Clongeen in last eight
Clongeen safely negotiated their passage into the quarter-finals of the Lodgewood Engineering Intermediate football championship after shaking off the stubborn Group B challenge of St. Mary's (Maudlintown) in Killurin on Sunday.
Clongeen 1-14 St. Mary's (M) 1-9
Every time Clongeen looked to be taking control of the contest, St. Mary's fought back but the New Ross District side always looked like doing just enough to fend off their opponents.
St. Mary's started brightly, getting the first three points on the board through Dermot Flood, Eddie Pitman and Pierce Dooley inside the first six minutes, but Clongeen got the fillip they needed when Tony Bennett caught a long delivery and buried the ball to the left-hand corner of the net in the eighth minute.
A Dermot Flood free edged St. Mary's back in front but the Clongeen attack found the range, with points from Paudie Cullen, Paul Curtis, Tony Bennett and Jim Bennett (free) giving them a 1-4 to 0-4 advantage after 21 minutes.
However, St. Mary's, who were already condemned to a relegation dogfight before throw-in, showed they weren't there just to make up the numbers and fought back to parity by the 27th minute with two Jason Swords frees and a fine effort from Gavin Cullen.
Points from Paudie Cullen (free) and Paul Curtis gave Clongeen a 1-6 to 0-7 half-time advantage and they continued where they left off after the interval with Jim Bennett and Curtis extending their leade to four.
Back came St. Mary's again though, with Roy Doyle hitting the net to make it 1-8 to 1-7 after good work from Jason Swords only moments after a Paul Curtis effort on goal had been blocked at the other end.
Paudie Cullen was then denied a three-pointer by St. Mary's goalkeeper Paul Dempsey, one of three excellent saves by the netminder in the second-half.
Wing-back Paudie Cahill got forward to score twice either side of a Nigel Fort-Kehoe point as Clongeen regained the initiative, and they kept their opponents at arm's length for the final quarter with Jim Bennett and Paul Curtis (two) adding to their tally while Dermot Flood (free) and Martin O'Connor replied for St. Mary's.
Clongeen's quarter-final opponents will be confirmed tonight.
Clongeen: Ricky Rochford; Stephen Curtis, Collie Byrne, Jamie Keating; Paudie Cahill (0-2), Anton Stafford, Enda Murphy; Emmet Kent, Lorcan Kent; Jim Bennett (0-3, 2 frees), Paul Curtis (0-5), Cathal Murphy; Liam Murphy, Paudie Cullen (0-2, 1 free), Tony Bennett (1-1). Subs. - Paul Casey for L. Murphy, Nigel Fort-Kehoe (0-1) for Stafford, Liam Murphy for T. Bennett, Nicky O'Sullivan for Keating.
St. Mary's (Maudlintown): Paul Dempsey; Ross Lynch, Alan Lynch, Alex Lynch; Pierce Dooley (0-1), Christy Lane, Gary Murphy, Martin O'Connor (0-1), Donal O'Leary; Jason Swords (0-2 frees), Dermot Flood (0-3, 2 frees), Eddie Pitman (0-1); Gavin Cullen (0-1), Roy Doyle (1-0), Alan Flood. Sub. - Barry Harpur for Alan Lynch (black card).
Referee: John Diskin (Bannow-Ballymitty).