Blackwater bolstered by the goal-getting Suttons
Blackwater up an Enniscorthy Farm Systems Junior football championship semi-final clash with Volunteers following a mildly surprising victory over Shelmaliers in Clongeen on Saturday.
Blackwater 2-12 Shelmaliers 0-12
In the last several seasons few eyebrows would be raised at this result, but given how Blackwater have gone in both codes this year, this has to go down as a bit of a turn-up.
As is often the case with the Over The Water derby, it was a tight affair throughout but goals in either half from Kerril and Conor Sutton proved the difference.
The first of those majors happened to be the very first score but the Shels had already been warned.
Just a minute earlier Joe Neville played in Ger Lynch who saw his powerful low shot saved by Aodhán Foley, but there was no stopping Kerril Sutton's effort moments later after he latched onto a poor clearance.
Shelmaliers spent most of the first-half playing catch-up but they did just that, taking a 0-4 to 1-0 lead in the 26th minute when Colin Redmond pointed.
Back came Blackwater and, having not scored a point beforehand, they picked off five in what was left of the first-half.
The excellent Dean Whelan grabbed a brace while Neville (two) and Lynch were both on target to see their side ahead by 1-5 to 0-5 at half-time.
Neal Rossiter added a bit more life to the Hollymount side after the resumption but they still trailed by three (1-8 to 0-8) after 43 minutes.
That's when the second major arrived - a killer it was too. Denis Carroll is an experienced campaigner and knew just the right time to send substitute Conor Sutton into the clear.
The youngster still needed a cool head, which he proved he wasn't lacking with a thumping finish to Foley's net.
Shelmaliers kept plugging away but couldn't get any closer than four in the time remaining, meaning Blackwater took a deserved victory and can look forward to a game against Volunteers in the last four this weekend.
And regardless of what happens in those penultimate round ties, the final of this championship will feature a Wexford District team against an Enniscorthy District outfit.
While all of the focus will be on that football clash in Blackwater this week, they will also be hoping that the momentum generated by this win will stand to them when they take on Duffry Rovers in the forthcoming Intermediate hurling relegation final.
Blackwater: Robert O'Leary; Shane Wright, Johnny Mooney, Darren Byrne; Diarmuid Murphy, Kevin O'Brien, Anthony Roche; Dean Wright, Dean Whelan (0-4); Kerril Sutton (1-3), Denis Carroll, Mick Lillis (capt.); Lar Leacy, Ger Lynch (0-1), Joe Neville (0-3, 1 free). Subs. - Seánie Purcell for Lynch (31), Dillon Dixon for K. Sutton (31), Conor Sutton (1-1, 0-1 free) for Leacy (35), K. Sutton for Neville (54), Mark Donoghue for S. Wright (56).
Shelmaliers: Aodhán Foley; Eoghan Fitzgerald, Darren Malone, Eoin O'Leary; Cathal Gaule (capt.), Cian Manley (0-1), Enda Cloake; Emmet O'Leary, Alan Griffith; Willie O'Shaughnessy, Colin Redmond (0-1), Conor Hearne (0-1); Jody Donohoe (0-1), Derek Walsh (0-5, 3 frees), Colin Cleary. Subs. - Craig Parker for Redmond (31), Neal Rossiter (0-3) for Cloake (31), Aaron O'Neill for Eoin O'Leary (47), Terry Gainfort for Hearne (51).
Referee: Eric Molloy (St. James').