Clarke shines in Harriers win
Alley left with tough games
A Rhys Clarke-inspired Faythe Harriers bounced back from defeat to Oulart-The Ballagh last time out to dismiss Buffers Alley in the Pettitt's Senior hurling championship Group B at Bellefield on Saturday.
Faythe Harriers 4-17 Buffers Alley 1-18
The powerful inside-forward racked up 2-9 and was a constant nuisance for the Monamolin side who just couldn't come to terms with the Wexford town club's two-man full-forward line.
While Clarke's contribution was massive, as was that of the typically superb Lee Chin, it was the introduction of Paul Lambert that inspired a winning spurt. The Harriers, trailing by a point when the attacker was brought on in the 41st minute, added 3-5 in the time remaining to run out eight-point winners.
The Páirc Charman club started brightly and had three Clarke points on the board after just 153 seconds. They continued to set the pace and stretched the lead to 0-6 to 0-2 in the tenth minute after two Chin scores.
Buffers Alley, who really missed anchor Ciarán Kenny in defence, started to get a foothold in the centre of the field as the first quarter ended. Five wides in a row halted their progress but they had pulled within two when O'Brien's long ball was worked into Andrew Kenny by Pat Kenny and the attacker shot low past Ian Scallan (1-6 to 0-8).
Faythe Harriers trailed by 1-8 to 0-9 at the interval but hit the front in the 35th minute when Jim Berry's ball into the edge of the large rectangle was not properly dealt with by the Alley defence and Clarke latched onto the breaking ball and calmly shot low to the rigging.
However, Buffers Alley had re-taken the lead with four quick points (1-13 to 1-12) and were playing well until Lambert was introduced and until Lee Chin set off on a marauding run that ended with him smashing past O'Brien.
When Lambert found the net after a perfect Berry handpass the Harriers were four ahead with nine minutes left (3-14 to 1-16).
There was still time for the super-sub to block down the opposition goalkeeper O'Brien and for Clarke to pounce and wrap up an excellent individual, and team, performance.
While Faythe Harriers will expect to make the last eight with a tie against Shamrocks still to come, Buffers Alley have tricky games against Oulart-The Ballagh and Shelmaliers left and almost certainly need a positive result in one of those to qualify.
Faythe Harriers: Ian Scallan; Brendan Mulligan, David Mooney, Ross Lynch; Alex Lynch, Emmet Keeling (capt.), Mikey Hanrahan; Nicky Lawlor, Alan Lynch (0-1); John Bridges (0-1), Lee Chin (1-3), Shane Howard; Barry Goff, Jim Berry (0-3), Rhys Clarke (2-9, 0-4 frees). Subs. - Paul Lambert (1-0) for Goff (41), Dean Walsh for Hanrahan (50).
Buffers Alley: Darren O'Brien; Seán Murphy, Willie Doran, Barry Kenny; John Farrell, Bobby Kenny, Paudie Reidy; Pat Kenny (0-1), Kevin Roche (0-1); Seán Og Whelan, Shane Grannell (capt., 0-2, 1 line ball), Andrew Kenny (1-2); Paul O'Leary (0-3), Keith Burke (0-4 frees), Tomás O'Leary (0-5, 3 frees, 2 '65s). Subs. - James Foley for Burke (44), Ciarán Kenny for Doran (56).
Referee: James Owens (Askamore).