A well-timed late scoring burst saw Mountrath claim an opening-round win over Colt in the Laois SHC ‘A’ at Durrow on Saturday evening.
St Fintan's Mountrath 1 - 15
Colt 0 - 14
Laois Shopping Centre Senior 'A' Hurling Championship Round One
Mountrath trailed for the majority of the game, only taking the lead for the first time in the 53rd minute, but they finished out strongly against a Colt side which failed to score from play in the second half.
Colt also finished with 14 men, as sub Mark McDonald produced a contender for shortest championship appearance of the season. Introduced in the 47th minute, he and his marker, Tom Hill, were quickly rutting like warring stags. McDonald took things a little too far and was given his marching orders barely a minute after coming on.
With a strong wind blowing straight down the field from the dressing room end, Colt had at their backs in the opening half and quickly put it to use. Brian McDermott scored a brilliant point from a tight angle in the first minute, and added a second soon after.
James Keyes was next into the fray for Colt, as he scored two wonderful points before a good passing move saw Chris Murray put them five ahead.
Mountrath were struggling against the elements, but a James Hyland free got them up and running in the ninth minute. Gavin Sydes added a second soon after, but Colt quickly rattled off three more in a little over a minute to go six clear.
Gavin Hetherton and Hyland (free) tried to keep Mountrath ticking over, but Colt were scoring in bursts and a superb score from the right wing by Robert Delaney got them going again. That score came in the 20th minute, and it would be Colt’s last from play in the game.
Chris Murray added three more frees for them before half time, but Mountrath countered those with four of their own. Jimmy Hyland got two, Colm Linehan got another and Gavin Sydes got the other, and despite playing into a strong breeze they only trailed by four at half time, 0-12 to 0-8.
With the wind at their backs in the second half Mountrath came out strongly, but not accurately, as they wasted a host of early chances to build up some momentum. A Gavin Sydes free in the 36th minute was the only score in the opening ten minutes of the half.
The crucial score for them game in the 43rd minute, when a long ball into the square was directed to the net by Colm Linehan. They had to wait until the 52nd minute to draw level, thanks to Dylan Russell, and then another Gavin Sydes free put them ahead. There was only one side in it from there to end, in an attacking sense at least, as Mountrath finished strongly to seal a four point win.
*See Tuesday's Leinster Express Sport for full coverage
ST FINTAN'S MOUNTRATH
Scorers: Gavin Sydes 0-6 (0-2 frees), Jimmy Hyland 0-5 (0-4 frees), Colm Linehan 1-1, Scott Hetherington, Dylan Russell, Mick O’Brien 0-1 each.
Team: Dan Russell; Mattie Rice, Paul Meade, Tom Hill; James Fahy, Paddy Williams, Paul Rice; Gavin Sydes, Gearoid Williams; Wayne Sydes, Colm Linehan, Scott Hetherington; Dylan Russell, Jimmy Hyland, Aiden Linehan. Subs: Mick O’Brien for Dylan Russell (54 mins).
Scorers: Chris Murray 0-8 (0-5 frees), James Keyes, Brian McDermott, Robert Delaney 0-2 each.
Team: Paudie McDonald; Mark Farrell, Ger Doolin, Eoin Brennan; Enda Mulhall, Henry Keyes, Niall Brennan; Gearoid Parkinson, Chris Murray; Robert Delaney, Sean O’Callaghan, James Keyes; Cian Moffitt, Eoin Joyce, Brian McDermott. Subs: Mark McDonald for O’Callaghan (47 mins), Nathan Dunne for Delaney (58 mins, inj).
REFEREE: Eoin Scully (Camross)