Big final flourish
Naomh Eanna 3-8 Faythe Harriers 0-3
Two goals and two points in the final five minutes sealed the New Ross Standard Under-14 hurling Division 1 championship title for Naomh Eanna, as the slick Gorey boys got the better of an unfortunate Faythe Harriers outfit in Saturday's county final played at a showery St. Patrick's Park.
While the 3-8 to 0-3 final scoreline does an injustice to the overall challenge presented by the Harriers, by the same measure the game management displayed from Naomh Eanna was right out of the current Dublin Senior footballers' play-book, as they dictated the tempo on their own terms.
They needed that late scoring blitz too as Faythe Harries were faultless in their application, but ultimately they were let down in their execution, particularly when missing three scoreable frees in the third quarter.
The two sides have dominated this particular grade over the last few years, so the tentative opening came as no real surprise, with Gorey's Lee Cushe opening the scoring from a seventh-minute free.
His colleague, Cormac Doyle, landed a difficult free from a tight angle three minutes later, while Doyle neatly balanced the sliothar on his hurl before pointing in his stride to make it 0-3 to no score after 16 minutes.
Jason Gordon (free) opened the Harriers account on 20 minutes, though the complexion of the game changed completely in injury time when Cushe's under-cooked free dropped beyond cover and Thomas Wheatley knocked the breaking ball home for a 1-4 to 0-2 lead at the change of ends.
Wheatley and Cushe (free) extended the leaders' advantage on the resumption, before Andy Murphy converted a free on 31 minutes for what proved to be the losers' last score of the game.
The Wexford town side pressed for the scores they needed to alter the verdict, but were rocked by Naomh Eanna's clinical finish.
A rather hopeful cross from Shane Mahon was met mid-air by Cormac Doyle as he flashed to the net on 45 minutes.
And Mahon turned poacher four minutes later to swipe home and secure some more under-age silverware for Naomh Eanna in a fine year for the club.
Naomh Eanna: Rory Tubritt; Darragh Fitzpatrick, Cian O Túama, Seán Egan; Conor Kelly, Rian Fitzpatrick, Enda McCrea; Brian Cushe, Cormac Doyle (1-2, 0-1 free); Kyle Kenny, Lee Cushe (capt., 0-4, 3 frees), Shane Flood; Thomas Wheatley (1-1), J.J. Twamley (0-1), Shane Mahon (1-0). Subs. - Scott Murphy for C. Doyle, also Tommy Connors, Luke Darley, Tiernan Black, Niall O'Dwyer, Ruadhan Redmond, Jack Curley, Harry McGuckin, Rúairí Sheil, Ryan Callaghan, Dylan Cloake-Leonard, Mark Kinch, Jamie Kinch, Daniel Ennis, Michael Dineen, Ruadhan Comerford, Ross Kavanagh, Mylie Connors, Thomas Mythen, Stephen Smyth, Tiernan O'Doherty, James McGraynor, Tadhg Byrne.
Faythe Harriers: Tiernan Doyle; Darragh Grant, Jack Connolly, Cillian Twomey; Luke Murphy, Alex Boggan, Edan McElroy; Andy Murphy (0-1 free), Eoin Hartigan; Calum Corcoran, Jason Gordon (0-2, 1 free), Cian Roche; Dale McGrath, Darby Purcell, Emmet Gahan. Subs. - Oliver McMahon for L.Murphy, inj., Josh Howlin for Roche, Jason Kelly for Corcoran, Patrick Duignan for Hartigan, also Finn Jaeger, Jack Egan, Eoin Doyle, Alex Kirby.
Referee: John Tobin (Geraldine O'Hanrahans).