Bunclody complete Juvenile double
HWH-Bunclody completed a notable Juvenile championship double in Ferns on Saturday, but not before withstanding a spirited Cloughbawn comeback in the Enniscorthy Guardian Roinn 2 hurling decider.
HWH-Bunclody 2-15 Clougbawn 2-6
It looked like the Carlow border crew would add to their Roinn 1 football title with comfort when corner-forward Cathal Doyle goaled just 48 seconds after the interval to stretch their lead to 1-13 to 0-3.
Some of the HWH-Bunclody score-taking prior to that in the first-half had been of the highest order. Indeed, all six forwards plus one midfielder had picked off a point from play before they struck the first of just six wides in all in the 25th minute, and they led by 0-10 to 0-3 at that stage.
Another three points were added before the break by Lee Levingstone, Cathal Doyle and team captain Eddie Black, and there appeared to be no way back for Cloughbawn, especially when that goal followed on the re-start.
However, the losers deserve immense credit for their response, as they tacked on 2-3 without reply while HWH-Bunclody endured a worrying barren spell lasting nearly 19 minutes.
A pointed Eanna Doyle free was followed by the first Cloughbawn goal when midfielders Darragh O'Connor and Gary Kehoe combined before the latter's shot took a deflection en route to the net.
Points followed from Kehoe and Kyle Murphy, and the gap was down to four when an O'Connor delivery was touched to the net by Murphy in the 47th minute.
It might have been even tighter were it not for seven second-half Cloughbawn wides which brought their overall total to eleven.
HWH-Bunclody had to show their true mettle again in order to complete the double, and to their credit they responded in the wake of that rough patch.
Edward Dunbar settled them down with a point but another eleven scoreless minutes followed - with one Cathal Doyle goal attempt saved by Jack Fleming - before Mylie Connors struck the insurance 1-1 in added time.
His goal was a scrambled effort just before the finish, leaving this group with the perfect end to a special year as they claimed championship honours in both codes.
HWH-Bunclody: Darren Doyle; Daniel Farrell, Adam Hogan, Mikey Furlong; Tadgh O Ceallaigh, Stephen Kavanagh, John McCormack; Ciarán Kavanagh, Eddie Black (capt., 0-4, 2 frees); Mylie Connors (1-2), Edward Dunbar (0-3, 1 free), Byron Byrne (0-1); Peadar Cowman (0-1), Lee Levingstone (0-2), Cathal Doyle (1-2). Subs. - Jamie Kavanagh for Cowman (47), Jack Regan for Dunbar, temp. (56-58), Regan for Byrne (58), Robert Weston for C. Kavanagh (60+2), also Alan Carton, Ciarán Regan, James Black, Cathal Dunbar.
Cloughbawn: Jack Fleming; Nick Kavanagh, Jack Wickham, James Boland; James Flood, James Dempsey, Stephen Casserly; Darragh O'Connor (0-2), Gary Kehoe (1-1); Kyle Murphy (1-1), Daniel Dempsey, Eanna Doyle (0-2 frees); Liam Flood, Fergus Rooney, Conor Flood. Subs. - Johnny Connors for C. Flood (25), Fionn Codd for L. Flood (HT), Conor Flood for Kavanagh (51), also Dion Deacon, Seán Keating.
Referee: Paul Browne (Clonee).