Anne's enjoy safe passage
Horeswood make tame exit
The panic button can be hidden away for another week in Rathangan after St. Anne's blitzed a poor Horeswood side in Group A of the Tom Doyle Supplies Senior football championship at Cushinstown on Friday.
St. Anne's 2-16 Horeswood 1-4
The Wexford District men had been in free-fall in both codes coming into this tie but they put down a marker with this performance of utter domination from start to finish. Indeed, they suddenly became a team nobody will want to face in the knockout stages. What a difference a few days makes.
Unfortunately for Horeswood, they were hardly recognisable from the team which pushed struggling champions St. James' to the brink two weeks earlier. It was a really disappointing showing but shouldn't come as a massive surprise, seeing as they only avoided relegation at the final hurdle last season.
They started against the breeze and quickly fell two points behind. However, they were given a huge boost in the fourth minute when Darren Shannon's floated effort dropped close to goal and Liam Shiely was in position to punch past Richard Cleary.
Yet they would manage just one further point in the period, a P.J. Banville free in the 22nd minute. At the other end, a vintage Redmond Barry was on fire, kicking three of his side's first five points.
Franny Simpson tested Conor Swaine with a low shot but when Seán Gaul popped over his second point, St. Anne's led by 0-7 to 1-0 after 17 minutes. That lead continued to grow, and Barry had four by the interval, with Gaul getting three, as their club moved 0-12 to 1-1 clear.
Horeswood had a bit more of the play after the break but kicked six wides around a solitary Eddie Shiely point. The game was pretty much up when Simpson punched Kevin Hannigan's pass to the net, with the corner-forward loitering close to goal.
There was an eleven-minute period without a score for either side that straddled the midpoint of the period. It was somewhat inevitably broken by St. Anne's when Seán Gaul popped over his fifth score of the evening (1-14 to 1-2).
While David Shannon came off the bench to grab a couple of points, it was the experienced man at the other end of the field who had the final say.
When Hannigan was fouled in the final minute, Redmond Barry stepped up and fired high past Swaine to seal his side's win in style.
Courtesy of this victory, St. Anne's take second spot in Group A, behind table-toppers Castletown, and will play the third-placed side in Group B, Gusserane. Unlike last year, Horeswood don't have the stress of a relegation final ahead, as their season is now over after a fifth place finish in the table.
St. Anne's: Richard Cleary; Páraic O'Keeffe, Tomás Cullen, Cian McGovern; Kevin Hannigan, Seán Gaul (0-5, 4 frees), Kenny Cloney; David Fogarty (0-1), Patrick O'Brien; Ben Moore, Diarmuid O'Keeffe (0-1), Mark Furlong (0-2); Francis Simpson (1-1), Paddy Miskella (0-1), Redmond Barry (capt., 1-5, 1-0 pen.). Subs. - Michael O'Brien for Cloney, black card (40), Kevin White for Barry (60+3), Josh Cloney for Fogarty (60+4).
Horeswood: Conor Swaine; Ryan Harris, Seán Stafford, Gavin Murphy; Johnny Keating, Barry Hearn, Eddie Shiely (0-1); Darren Shannon, P.J. Banville (0-1 free); Leigh O'Brien, Declan Murphy (capt.), Niall Collins; Liam Shiely (1-0), Michael O'Hanlon, Jim Wall. Subs. - Paddy Murphy for Harris, black card (37), David Shannon (0-2) for O'Hanlon (40), Eric Banville for Collins (47).
Referee: Pat Kehoe (Rathgarogue-Cushinstown).