The final round of the Michael Lyng Motors Intermediate Hurling League took place on Sunday as Group A came to a close.
All games threw in at 2.30pm and there were no shocks in store as table toppers Thomastown and St. Martin’s rubberstamped their dominance while Fenians suffered a third consecutive defeat.
Get a breakdown of how each game panned out below.
Thomastown 3-19 to 0-15 Conahy Shamrocks
Thomastown left their best performance of the league until their last encounter as they put Conahy Shamrocks to the sword on Sunday.
Henry Shefflin’s side got off to the perfect start with a goal within a minute of throw-in and they never let up from there as they strolled to a victory that sealed their place in the league final.
Conahy did respond to that goal with a string of points from James Bergin, Tom Rice and Tom Phelan giving them an 0-08 to 1-02 lead midway through the first half.
It was the second quarter that would prove crucial as Thomastown equalised through a well-taken goal from the impressive Stephen Donnelly before points from Donnelly and his namesake’s Robbie and John gave the in-form Thomastown a 2-09 to 0-10 lead at half-time.
They continued to press on in the second half and increased the gap between the two sides as the half progressed with Brian Staunton, Peter McDonald and Aaron Kehoe coming to the fore along with John, Robbie and Stephen Donnelly who continued to provide Thomastown with unparalleled scoring power.
It was a procession as the half came towards a close despite the best efforts of the 2020 All-Ireland junior champions and a Jonjo Farrell goal immediately after the second half water break wrapped up the game for Thomastown with the remaining minutes a mere procession for a side who seem to be hitting peak form at just the right time.
St. Martin’s 2-09 to 1-10 Young Irelands
Like Thomastown, St. Martin’s will go into the championship with a 100% record in the league following yet another hard-fought victory against Young Irelands in Clara.
It was 0-03 to 0-02 in favour of Young Irelands at the water break in a game that was low on scoring opportunities for forwards who were starved of chances throughout the opening exchanges.
Centre back and centre forward Michael Carey and Paul Holden added point for Gowran after the break before they scored a crucial goal thanks to an excellent effort from Patrick Brennan that found its way past St. Martin’s goalkeeper Colin McGrath.
St. Martin’s responded with a goal of their own almost immediately after Brennan’s goal and both sides exchanged scores at the end of half to go in all square at the interval, 1-05 to 1-05.
Holden and JP Treacy tapped over scores for Tom Coogan’s side as they held a narrow 1-07 to 1-06 lead heading into the final quarter of cagey affair but it was St. Martin’s who would edge it thanks to an additional time goal that made it three consecutive victories for Peter Dukelow’s men.
St. Lachtain’s 2-14 to 2-10 Fenians
St. Lachtain’s assured that they would avoid bottom spot by defeating a Fenians side who prop up the table as they fell victim to another defeat in Group A in Ballyragget on Sunday.
Fenians raced into an early four-point lead thanks to a point from corner forward Conor Tobin before Mark Webster expertly dispatched of a penalty.
However, it was St. Lachtain’s who took control of the game from there-on-in.
Liam Hickey showed his free-taking class while Cathal O’Leary scored two early points along with scores from Alexander Rafter and Shane Donnelly as Freshford’s comeback attempt looked more and more feasible as the half progressed.
The deservedly drew level when wing forward Cian Dawson bagged a brilliant goal and they never looked back from there as Fenians brittle confidence from their previous defeats to Thomastown and St. Martin’s came to the surface.
The Fenians found Hickey too hot to handle and a Darragh Maher goal gave St. Lachtain’s a two-score cushion midway through the second half, 2-11 to 1-09.
It was plain sailing from there for Stephen Farrell’s men as Hickey maintained an outstandingly high level with a cluster of points from play and placed balls.
Darragh Tobin pulled a late goal back but it was too little too late for the Fenians as the possibility of relegation gets increasingly likely for a team that are badly in need of a win.