Bunclody best after big finish

HWH-Bunclody 1-11 Adamstown 1-9

Dave Devereux

Ian White of Adamstown under pressure from HWH-Bunclody's county Minor, Adam Hogan
Ian White of Adamstown under pressure from HWH-Bunclody's county Minor, Adam Hogan

Four unanswered points in the last nine minutes saw HWH-Bunclody snatch their first victory in Group A of the Amber Springs/Ashdown Park Hotels Intermediate football championship in Bellefield on Saturday.

When Conor Hickey rifled a penalty to the roof of the net with 50 minutes on the clock to give Adamstown a 1-9 to 1-7 advantage, it looked as if it would set them on the road to victory.

However, Bunclody showed an admirable response to adversity, with Eoin Kelly replying almost instantly with a point and Colm Farrell, Seán Kenny and Mark Sheehan all knocking over scores to earn a hard-fought win.

Enniscorthy was packed with revellers who were in town for the Rockin' Food Festival, but there was certainly little to whet the appetite during a dour opening 30 minutes of football.

Possession was coughed up far too easily, decision-making was poor, but most notably some of the shooting was seriously awry.

That said, Adamstown got themselves into a strong position, leading by five points after 17 minutes, and they would certainly have been bitterly disappointed to only hold a 0-5 to 0-3 advantage as the sides switched ends.

Ian White and Michael Furlong contributed two points apiece in those early stages, with Harry Cosgrave getting their other score, with Bunclody finally getting off the mark in the 19th minute when Peter Atkinson swivelled and sent the ball over the bar.

After playing second fiddle for much of the opening period, Bunclody would have been content to be only two points adrift at the interval, with Aidan Nolan slotting over a '45 and Eoin Kelly adding a good score before the switch of ends.

Mercifully, both the quality and entertainment levels increased after the break. Bunclody were just a point adrift with 40 minutes on the clock, thanks to two John Dunne frees and a Peter Atkinson point after a flowing move, with Tony French and Conor Hickey replying.

The Half Way House boys then received a real boost when Edward Dunbar gathered a pass from Eoin Kelly and rifled a blistering shot to the corner of the net to take the lead for the first time (1-6 to 0-7).

Adamstown went close to replying in kind, but Paudie Barden's chipped effort cleared goalkeeper Patrick Kavanagh but drifted just wide of the right post.

They came even closer to grabbing a three-pointer in the 46th minute when Eric Bradley burst through with menace, but his rasping drive came back off the post, with Conor Hickey picking up the pieces and popping over a point.

Hickey then fired Adamstown back in front in the 51st minute, firing a penalty into the roof of the net after he had earned the spot-kick himself (1-9 to 1-7).

Bunclody showed a never-say-die spirit though and dragged themselves back on level terms through points from Eoin Kelly and Colm Farrell.

Seán Kenny edged them in front in the 57th minute, and substitute Mark Sheehan made an immediate impact by splitting the posts seconds after entering the fray to seal a sweet victory.

HWH-Bunclody: Patrick Kavanagh; Billy Kelly, John Atkinson, Adam Hogan; Colm Farrell (0-1), Pádraic Sinnott, Peadair Cowman; Seán Kenny (0-1), Aidan Nolan (0-1 '45); John Dunne (0-3 frees), Eoin Kelly (0-2), Jamie John Murphy; David Reck, Peter Atkinson (0-2), Edward Dunbar (1-0). Subs. - Keith O'Hara for Murphy, Mark Sheehan (0-1) for Reck, Josh Martin for Sinnott.

Adamstown: Alan Bradley; Kieran Finn, James Breen, Johnny Connors; Tomás Harrington, Michael Furlong (0-3, 1 free), Lorcan French; Tony French (0-1), Shane O'Gorman; Harry Cosgrave (0-1), Eric Bradley, Paudie Barden; Ian White (0-2, 1 free), Ian Bradley, Barry Power. Subs. - Conor Hickey (1-2, 1-0 pen.) for Cosgrave, Liam Stafford for E. Bradley

Referee: Fintan O'Reilly (Kilmore).

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