South East claimed an opening round win.
An entertaining eight goal affair resulted in South East joining East Central in the winners circle for the first round of the Division championship games.
South East 5-16
North East 3-11
Donie Kingston, who would eventfully be worryingly taken off through injury, produced a bit of a class for the first goal. He sold Paddy O’Sullivan a delightful dummy, before laying it on a plate for David Conway to find the net.
Aaron Forbes then showed off his impressive strength to put over the first point of the game, before fellow Graiguecullen man Brian Byrne added another. North East got up and running through an Evan Costello free, but a lot of the first half was dominated by the South East side.
Aaron Forbes again ran at the North East defence, and they couldn’t stop him charging through on goal, as he offloaded to Kevin Meaney, who’s shot came off the post. Paul Kingston slotted over the rebound, before older brother Donie kicked his first and last point.
South East scored their second shortly after, as Cormac Murphy unselfishly laid it to Paul Kingston, who blasted low and hard past Niall Gorman. Cormac Murphy and Brian Byrne kept South East’s dominance going with scores, before James O’Rourke pointed North East’s second.
David Conway replied with a close range free, and North East hit their third goal not long after, as nice play from Paul Kingston and Aaron Forbes meant Cormac Murphy planted a straightforward one past Niall Gorman.
North East, to their credit, fought back valiantly. Robbie Dowling curled a beauty from distance, before they grabbed a goal. Evin Keane fired into the net after Killian Horgan’s effort was well saved.
Robbie Dowling and Evin Keane kicked three more for North East, but all that work was undone when David Conway’s flying fist hit the back of the net down the other end.
The second half was a much more even contest. Paul Kingston opened the scoring with a free, but Evin Keane hit back with one of his own, and Evan Costello reduced arrears to eleven.
South East hit the next three points to get them back on track, as Brian Byrne and Trevor Collins both found the target, with Paul Kingston tagging on another free.
North East came storming back with three points of their own, with two Nigel Murphy scores (the first one a fantastic outside of the boot score), and Evin Keane picking out his sixth point of the day.
Paul Kingston replied with a free, but Jack Owens got through for a goal after a sweet ball from Emo teammate Nigel Murphy. They got a third not long after, as Nigel Murphy found the net after good play involving Evan Costello, Finbarr Crowley and Evin Keane.
However, Michael Nash scored South East’s fifth goal to end the goal getting for the day, along with David Conway and Paul Kinston points.
Scorers: Paul Kingston 1-5 (0-2 frees), David Conway 2-2, Cormac Murphy and Michael Nash 1-1 each, Brian Byrne 0-3, Aaron Forbes, Trevor Collins, Donie Kingston and Kevin Meaney 0-1 each.
Team: Darragh Phelan (Barrowhouse); Joe Mulhare (Arles-Killeen), Dave McDermott (Killeshin), Conor Keightly (Arles-Killeen); Luke Alysbury (Graiguecullen), Trevor Collins (Graiguecullen), Sean O’Shea (Crettyard); Kevin Meaney (Arles-Kilcruise), Aaron Forbes (Graiguecullen); Emmet Malone (Barrowhouse), David Conway (Arles-Kilcruise), Brian Byrne (Graiguecullen); Cormac Murphy (Crettyard), Paul Kingston (Arles-Killeen), Donie Kingston (Arles-Killeen). Sub: Michael Nash (Crettyard).
Scorers: Evin Keane 1-4 (0-2 frees), Nigel Murphy 1-2, Jack Owens 1-0, Evan Costello (0-1 free) and Robbie Dowling 0-2 each, James O’Rourke 0-1.
Team: Niall Gorman (Emo); Paddy Dunne (Emo), Paddy O’Sullivan (Portarlington), Alan Whelan (The Heath); Finbarr Crowley (Emo), Nigel Murphy (Emo), Shane Murphy (Emo); Robbie Dowling (The Heath), James O’Rourke (Emo); Brian Ging (The Heath), Evan Costello (Emo), James Phelan (The Heath); Killian Horgan (Annanough), Evin Keane (The Heath), Jack Owens (Emo). Subs: Darren Strong (Emo), Elliot Scully (Annanough), Scott Osbourne (Portarlington).