Clarke points the way for Harriers
Faythe Harriers prospered through an additional time pointed free from Rhys Clarke as they edged their way to a one-point victory over Faythe Harriers in this closely-contested Pettitt's Senior hurling championship quarter-final at Innovate Wexford Park on Saturday.
Faythe Harriers 0-17 Cloughbawn 1-13
It was a game that had many twists and turns before the eventual result was arrived at, but what it lacked in quality was made up for with an intense finish as Faythe Harriers just about deserved to secure their place in the semi-final.
As for Cloughbawn, they failed to avail of their chances but they still looked ideally placed when a 40th-minute goal put them into a three-point lead. Their failure to push on from their one moment of inspirational play was surprising but it just about summed up their afternoon.
From the opening quarter exchanges it became evidently clear that free-takers Rhys Clarke and Harry Kehoe would have an important say in the eventual result. The two players exchanged opening points, Clarke from play with Kehoe levelling through a free, with the town side regaining the lead through a neat fifth-minute Bary Goff point.
While Clarke was off target with a free, both sides failed to score through the following eleven minutes before Kehoe pointed frees on 16 and 22 minutes to edge his side into a 0-3 to 0-2 lead.
The pendulum swung back Faythe Harriers' way with points flowing through Clarke (three, one '65, one free) and Shane Howard to lead by 0-6 to 0-3. Cloughbawn points from Kehoe (free) and a long Colm Kehoe effort left the eventual winners leading by 0-6 to 0-5 at the interval, with the Harriers having struck eleven wides to their opponents' one.
Having trailed at the interval, Cloughbawn showed an increased tempo to their game on the resumption. Within one minute of the re-start they had a Kehoe pointed free from midfield, with Bob Whitty putting his side in front (0-7 to 0-6) one minute later.
Having shown such accuracy through the opening period, Clarke once again responded with two points (one free), and when Jim Berry added a 37th-minute effort, they had shot into a 0-9 to 0-7 lead, and looked quite comfortable.
Crucially for Cloughbawn they followed with scores from Paul Foley and a Kehoe free to tie the sides, but then came one of the best moments of the game. Wing-back Colm Kehoe having gained possession well inside his own half, set off on a one hundred metre run through the centre.
As he encroached on goal, with the defence recovering, he had the foresight to lay off to the unmarked Alan Carton who finished to the net from the right edge of the square, leaving Cloughbawn with a 1-9 to 0-9 lead with 20 minutes remaining.
Strangely it was the Harriers who responded to this moment of inspiration as they struck right back for two points from Clarke, the second after a great Lee Chin lay-off, while Chin brought the sides level (0-12 to 1-9) with ten minutes remaining.
They continued to trade points through Clarke and Kehoe, while a huge 80-metre free from Kehoe had the sides deadlocked (0-14 to 1-11) with three minutes remaining. Clarke from play and a free pushed the Harriers two points clear entering the final minute.
As the game moved into additional time a Kehoe pointed free left the minimum separating the sides, and when the same played lofted over a 90-metre free two minutes into additional time it look as if the game would end in a draw.
But in the third minute of additional time Clarke struck a 90-metre pointed free from out on the terrace side to give his side a dramatic one-point lead. Cloughbawn had one final chance of levelling the game but Connal Flood pulled his point attempt just outside the right-hand post and wide under intense pressure.
Faythe Harriers: Ian Scallan; Brendan Mulligan, David Mooney, Ross Lynch; Emmet Keeling, Richie Kehoe, Alex Lynch; Ciarán Kirwan, Barry Goff (0-2); John Bridges, Lee Chin (0-1), Jim Berry (0-1); Rhys Clarke (0-12, 5 frees, 1 '65), Shane Howard (0-1), Paul Lambert. Subs. - Pádraigh Farrell for Bridges, Con O Donnagáin for Lambert, Nicky Lawlor for Howard.
Cloughbawn: Noel Carton; Gavin Murphy, Tomás Furlong, Barry Kehoe; M.J. Furlong, Páidí Cullen, Colm Kehoe (0-1); Barry Carton, Corey Bolger; Harry Kehoe (0-10 frees), Alan Carton (1-0), Connal Flood; Bob Whitty (0-1), Joey Lawlor, Paul Foley (0-1). Subs. - Billy Wickham for Lawlor, Davin Murphy for Bolger.
Referee: Pat Kehoe (Rathgarogue-Cushinstown).