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Wexford star Conor McDonald netted a vital goal for Naomh Eanna.
Wexford star Conor McDonald netted a vital goal for Naomh Eanna.

Naomh Eanna advance in Leinster


AIB Leinster Club SHC Quarter-Final

NAOMH EANNA (WEXFORD) 3-18 CAMROSS (LAOIS) 2-16

By Paul Keane at O'Moore Park, Portlaoise

First time Wexford champions Naomh Eanna enjoyed a solid start to life in the AIB Leinster club championship with a big quarter-final win in Portlaoise.

Two first-half goals from David O'Brien and another from county star Conor McDonald put the Gorey side on the road to an impressive win.

They fell four points down initially but recovered to lead by eight at half-time and ultimately had five to spare as they set up a November 18 clash with Ballyhale Shamrocks.

Naomh Eanna will have home advantage for that game so Henry Shefflin's star studded side will travel to the south east in a fortnight.

Naomh Eanna will be boosted on that occasion by the availability of Wexford forward Cathal Dunbar who missed this game.

Padraig Doyle impressed for the winners also with 0-9 as ex-Laois star Zane Keenan was left disappointed despite hitting 1-8 for Camross who glossed the scoreline with 1-2 in injury-time.

Keenan was excellent in the first-half in particular for Camross who were energised by that great start as they flew into a 0-5 to 0-1 lead.

They overwhelmed Naomh Eanna in this period with their hungry hurling and drew a series of frees that Keenan converted.

One of Keenan's points came from a 65 after Naomh Eanna goalkeeper Barry Kinsella had failed to control a routine high ball in.

At the other end, McDonald was out of luck initially for the visitors as Camross hunted him down whenever he gained possession, hinting at a potential upset.

But the game quickly turned as Naomh Eanna, and McDonald in particular, found their range, dominating the rest of the half and outscoring Camross by 3-9 to 1-3 before half-time.

McDonald played a clever pass to David O'Brien in the 12th minute who struck to the net to level the game at 1-2 to 0-5.

Keenan slammed a free to the net for Camross in response, but Eanna were quickly back on the front foot and O'Brien got his second goal in the 22nd minute.

This time Doyle emerged from a group of players to tee O'Brien up and McDonald got in on the goal scoring action himself six minutes later.

He did superbly to escape full-back Malvin Moloney with a neat spin away to the left of his man and a drive to the net.

Suddenly, Naomh Eanna led by 3-8 to 1-7 and already it looked ominous for the underdogs.

Charlie McGuckin and Doyle pointed for Eanna before the break as they took a deserved 3-10 to 1-8 lead into the interval.

The second-half was a cagier, tense affair as Camross attempted to reel in that deficit.

They hit three points in a row after the restart from Eoin Gaughan, Keenan and Niall Holmes to leave just six in it at 3-11 to 1-11.

But they couldn't get any closer than that until the very end as Naomh Eanna consistently replied with well timed points to keep the hosts at arm's length.

That six-point margin remained between the teams after 52 minutes but late Eanna scores from free-takers Doyle and Hughes left 10 between them.

There was a late rally from Camross who sniped 1-2 without reply in injury-time including a goal from Oisin Bennett but it was too little at that late stage.

Scorers for Naomh Eanna: Padraig Doyle 0-9 (5fs, 165), David O'Brien 2-2, Conor McDonald 1-1, Darragh Hughes 0-3 (2fs), Charlie McGuckin 0-2, Gary Molloy 0-1.

Scorers for Camross: Zane Keenan 1-8 (1-7fs, 165), Oisin Bennett 1-1, Niall Holmes 0-2 (1f), Ciaran Collier 0-1, Mark Dowling 0-1, Niall Holmes 0-1, Eoin Gaughan 0-1, Damien Gilmartin 0-1.

NAOMH EANNA: Barry Kinsella; Tom Stafford, Brendan Travers, Eoin Conroy; Sean Doyle, Lee Kinsella, Jack Cullen; Aodhan Doyle, Gary Molloy; Charlie McGuckin, Padraig Doyle, Darragh Hughes; David O'Brien, Conor McDonald, William Cullen.

Subs: Jack Cushe for Cullen (44), Conor Hughes for O'Brien (56), John O'Brien for Darragh Hughes (60+2).

CAMROSS: Thomas Dunphy; Andrew Mortimer, Malvin Moloney, Joseph Phelan; Lorcan Burke, Andrew Collier, Dwane Palmer; Matthew Collier, Tomas Burke; Ciaran Collier, Niall Holmes, Zane Keenan; Mark Dowling, Dean Delaney, Eoin Gaughan.

Subs: Oisin Bennett for Delaney (h/t), Liam Delaney for Matthew Collier (49), Gearoid Burke for Tomas Burke (50), Darren Gilmartin for Dowling (55).

REFEREE: Sean Cleere (Kilkenny).

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