Red Hughs, one of the leading contenders in the Junior A Championship, got their campaign off to a winning start with a deserved victory at neighbours Robert Emmets this afternoon.
Robert Emmets . . . 1-12
Red Hugh's . . . .1-18
The Killygordon outfit were always the better side, but had to work hard for victory as Robert Emmets always managed to stay in touch over the hour.
Robert Emmets, playing in a division lower than their opponents, took a while to get going and trailed by four points by half-time.
But they got back to within a point of Red Hughs in the early stages of the second half before the winners struck for their all important goal, finished to the net by Calvin Bradley.
It was a key moment in a well contested championship tie in which Gary McNulty (Robert Emmets) and Damien Browne (Red Hugh's), gave a wonderful display of point-scoring.
McNulty, playing at full-forward for the home side, had a fine game and scored eight points, five from frees. Brown, the Red Hugh's captain, went one better from midfield, hitting nine points, and five from frees.
His team raced into a 0-5 to 0-0 lead with young James Carlin chipping in with two fine points. The opening score from Robert Emmets was their goal which came ten minutes in when Aaron Dalton fed Dean McBrearty and the midfielder planted the ball to the back of the net.
But Red Hugh's showed pace and vision in attack and scores from Ricky Gallen and Ronan Gallen helped them into a 0-10 to 1-3 half-time lead.
Credit to Robert Emmets, they tagged on a few fine scores after the turn-around through the excellent Brian Dooher, McNulty and Gary McRory and by 38 minutes, they were just a point down, 0-12 to 1-8.
However, they went to sleep when Red Hugh's won a close-in free and Brown’s quick thinking saw Johnny Carlin off-load to Calvin Bradley and he was able to palm the ball home.
Brown kicked another score from play and suddenly the Red Hugh's lead was out to five points, 1-13 to 1-8.
After that, it was just a case of seeing out the win for Red Hughs. And despite the best efforts of a hard-working Robert Emmets side, Joe Carlin’s Red Hugh's kicked on to win by six points at the finish.
For Red Hugh's, it’s a winning start in Group A and they were best served on the day by Brown, James Carlin, Peadar McGlinchey and Calvin Bradley.
Robert Emmets, managed by Dessie McFeely, can take heart from a good performance. Their best players included Brian Dooher, Sean Friel, Dean McBrearty and Gary McNulty.
ROBERT EMMETS: Paddy Dooher; Ryan Roe, Jordan Tourish, Ryan McGirr; Dillon McNamee, Brian Dooher (0-1), Sean Friel; Dean McBrearty (1-0), Aaron Dalton; Tiernan Gallagher, Paul McCauley (0-2), Gary McRory (0-1); Conor Dalton, Gary McNulty (0-8, 5f), Ronan Kennedy; Subs: Damien McGlinchey for Gallagher (38); Tiernan Gallagher for McRory (50).
RED HUGH'S: Ciaran Kelly; Cathal Doherty, Shane McGlinchey, Dillon Irwin; Ryan Kelly, Peadar McGlinchey, Gavin Wright; Damien Browne (0-9, 5f), Odhran Doherty (0-1); James Carlin (0-3), Calvin Bradley (1-2), Michael Devine (0-1); Ricky Gallen (0-1), Ronan Gallen (0-1), Corey Gallagher. Subs: Johnny Carlin for C. Gallagher (40).
REFEREE: Mark Browne (Four Masters).