A workmanlike Gusserane win
Gusserane 0-13 Marshalstown-Castledockrell 1-5
Gusserane captured the EEW and Plumbing ACFL Division 5 crown with a workmanlike win over Marshalstown-Castledockrell in a sunny, but blustery, Bree.
There was only five points between the sides at the end but in truth, the O'Rahilly's men were comfortably the better side during the 60 minutes, and were fully deserving of their victory.
The New Ross District side will certainly have to brush up on their shooting though as they hit 17 wides, in comparison to just two from their opponents, and on another day such profligacy could have come back to haunt them.
Marshalstown-Castledockrell began the game quite brightly, getting the first two points on the board through Joe Kelly (free) and James Finn, but Alan Meyler slotted over a brace of frees to draw Gusserane level.
The Enniscorthy District side had a sight of goal with eight minutes on the clock, but Mark Morris fired his shot wide of the left upright, although a Michael Hughes free did edge them back in front moments later.
Gusserane captain Jamie Cooney followed up a good point with his left boot from play with a placed ball to hand his side the lead for the first time on 17 minutes, and seconds later he had a gilt-edged opportunity to give his team a real boost, but dragged a decent goal chance wide of the post.
The miss was magnified three minutes later when, at the other end, Mark Kehoe garnered possession on the right wing, slalomed his way past a couple of defenders and unleashed a powerful shot to the corner of the net to give Marshalstown-Castledockrell a two-point advantage (1-3 to 0-4).
However, Gusserane picked off the final two scores of the half, with Seán O'Connor slotting over a good point from the right and substitute Sam Wall following suit to leave it all square at the break.
Gusserane then made it five points without reply, scoring three on the trot after the turnaround, with the lively Seán O'Connor, Keith O'Grady and Alan Meyler (free) splitting the posts, although they could have been out of sight had they been more efficient in their score-taking.
Michael Morris ended a 24-minute Marshalstown-Castletown scoring drought when he popped over a point with a quarter of the game remaining to leave just two between the sides, but Gusserane then gave themselves a bit of breathing space with scores from Tom Foran and Seán O'Connor.
Mark Morris fired over an eye-catching point on 55 minutes to leave a kick of the ball between the sides (0-11 to 1-5), but Gusserane weren't to be denied and confidently closed out the game with scores from Robert Browne and Jamie Cooney (free).
Gusserane: Brian Hennessy; Eoin Foran, James Redmond, Jack O'Connor; Shane Doyle, Keith O'Grady (0-1), Tom Foran (0-1); Robert Browne (0-1), Ciarán Conway; Matty Flynn, Robbie Corcoran, Seán O'Connor (0-3); Gary O'Grady, Jamie Cooney (capt., 0-3, 2 frees), Alan Meyler (0-3 frees). Subs. - Sam Wall (0-1) for Flynn, inj., Paul Wall for K. O'Grady, Jack Culleton for Corcoran, also Seán Kinsella, Thomas Cosgrave, Chris Cullen, Ger Wallace, John Roche, Martin Fitzharris, Conor Cleary, Oisín Foran, Seamus Kehoe.
Marshalstown-Castledockrell: Eoin Bennett; David O'Connor, Johnny Frayne (capt.), Richard Ormonde; Adam Harte, Colm Bennett, Tom Bennett; Michael Morris (0-1), James Finn (0-1); Mark Kehoe (1-0), Joe Kelly (0-1 free), Mark Morris (0-1); Colm Quigley, Michael Hughes (0-1 free), Mark Brennan. Subs. - Diarmuid Doyle for Finn, Ken Doyle for Ormonde, Michael Kinsella for Brennan, John Cullen for Kehoe, James Farrell for Harte, Mark Kehoe (Milehouse) for T. Bennett (black card), also Darragh Kehoe, Finn O'Driscoll, Michael Bennett, Keith Brennan, Jack Quigley, Michael Kelly, Frank Kelly, Barry Doyle.
Referee: Aiden O'Brien (Cloughbawn).