Padraig Pearses had to show all their guile and experience to come through a tough test at the hands of Michael Glaveys in Dr. Hyde Park this evening, eventually prevailing 0-14 to 1-8 thanks to a strong defensive showing in the final quarter.
Some spectacular points from Hubert Darcy, Emmet Kelly and Conor Payne were among the highlights in the first half when the county champions played with the aid of the breeze and moved into an 0-10 to 0-4 interval lead.
With a strong wind behind them after half time, Glaveys initially struggled to eat into the lead but were handed a huge boost just before the water break when Lorcan Daly dragged down Andy Glennon, leading to a black card for Daly and a penalty that was converted by Gary Patterson.
Another point straight after the restart cut the gap to just two points, 0-12 to 1-7, but Pearses’ defence held firm from then on.
Six unanswered points in the final five minutes plus additional time enabled Western Gaels see off Fuerty’s stubborn challenge, 0-18 to 0-10, in the earlier game today at Dr. Hyde Park.
Fergal O’Donnell’s side were 0-9 to 0-5 ahead at the break, without ever looking convincing. But Fuerty rallied, thanks mainly to the accuracy of Gearoid Ennis from frees, to leave just two points between the sides after 55 minutes.
To Western Gaels’ credit, they responded to the gauntlet being thrown down to them, and points from Finbar Cregg (2), Tommy Gill (2), Luke Hester and Oran Hester put the relevant daylight between the sides and confirm the North Roscommon side’s place in the quarter-finals.
With the Shannon Gaels vs St. Barry’s game postponed due to a bereavement, the only other action in the senior and intermediate championships was at Davonna Park in Ballinameen, where St. Dominic’s were hugely impressive in recording a 5-16 to 0-8 win over the home side. Conor Fallon (2-6), Daire Keenan (1-5) and Darren Donnelly (2-1) were all hugely impressive in attack for Tomás Gilleran’s side as they easily brushed aside last year’s junior winners.