SHC Preliminary Round
29th June@ Hazelhatch, Celbridge GAA
Ardclough 2-13 Leixlip 1-09
Ardclough have qualified for the ‘winners group’ in the Senior Hurling Championship after a seven point preliminary round win over Leixlip.
Ardclough were strong favourites for this match and their good league form has certainly helped their preparations. This was their third competitive game in eleven days, having recently played the SHL semi-final and final.
During a tough league campaign for Leixlip, they lost out to Ardclough by sixteen points.
This game however was far from being straight forward for the ‘Clough’s. And by many respects Leixlip were unlucky that the full-time margin wasn’t smaller.
The men in maroon started well, and John Roche got two points early on, one from a free and another from play.
But not to be outdone, Ardclough hit back with a goal.
An Enda Hoey sideline was sent in towards the Ardclough forwards, with Seán Buggy batting the ball into the path of Tony Spain, who then passed to Cathal Fenton’s after spotting his run. Fenton finished to the net with power.
Leixlip hit back through a Paddy Murphy point, but that was to be the end of the Leixlip scoring for a further ten minutes.
Ardclough set about building a lead, scoring five unanswered points before another point for Murphy got Leixlip back on the scoreboard.
Lorcan Shinnors and Colm Buggy then exchanged scores for Leixlip and Ardclough respectively, but Leixlip’s wide count was hurting their chances.
Five minutes before the break John Roche had two straight forward frees, about 25 metres out, but opted to go for goal on both occasion to try and bolster Leixlip’s scoring tally.
Unfortunatly for Leixlip, Ardclough kept both shots out.
Ardclough surged down the field, after the second attempt was blocked, and the attack ended in a Tony Spain goal.
Martin Fitzgerald then tapped over a free to leave an eight point gap at the break.
With little over a minute gone in the second half, Leixlip kickstarted their hopes again.
A high ball sent into the Leixlip forwards by Aidan Doran fell short of the full-forward line and Lorcan Shinnors was first to react, grabbing possession and sending his shot low past keeper Aidan Buggle.
Leixlip pushed on and tagged on a further three points. But their wides continued to mount.
After two wides in quick succession, they were made to pay, as Ardclough got two points of their own. Seán Buggy and Cathal Fenton insuring Ardclough kept ahead.
Ardclough pushed for home in the closing stages, finding extra energy to see out the Leixlip challenge. Late points from Martin Fitzgerald, Enda Hoey and Tony Spain granting them a seven point victory.
Aidan Buggle; Niall Coulston, Enda Duane, Robbie Spain; Enda Hoey, Richie Hoban, Peter Coleman; Martin Fitzgerald 0-04 (4f’s), Paul Fitzgerald 0-01; Seán Buggy 0-01, Brian Coulston 0-01, Ronan O’Malley; Colm Buggy 0-02, Cathal Fenton 1-02, Tony Spain 1-02
Johnny Reeves for Paul Fitzgerald (inj)
Conor Cunningham; Aidan Doran, John Doran, Thomas Jones; Peter Hayes, Ryan Doyle, Diarmuid Shinnors; Robert Roche, Lorcan Shinnors 1-01; John Roche 0-02 (1f), Aidan Ryan 0-01, Cathal Small; Niall Egan, Barry Roche 0-01, Paddy Murphy 0-04 (1f)
Gareth Savage for J.Roche,
Paul Maher for A.Roche
Referee: Tim O’Sullivan (Celbridge)