Bunclody on fire
Bunclody had too much firepower for Gusserane as they eased to a comprehensive victory in the O'Loughlin Cup final in St. Patrick's Park on Sunday.
HWH-Bunclody 4-9 Gusserane 2-3
Playing against a stiff breeze, the Half Way House boys were 2-1 to no score to the good by the 14th minute, and although the New Ross District side rallied briefly to get back within two points, Bunclody found another gear when they felt the breath on the back of their necks.
Darren Doyle slotted over an eighth-minute free to open the scoring, and when Edward Dunbar gathered a handpass from John McCormack and sent a daisy-cutter to the corner of the net moments later it already looked like an uphill task for the O'Rahilly's.
Their task got even harder on 13 minutes when Peadair Cowman collected a Darren Doyle free which didn't have the legs to make it over the bar and buried it to the net.
Gusserane suddenly found their feet in the 17th minute, and points in quick succession from Kevin O'Donohoe and Eoin Ryan gave them some sort of a foothold in the game.
A minute later they grabbed the goal they needed to kick-start a comeback when Oisín Foran collected a pass from Sam Wall and fired the ball beyond Jack Regan.
Hopes of a fightback were soon dashed though, with Cathal Doyle poaching a goal just before the interval to put Bunclody firmly back in the ascendancy.
Edward Dunbar handpassed to the inrushing John McCormack and although his shot was well save by Mark Flynn, Doyle was on hand to steer the ball to the net to give HWH-Bunclody a 3-1 to 1-2 half-time advantage.
With the wind at their backs Bunclody bossed most of the second period, with Darren Doyle, Peadar Cowman, Jamie Kavanagh, Cathal Doyle and Ciarán Kavanagh all picking off nice points from play.
Edward Dunbar grabbed his second goal midway through the half, running on to a delivery from Jamie Kavanagh and steering the ball home off the ground, while Martin Stafford plundered a late consolation goal for a Gusserane side which continued to battle until the end.
HWH-Bunclody: Jack Regan; Adam Hogan (capt.), Michael Furlong; Jamie Kavanagh (0-1), Byron Byrne, Ciarán Kavanagh (0-1); Peadar Cowman (1-2), Stephen Kavanagh; Darren Doyle (0-3, 1 free, 1 '45), Cathal Doyle (1-1), John McCormack; Edward Dunbar (2-0), Tadhg Kelly. Subs. - Lee Levingston for S. Kavanagh, Cathal Dunbar for McCormack, Aidan Mahon for Furlong, Robert Weston for C. Doyle, Ryan McDonald for D. Doyle, Stephen Kavanagh for Levingston, William Dunne (0-1 free) for E. Dunbar, Michael Fitzpatrick for Kelly, Ciarán Regan for Cowman, also Danny Farrell.
Gusserane: Mark Flynn; Stephen Whelan, Donal Kinsella; Martin Stafford (1-0), Gavin Sheehan, Eoin Dunne Codd; Tommy Ryan, Sam Wall (capt.); Colin Walshe, Kevin O'Donohoe (0-2, 1 free), Páraic Pilkington; Eoin Ryan (0-1), Oisin Foran (1-0). Subs. - Jamie Sheehan for Walshe, Mark Kehoe for Whelan, Emmet Cullen for Pilkington, Conor Tighe for Foran, also Seamus Murphy, Eoin Stafford, Shaun Maher, Matthew McKillen, Aaron Whelan, Michael Hennessy.
Referee: Eddie O'Sullivan (Kilanerin).