A powerful second-half performance from Camross saw them cruise to a ten point victory over Mountrath in Shanahoe on Saturday evening.
Leading by a point after playing into a stiff breeze in the first half, Camross moved through the gears in the second half and Mountrath just didn’t have an answer for them. Featuring a potent mix of experience and youth, Camross bounced back well from a narrow opening round loss to The Harps, and they could yet have a major say in this championship.
Mountrath, meanwhile, looked doomed to a relegation battle after losing to both Clonaslee and now Camross, with table-toppers The Harps up next.
Brandon Russell had given them an early lead from a free, and that set the tone for what was an evenly contested first half. Darren Gilmartin and Odhran Phelan responded for Camross, with Paddy Williams drawing Mountrath back level.
A Gavin Sydes free then put them in front at 0-3 to 0-2, but Camross replied with three on the spin to go ahead, the pick of the scores a brilliant effort from Darren Drennan. Niall Holmes then saw a goal chance saved before Mountrath came roaring back, as a long ball into the square was guided to the net by Killian Kirwan.
Camross steeled themselves after that goal and two pointed frees before half time from Niall Holmes saw them hold a slender 0-8 to 1-4 lead at the break.
Holmes picked up where he left off in the second half, hitting two frees either side of a fine effort from play by Gavin Sydes. Scott Hetherington then made a stunning save from David Mortimer as Camross started to pile on the pressure. It eventually became too much for MOuntrath, as Camross started to open up a gap between the teams.
Darren Gilmartin, Rob Tyrell and Kevin Lalor all hit the target during this run, with another free from Sydes the only riposte from Mountrath.
The men in red were tiring now too, and by the time Sydes found the net from a 21 yard free, they were already twelve points down. The final act of the game was a sweetly struck long-range free from Daniel Delaney, as Camross wrapped up the five point win.
Scorers: Niall Holmes 0-6 (0-5 frees), Kevin Lalor 1-1, Darren Gilmartin 0-3 (0-1 free), Odhran Phelan, Darren Drennan, David Mortimer 0-2 each, Tomás Burke, Daniel Delaney (free), Rob Tyrell 0-1 each.
Team: Tadhg Doran; Cian Delaney, Martin Burke, Michael Phelan; Rob Tyrell, Daniel Delaney, Craig Delaney; Matthew Collier, Darragh Duggan; Odhran Phelan, Tomás Burke, Darren Gilmartin; Niall Holmes, Darren Drennan, David Mortimer. Subs: Kevin Lalor for Drennan (30+3 mins, inj), Joe Ryan for T Burke (46 mins), Tomás Keyes for Tyrell (54 mins)
Scorers: Gavin Sydes 1-3 (1-2 frees), Killian Kirwan 1-0, Brandon Russell (free), Colm Linehan, Paddy Williams 0-1 each.
Team: Scott Hetherington; Matty Rice, Gearoid Williams, Sean Moore; James Tobin, Mick Meade, Aidan Linehan; Cormac O’Keeffe, Paul Rice; Paddy Williams, Colm Linehan, Gavin Sydes; Dylan Russell, Brandon Russell, Killian Kirwan. Subs: Paul Meade for Moore (half-time), James Hyland for B Rusell (47 mins, inj).
Referee: George Boyhan (Clough-Ballacolla).
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