Burke duo fire Oranmore/Maree back into the hunt

Oranmore/Maree 2-21

Tommy Larkins 0-17

Darren Kelly in Duggan Park

Oranmore/Maree are back in the senior hurling championship race following this 10-point victory over Tommy Larkins last Saturday.

While the overall result might have flattered the winners, they were the better team as they gave the perfect response to their opening day defeat to Clarinbridge.

Indeed, three goals conceded in 30 minutes in that first-day local derby threatened a malfunction for manager Ronan Heffernan, but they added to their second-half that day, where they finished just four points short, to deliver this performance that moves them into a strong position in Group 1.

The Sky Blues were given a major lift when Niall Burke, who left injured the first day, was passed fit to start, and he delivered an inspiring performance, including 11 points from play.

Another star on the day was Rory Burke; the county minor winning captain of 2022 announced his arrival with two goals in a five-minute spell. Goalkeeper Rory McInerney won his own personal challenge. His goal remained intact with three important saves. The ghosts of that initial tussle with Clarinbridge now fully gone.

In contrast, while things are lining up for Oranmore/Maree, it’s the complete opposite for Tommy Larkins. They still have an outside chance if they can score big against Clarinbridge, the side that beat them in the last two quarter-finals.

But without county star Jason Flynn, the task appears mammoth. Ronan Murphy’s introduction at half-time was a much-needed lift and he did tally. But the Woodford/Ballinakill outfit look a team in transition who might need to settle on top-16 survival.

Pictured: Oranmore/Maree’s Rory Burke races away from Cian Daniels of Tommy Larkins in Duggan Park last Saturday. Photo: David Cunniffe.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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