Fethard flourish wins title

FETHARD 2-15 KILMORE 2-9

DEAN GOODISON in St. Patrick's Park

FETHARD BOUNCED back from falling behind with 13 minutes to play to blaze clear and claim the Minor football Division 4 championship title in St. Patrick's Park on Friday last.

Down by five (0-9 to 1-1) heading into the second-half, Kilmore fought all the way back to take the lead when Kevin Casey fired over his fourth point at the beginning of the final quarter. However, Ciarán Dwyer and Bryan Power quickly turned the scoreboard in Fethard's favour before Joe Sutton drilled home a crucial 52nd-minute goal to set the New Ross District side en route to glory.

The official title may have been 'Division 4' but nothing else about this excellent contest suggested a lower-level game. Both sides contributed in a superb contest with the eventual winners, in particular, playing a fine brand of football based on clever movement and driving runs off the ball, especially in the opening half.

It was Kilmore who got off to the fast start and flew into a 1-0 to 0-1 lead when Jake Furlong's shot was batted away by Fethard goalkeeper Niall Roche, only for Killian Dove to react quickest and drill a close-range shot to the net.

After Conor Moore and Ciarán Dwyer traded points, Kilmore failed to register again in the opening half as Fethard took control in perfect, still conditions. By the end of the first-half, incredibly, all six starting forwards had registered to ease their side from two behind to five in front at the interval.

A subdued ending to the first-half by Kilmore was quickly forgotten as Casey, Dove and Seán Hogan all pointed within a minute and 45 seconds of the re-start.

David Bates was forced into several excellent saves in a bid to keep his side in the game and his heroism was rewarded when Casey's treble saw Kilmore ahead entering the final ten minutes.

Yet there was no stopping Sutton's drive, from Dwyer's pass, which sent Fethard four clear.

The lead increased to seven after Adam Swan, Dwyer and Power pointed but Kilmore didn't quit and Thomas Byrne's goal, added to by another Casey point, left three between the sides with a couple of minutes left.

Fethard battened down the hatches and padded their victory further when substitute Christopher Molloy drilled home a major with the last kick of the game to leave his side as champions and his captain, Edmond Power, collecting the silverware on behalf of the victors.

Fethard: Niall Roche; Seán Sutton, Evan Roche, Patrick Trainor; Daire Barden, Edmund Power, Seán Donohoe; Steven Barry, John Tubritt; Bryan Power (0-4, 1 free), Stephen Morrissey (0-1), Daniel Johnson (0-1); Joe Sutton (1-2), Ciarán Dwyer (0-5, 2 frees), Adam Blake (0-1). Subs. - Adam Swan (0-1) for Blake, Christopher Molloy (1-0) for Morrissey, also Dylan Chapman, Ricky Rowe, James Dillon.

Kilmore: David Bates; John McGuire, William Carley, Liam Shannon; Shane Power, Peter Shannon, Nathan Bates; Cormac Bates, Thomas Byrne (1-1); Seán Hogan (0-1), Kevin Casey (0-5, 2 frees), Conor Moore (0-1); Killian Dove (1-1), Eoin Cooney, Jake Furlong. Subs. - Sam Roche for Furlong, also Thomas Kinsella, Ryan Bates, Ivan Donnelly, Conor Whelan.

Referee: Aidan O'Brien (Cloughbawn).

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