Davy Fiztgerald watches Oulart-the-Ballagh defend Wexford title
Win for defending Leinster champions more comfortable than scoreline suggests
Davy Fitzgerald watched on as Oulart-the-Ballagh defended their Wexford hurling title. Photograph: Inpho/Donall Farmer
Oulart-the-Ballagh 0-17 Cloughbawn 1-11
Where the season takes this Oulart-the-Ballagh team remains to be seen but another clinical finish saw them emerge with an eventual three point victory over Cloughbawn in the Wexford senior hurling championship final at Wexford Park on Sunday afternoon.
However, the three point winning margin does not give a true picture of the holders dominance in the final quarter as Cloughbawn struck for the games only goal through Martin Kehoe in additional time. It can be argued that Cloughbawn failed to turn their spells of pressure into scores but it was the guile and experience of the reigning champions which won out in the end, as they lifted the title for the thirteenth time.
Wexford’s new Manager Davy Fitzgerald was an interested spectator with the former Clare manager given a warm reception as he took his place in the stand.
It will be interesting to hear what his thoughts were on a first Wexford final but he must have been impressed by the champions display, particularly in the final quarter.
After Rory Jacob and Connal Flood had exchanged opening points it was the accurate Nicky Kirwan who stretched his side into a 0-4 to 0-2 lead by the end of the opening quarter. After trailing by two points it was Cloughbawn playing into the breeze who put in a storming finish to the half adding points through Connal Flood, Harry Kehoe and Bob Whitty, to lead 0-7 to 0-6 at the interval.
Two early second half pointed frees from Rory Jacob had the champions back in front as they extended into a 0-10 to 0-7 lead by the thirty-eight minute. Harry Kehoe with a free and 65 left the minimum separating the sides, 0-10 to 0-9, and when Alan Carton had the sides level, 0-10 each entering the final quarter, the large crowd were setting themselves up for a possible shock.
Again the firepower of Oulart-the-Ballagh became evident in the final quarter as they struck back for excellent points from Eoin Moore, Garrett Sinnott, Tommy Storey, Peter Murphy and Dessie Mythen to power their way to a thirteenth title.
Manager Frank Flannery felt that it was his sides experience which won out in the end.
‘We struggled for periods of the first half but once we opened up the game in the final quarter we managed the crucial scores. Fair play to Cloughbawn they put up a huge fight but we are delighted to now go forward and defend our provincial title.’
Oulart-the-Ballagh: C O’Leary; A Roche, K Rossiter, B Kehoe; M Jacob, P Roche, S Murphy; D Redmond (0-1), E Moore (0-1); D Mythen (0-2), T Storey (0-1), P Murphy (0-1); R Jacob (0-6, 5f), G Sinnott (0-1), N Kirwan (0-4 frees). Subs: M Doyle for Kirwan (inj. ht), D Morton for P Roche (inj. 33); K Sheridan for M Jacob (39); M Og Storey for Mythe (45), B O’Connor for P Murphy (58).
Cloughbawn: N Carton; M J Furlong, T furlong, G Murphy; D Murphy, C Kehoe, B Kehoe; B Carton, P Cullen; H Kehoe (0-6, 0-3 frees, 0-1, 65), A Carton (0-1), C Flood (0-2); M Kehoe (1-0), P Foley, R Whitty (0-2). Sub: B Wickham for Foley (56).
Referee: J Heffernan (Blackwater).
Late drama in Wicklow as Carnew and Emmets set up replay
Carnew 0-12 Bray Emmets 1-9
Don Hyland scored an outrageous point from the side line with the last puck of the ball to level the Wicklow county final and stop Bray’s bid for a 3-in-a-row.
In a low scoring affair Bray led by a point at half time but Carnew came back to lead mid-way through the second half. However Mikey Lee’s goal and an excellent Christy Moorehouse point put Bray three points up with ten minutes to go.
It looked like Bray’s day until Timmy Collins, Enda Donohoe and the 43 year old Hyland hit a point each in the last five minutes to draw the match.
Carnew: R. Fitzgerald; W Collins, M Collins, O Furlong; G Keogh, L Kennedy, A Hughes; M O’Brien, C McCrea (0-1); R Lambert, P Doran, J Doyle (0-1); E Donohoe (6 frees, 0-7), W Kinsella (0-1), T Collins (0-1). Subs: D Hyland (0-1) for R Lambert (37).
Bray Emmets: P O’Reilly; D Lohan, P Kiely, L Maloney; D Henderson, J Henderson, A Murphy; E Forde, D Masterson (1 free, 0-1); M Lennon, P Cunningham (0-1), C O’Byrne (0-1); C Moorehouse (1 free, 0-3), M Lee (1-3), P Doyle. Subs: E McCormack for C O’Byrne (37); P Collins for E Forde (51).
Referee: C Manley.
It’s three on the bounce for St Mullins
St Mullins 2-16 Mount Leinster Rangers 0-13
St Mullins completed a three-in-a-row of Carlow SHC titles as they deservedly defeated challengers Mount Leinster Rangers at Netwatch Cullen Park in a fractious final in which Rangers had three players red-carded while the champions finished with 14 men.
With right full forward Marty Kavanagh on fire for the saints, the holders were 1-5 to 0-7 ahead when Rangers right half forward Paul Coady received a straight red card on 30 minutes for an apparent striking offence on an opponent.
The champions led 1-6 o 0-8 at the break and the Rangers challenge unravelled completely with the loss through second yellow cards of full back Brian Nolan (39 minutes) and left full back Garry Kelly on 55 minutes. In between St Mullins lost left full back Gary Bennett to a straight red on 52 minutes.
Marty Kavanagh finished with a total of 1-10 in a man of the match performance. Seamus Murphy’s superbly taken 44th minute goal made the game absolutely safe for the holders as they led 2-11 to 0-10 and on course for a 26th SHC title.
St Mullins: K Kehoe; P Doyle, J Doran, G Bennett; D Whelan, P Kehoe, G Coady; J Kavanagh (0-1). M Walsh; John Murphy, S Murphy (1-1), John Murphy (0-1); M Kavanagh (1-10, 0-8 frees), J Walsh (1-1), J Doyle (0-2). Subs: C Kavanagh for John Murphy (No 10) (22); P Connors for C Kavanagh (40); P Kehoe for Whelan (61); A Doyle for Walsh (61).
Mount Leinster Rangers: F Foley; M Malone, B Nolan, G Kelly; E Coady, R Coady (0-1), R Kelly; D Phelan, J Murphy; P Coady, Diarmuid Byrne, D Murphy (0-10, 0-9 frees); T Joyce, E Byrne, C Nolan (0-1). Subs: K McDonald for E Coady (h/t); H P O’Byrne for Joyce (46); Derek Byrne (0-1) for Phelan (46); W Hickey for R Coady (61); J Coady for D Murphy (61).
Referee: K Kelly (Fighting Cocks).