02 Oct 2022

Upperchurch edge dour encounter in Semple Stadium

Upperchurch edge dour encounter in Semple Stadium

FBD Insurance Senior Hurling Championship - Round 3

Upperchurch/Drombane 1-16

Toomevara 0-16

A third win on the trot sees Upperchurch-Drombane finish top of group 3 as they kept at bay a Toomevara challenge that never really ignited in this low key FBD Insurance county senior hurling championship tie at Semple Stadium on Saturday.

Much was expected of this encounter but it failed to deliver in terms of quality or passion and was redeemed only by the closeness of the scoring throughout but Upperchurch-Drombane will not mind as they stay unbeaten and are in great shape facing into the knock-out stages.

Toome will go through as runners-up but this lacklustre showing underlines the extent of the task facing them in the knock-out stages. That thirteen of their scores came from placed ball situations with only three points from play, indicates just how poor this showing was, but three points from their opening two games, and Mullinahone losing to Holycross, ensures that they will have a chance to redeem themselves next time.

As a contest it offered little in the way of excitement. A very scrappy first half saw the sides locked together most of the way but a hat-trick of points for Toome from Darren Delaney, goalie Rory Brislane (a free) and Kevin McCarthy gave the Toome boys an interval advantage of 0-8 to 0-6.It was more than they deserved on the balance of play and an under-performing Upperchurch also needed to raise their game in the second half.

Things had to improve in the second half and they did. A Paidi Green goal for Upperchurch after 2 minutes when Colm Ryan’s defelcted shot fell kindly into his path, put them ahead.

Though Toome responded with points from Kevin McCarthy and Mark McCarthy to lead again, Upperchurch were beginning to get a grip, with Paidi Greene becoming more influential. He had two points and Paul Ryan another as Upperchurch moved 1-11 to 0-11 clear.

It was still very much anybody’s game but the momentum was with Upperchurch now and Toome were hanging on to their rivals’ coat tails as the game moved into its most decisive period.

Mark McCarthy cut two great sideline balls over the bar as Toome tried to reel in their rivals but Upperchurch kept them at arms length with Paidi Greene, Luke Shanahan, Gavin Ryan and Aaron Ryan all getting on the scoreboard. Mark McCarthy’s frees were Toome’s only response and while they were always within striking distance of their rivals, they never threatened to overtake them.

It was not one of Upperchurch’s better performances this year but having already qualified for the knock-out stages, their situation was not as urgent as that of their rivals. Their defence did a great job of shackling the Toome attack but the number of frees conceded with give manager Liam Dunphy food for thought. Once Paidi Greene got into stride up front in the second half, they looked a much more potent force while Paul Shanahan, Keith Ryan, Aaron Ryan and Gavin Ryan were others to impress.

Toome never really got going and lacked urgency in their approach. While they defended well, their lack of penetration in attack, coupled with some slack shooting, proved their downfall. Fortunately for them, Mullinahone’s defeat ensured their qualification for the knock-out stages but a huge improvement will be required if they are to make progress.

Upperchurch/Drombane: Ciaran Shortt; Mikey Lavery, Matt Ryan, Ger Grant; Keith Ryan, Gavin Ryan (0-4,4fs), Ailbe O'Donoghue; Diarmuid Grant (0-1), Aaron Ryan (0-2); Paul Ryan (0-1), Colm Ryan (0-1), Paul Shanahan; Luke Shanahan (0-1), Paidi Greene (1-6,0-4fs), Jack Butler.

Subs: Sean Ryan for L Shanahan, Niall Grant for A Ryan.

Toomevara : Rory Brislane(0-1,f); Jake Ryan, Andrew Ryan, Josh McCarthy; Robbie Quirke, Liam Ryan, Jason Ryan; Jack Ryan, Jack Delaney; Alan Ryan, Kenneth Ryan, Conor O Meara; Kevin McCarthy (0-7,5 fs), Darren Delaney (0-1), Mark McCarthy (0-7, 0-4f, 0-2 sidelines).

Subs: Adam Hall for O Meara; David Young for A Ryan; Con Canning for L Ryan; Sean Flaherty for D Delaney.

Referee: Fergal Horgan, Knockavilla Kickhams

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