Free-scoring John the Baptist begin Dr Harty Cup with impressive win

Colm Kinsella in MacDonagh Park, Nenagh

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Colm Kinsella in MacDonagh Park, Nenagh

Free-scoring John the Baptist begin Dr Harty Cup with impressive win

The John the Baptist Dr Harty Cup squad pictured at MacDonagh Park, Nenagh this Wednesday

CLINICAL John the Baptist Community School, Hospital opened their Dr Harty Cup, Munster colleges’ senior A hurling campaign, with an impressive 3-22 to 1-13 victory over Our Lady’s, Templemore at MacDonagh Park, Nenagh on Wednesday afternoon.

An impressive John the Baptist side led the 2017 Dr Harty Cup winners 2-8 to 1-7 at half-time, with their goals coming from Ryan Tobin, of Garryspillane, on seven minutes from Aidan O’Heney’s well-placed pass, while the impressive Dylan O’Shea, also of Garryspillane, rifled home the second goal on 18 minutes after being set up by midfielder and club mate Eoin O’Mahony.

Four points up at half-time, Hospital pulled clear in the second half on the scoreboard, led by their excellent centre half forward Brian O’Grady, of Kilteely-Dromkeen, who helped himself to seven points from play.

As John the Baptist are in a three-team group with the top two sides advancing to the quarter-finals of the Dr Harty Cup, the Hospital side have already one foot in the last eight. Their remaining group fixture will be against Blackwater Community School, of Waterford.

With the likes of Garrspillane's Mark Quinlan, Bruff's Kevin Bonar and Brian Heavey excelling in defence and Eoin O’Mahony and Patrick Reale highly influential in midfield, The Hospital forwards enjoyed a plentiful supply of good quality possession, with Ballybricken-Bohermore's Michael Martin scoring three points from play, while O’Heney managed two.

Dylan O'Shea top scored for the winners with a fine personal tally of 1-9, including six pointed frees and two '65s

Our Lady's, Templemore included three members of the starting team from Tipperary's Munster minor hurling final win over Limerick. 

On a perfect day for hurling. Hospital led 0-3 to 0-2 after five minutes, when Our Lady's struck for the game's opening goal as James Devanney set up Dean Lawlor who finished to the net from close range.

To their credit, Hospital rallied from the blow with corner forward Ryan Tobin racing onto a breaking ball before flashing the ball to the net.

The scored settled the Limerick students who also added a pointed free from O'Shea, before the same player had Hospital's second goal in the 18th minute for a 2-6 to 1-5 lead.

Further points from O'Heney, after he was picked out by a fine pass from Kevin Bonar, and an O'Shea free helped the winners into their four-point interval lead.

Tactically, Hospital were excellent in the second half, snuffing out Our Lady's scoring threat and, at the other end of the field, making the most of the majority of the scoring opportunities which came their way.

Two early points in the second half from Brian O'Grady and an O'Shea free helped the Limerick side pull further clear.

O'Grady's influence increased as the half moved on and he clipped some excellent points from play from difficult angles. 

There was simply no way back for the Tipperary side as John the Baptist build up a 12-point lead at full-time with a significant 2-14 of their final tally coming from play.

SCORERS: John the Baptist: Dylan O'Shea 1-9 (0-6 frees, 0-2 '65), Brian O'Grady 0-7, Michael Martin 0-3, Ryan Tobin 1-0, Aidan O'Heney 0-2, Patrick Reale 0-1. Our Lady's Templemore: Gearoid O'Connor 0-5 (0-2 frees), Dean Lawlor 1-0, James Devanney 0-2, both frees, Conor Ryan 0-2, Tony Cahill, Kevin Maher (free), John Campion 0-1 each.

JOHN THE BAPTIST, HOSPITAL: Darragh McAuley (Emly-Treacys); Killian Reale (Hospital-Herbertstown), Mark Quinlan (Garryspillane), Patrick Byrne (Ballybricken-Bohermore); Brian Heavey (Garryspillane), Kevin Bonar (Bruff), Alan Buckley (Knockainey); Eoin O’Mahony (Garryspillane), Patrick Reale (Knockainey); Oisin O’Grady (Hospital-Herbertstown), Brian O’Grady (Kilteely-Dromkeen), Michael Martin (Ballybricken-Bohermore); Aidan O’Heney (Emly-Treacys), Dylan O’Shea (Garryspillane), Ryan Tobin (Garryspillane). Substitutes: Peter Morrissey (Garryspillane) for Oisin O’Grady (54 mins), Jake Kennedy (Caherline) for O’Heney (55 mins), Dean Heffernan (Emly-Treacys) for Reale (58 mins).

OUR LADY'S TEMPLEMORE: Ciaran McCormack; Jamie Ryan, Fintan Purcell, Henry Fogarty, Shane Lowe, Kevin Maher, Lorcan Roche; John Campion, Kenny Ryan; Tony Cahill, Gearoid O'Connor, Conor Ryan; James Devanney, Dean Lawlor, Conor McGrath. Substitute: Eddie Ryan for Cahill (53 mins).

REFEREE: Tommy Ryan (Kiladangan)