Nothing learned for either side. Facile victories in January will certainly have no bearing on the year ahead, yet Walterstown had no less than twenty points to spare at the long whistle in their opening Corn na Boinne Group B meeting with Dunderry on Saturday afternoon. 

Corn na Boinne Group B Round 1 

Walterstown: 3-15

Dunderry: 0-4 

The Blacks made hay in the first half, had a lull the first 15 minutes of the second and finished strongly to record a twenty point victory over the manageress visitors. 

Walterstown, under the tutelage of Neil Reynolds, opened up a 1-4 to 0-0 lead after only ten minutes. Three from Brian O’Connell (one free), a point from Barry O’Connell and a goal from debutant from former Meath minor man Neil McGinley, ensured the home side had a super start to season ’23. The latter’s goal came after he collected a pass from Ruairi O’Dowd and appeared to shoot for a point but instead the ball went in over the ‘keepers head and gave his side an early seven point advantage. 

Stephen Coogan did manage to pull one back for the visitors towards the end of the first quarter but the traffic was one direction and one direction only as the rain fell during the opening 30 minutes. 

Be it January or September Brian O’Connell proves to be a hard man to keep tabs on and with 14 played he collected possession from Aron McLoughlin and his shot kissed the upright before heading over to extend the Blacks’ lead even further. Top marksman RuairI O’Dowd tagged on another point soon after and four minutes later the Blacks, once again, had the ball in the back of the Dunderry net. 

A line ball on the right hand side from Alan Wall picked out McGinley and he then provided possession for Brian O’Connell and the Blacks’ marksman made no mistake in firing passed Ciaran Brady in the Dunderry goal and gave his side a 2-6 to 0-1 advantage. 

A third goal came soon after, two minutes after to be exact, and it came from Ruairi O’Dowd. When Brian O’Connell appeared to shoot for a point, O’Dowd rose high, got an all-important touch and sent the ball net bound and left the home side in absolute cruise control with eight minutes of the first half remaining. Indeed they led 3-6 to 0-1 and a brace of points from Barry O’Connell ensure they were in a more than comfortable position at the interlude ((3-8 to 0-1). 

To give Dunderry their dues, they did enjoy the better of the exchanges after the turnaround and hit three points without response but so big was the mountain, they simply could’t even attempt to start climbing it. 

Substitute Eoin Roche was involved in setting up the Blacks’ first score of the final half. Having come on for the injured Alan Wall, he provided the pass for Brian O’Connell, who laid off the pass for his younger brother and he didn’t fail to deliver, raising a white flag after 42 minutes of play. 

From there on in, Walterstown kicked on further. With 17 minutes of the final half played a peach of a pass from McGinley to O’Dowd saw the latter set up Eoin Roche. Roche had plenty of time to compose himself before popping the ball over the bar and extending his side’s lead even further. 

Thereafter followed three converted frees from Brian O’Connell before Barry O’Connell raised a late white flag and ensured his side a comfortable win and a great start to season 2023. 

SCORERS: Walterstown – Brian O’Connell 1-5 (2f), Barry O’Connell 0-6 (1f), Ruairi O’Dowd 1-3, Neil McGinley 1-0, Eoin Roche 0-1. 

Dunderry – Stephen Coogan 0-3 (1f), Ben Clarke 0-1. 

WALTERSTOWN: Mark McCormack; Breandan mcGuinness, Jack Wilson, Ciaran Cox; Aron McLoughlin, Conor Farrelly, Ross Reynolds; Alan Wall, Mark Foy; Neil McGinley, Barry O’Connell, Paul Donnellan; Adam Treanor, Ruairi O’Dowd, Brian O’Connell. Subs: Eoin Roche replaced A Wall (inj) 39 mins, Jack Harte replaced N McGinley 51 mins. 

DUNDERRY: Ciaran Brady; Níall Ó Laoire, Connor Dempsey, Ronan Brady; Jamie Duffy; Sean Traynor, Mark Kane; Morgan Callaghan, Donagh Ó Laoire; Conor Leavy, Simon Carty, Jack Connelly; Isaac McKeever, Adam Kelly, Stephen Coogan. 

REFEREE: Padraig Coyle (Seneschalstown)