Cody leads Cushinstown charge to District U21 title
Midfielder Tadhg Cody proved the inspiration as he spearheaded Rathgarogue-Cushinstown to an eventual five-point victory over Gusserane in this entertaining New Ross District Under- 21 hurling Roinn 1 championship final in Cushinstown on Monday of last week.
Rathgarogue-Cushinstown 2-10 Gusserane 1-8
Cody dominated the exchanges around midfield for most of the game, striking an excellent six points in the process, with four long-range efforts coming from play. And those scores proved crucial in his side's march through to a semi-final meeting with Blackwater, while Rathnure awaiting the eventual winners in the county final.
Very little separated the sides right through the game, but the home team proved more clinical in front of goal. They scored a goal in each half, with the second only arriving close to the finish which was in stark contrast to Gusserane who spurned a couple of good goal-getting opportunities.
Daire Bolger and Sam Wall exchanged opening frees but two long-range Tadhg Cody points from frees edged the home side into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead after nine minutes.
Entering the second quarter the opening goal arrived. Following good approach play from Daire Bolger, the ball broke into the path of full-forward Barry Murphy who got a boot to the ball to find the net, giving his side a 1-3 to 0-2 lead.
Cody followed with three further points, one from a free, along with a John James Carroll effort, while their opponents responded with points from Mark Rossiter and Adrian Redmond, leaving the eventual winners leading by 1-7 to 0-4 at the interval.
After a Cody pointed free within two minutes of the re-start had extended his side's lead, Gusserane went on to enjoy their best passage of play, with substitute Seán Ryan pointing, while Sam Wall found the net at the end of the third quarter, reducing the deficit to three points (1-8 to 1-5).
As the sides continued to trade points through Ian Kennedy, Wall and Bolger, just two separated them (1-10 to 1-8) entering the closing minutes, and this after both Ryan and Wall had missed out on good goalscoring chances in the closing ten minutes.
But just to demonstrate their superiority, corner-forward Eoin Porter found the net for Rathgarogue-Cushinstown from an acute angle one minute into additional time to secure victory for his side and a clash with Blackwater.
Rathgarogue-Cushinstown: Fionn Slattery; Liam O'Shea, Ricky McGrath, Ian Kennedy (0-1); Paddy Murphy, Brian Cody, Ciarán Ryan; Tadhg Cody (0-6, 4 frees), Peter Asple; Daire Bolger (0-2, 1 free), John James Carroll (0-1), Jason Dunne; Eric Cummins, Barry Murphy (1-0), Eoin Porter (1-0).
Gusserane: Micheál Ryan; Ciarán Conway, Gavin Sheehan, David Kinsella; Jack Burford, Mark Rossiter (0-2, 1 free), Jason Sutton; Adrian Redmond (0-1), Martin Fitzharris; John Roche, Mark O'Neill, Eoin Foran; Jack Culleton, Sam Wall (1-4, 0-4 frees), Seán O'Connor. Subs. - Seán Ryan (0-1) for Culleton, Oisín Foran for O'Connor.
Referee: Gearóid McGrath (St. James').