy, Tholom Guiry, Tom Barron, Oisin Walsh, Jamie Barron, Conor Gleeson, Aaron Ryan, Sean Walsh, Dylan Guiry, Ciaran Walsh, Dermot Ryan, Shane O’Meara.
Subs: Fionn Hallahan for O’Meara(h/t), Michael O’Gorman for C Walsh(45)
Réiteoir: Michael O’Brien(Portlaw).