THREE first half-half goals when they were playing with the gale force wind behind them proved key as Shinrone opened their championship campaign with a win over Drumcullen in Carrig on Sunday afternoon.
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The first goal came in the opening minute from Sean Cleary giving his side the perfect start with the second and third coming midway the half with Donal Morkan adding the second and Cleary firing home the third.
Drumcullen will be disappointed with the manner of the concession of all three goals given they were playing an extra defender and at half-time they found themsleves 17 points adrift.
At times they dropped too deep and Shinrone were quick to take advantage further out the field with Joe Cleary and Derek Morkan in particular picking off long range points.
Drumcullen had the better of it in the second-half but they struggled to build momentum as they hit six wides in the second-half before they eventually added to their total.
The Shinrone full-back line dealt well with the aerial bombaredment in the second-half as Drumcullen went in desperate search of goals that could have given them a chance in the game.
Joachim Kelly’s side made the dream start when a long clearance from their own full-back line floated on the wind deceiving the Drumcullen full-back line before dropping to Sean Cleary who drilled the ball past the isolated Damien Spain.
Points from Donal Morkan (free), Joe Cleary, Sean Cleary and Derek Morkan followed leaving Shinrone 1-4 to 0-0 ahead after 10 minutes.
Points from Conor Gath and Alan Maher opened Drumcullen’s account but playing with extra defenders they were struggling to retain possession when they cleared their lines.
Shinrone added another point from Eddie Bevans before a scoring blitz of 2-3 in just three minutes gave them a sizeable lead.
A long puck out lead to the Donal Morkan goal after it wasn’t dealt with by the Drumcullen defence and after points from Derek Morkan, Donal Morkan and Joe Cleary, Sean Cleary found himself clean through on goal and he gave Damien Spain no chance with a powerful finish.
After that barrage it was ten minutes before they added to their total as Drumcullen tightened up at the back but in injury-time they added three points, two from Derek Morkan and one from Jason Sampson, while Conor Gath pulled one back for Drumcullen with a well struck free.
That left Shinrone 3-11 to 0-3 ahead and with Drumcullen wasting a half dozen chances early in the second-half, points from Derek Morkan and Darren O’Meara extended the gap between the teams to 19 points.
Drumcullen eventually found their range with the wind and after a point from Conor Gath, good work from Alan Maher put John Cashin through and he rattled the back of the net.
Drumcullen hit five of the next six points, four coming from Conor Gath but ten minutes from time Shinrone removed any doubt over the result when Donal Morkan found the back of the net on the rebound after Drumcullen goalkeeper Damien Spain had made yet another fine save.
The final four points were all scored by Drumcullen with the aforementioned Damien Spain getting in on the scoring act with a free well inside his own half.
Shinrone: Conor Cleary; Colin O’Meara, William Comerford, Denis Coonan; Joe Cleary (0-2), Mark Morkan, Michael Cleary; Darren Crean, Derek Crean (0-5); Darren O’Meara, Daniel Hoctor, Jason Sampson (0-1); Donal Morkan (1-3, 0-3f), Sean Cleary (2-1), Eddie Bevans. Subs: Sean Ormond for Eddie Bevans (47mins), Michael Cordial for Sean Cleary (47mins)
Drumcullen: Damien Spain (0-1f); Danny Maher, William Spain, Andrew McHugh; Declan Teehan, Dermot Gath (0-1), Stephen Ryan; Ray Gath, Niall O’Leary (0-1); David Spain (1-0), Alan Maher (0-1), Shane Molloy (0-1); Donal Guinan, John Cashin (1-0), Conor Gath (0-7, 0-6f). Subs: Nicky Lalor for David Spain (30mins), Pierce Gath for Donal Guinan (49mins)
Referee: Martin Walsh