Cloughbawn celebrate sweet victory
Some may see it as changing times as Cloughbawn with a stirring second-half display deservedly claimed the bragging rights over neighbours Rathnure after an excellent Pettitt's Senior hurling championship Group A game in O'Kenedy Park, New Ross, on Sunday.
Cloughbawn 0-16 Rathnure 1-12
The men in green celebrated on the final whistle as if it was a county final success. It may have been a long time coming over their great neighbours, and the manner in which it was achieved into a strong second-half wind must have satisfied their backroom team most.
When one glanced at the half-time scoreline, with the sides level, one feared for Cloughbawn, as they had to face into the elements on the resumption. However, they led the second-half charge, carving out some excellent scores, with Paudie Cullen and Colm Kehoe outstanding in the half-back line, while Tomás Furlong at full-back was rock solid.
Cloughbawn also shone up front through that second 30 minutes, driving at the Rathnure defence in waves. Paul Foley showed accuracy from frees and Harry Kehoe was excelling inside, proving a constant threat, but three delightful points from play by Connal Flood proved crucial.
How this young attacker could only feature as a late substitute in Wexford's Minor loss the previous day to Westmeath is a mystery, given the impact he had on this game.
Rathnure have dropped three points from their opening two games, leaving them with much to do. They looked to have set themselves up when Shane Lawlor goaled just on the break but, despite some stirring hurling at different stages of the second-half, they had little answer to their opponents' constant waves of attacks that led to the crucial scores.
After Guiney and Foley exchanged early pointed frees, Guiney followed with two more, but Foley responded from a brace of placed balls to leave the sides level (0-3 each) after 18 minutes.
With Foley continuing to punish indiscretions they went on to lead by 0-6 to 0-4. Shane Lawlor got the game's only goal just before the break, with a Foley free sending the sides in level (0-7 to 1-4) at the interval.
The trend continued on the resumption as Foley and Guiney traded points from frees, but then two quick-fire Connal Flood points after excellent runs lifted the Cloughbawn challenge, and they led by 0-12 to 1-6 after 43 minutes.
Guiney responded with a pointed free, but three successive points through Harry Kehoe, Flood and Foley (free) left Cloughbawn with a 0-15 to 1-8 lead with eight minutes remaining.
Guiney slotted over three frees to leave the minimum separating the sides as the game moved into additional time. With tension mounting both Antony O'Connell and Alan Carton received straight red cards three minutes into additional time, while in the two further minutes played both Foley and Guiney traded points but Cloughbawn deservedly held out.
Cloughbawn: Noel Carton; Gavin Murphy, Tomás Furlong, Barry Kehoe; Johnny Cullen, Paudie Cullen, Colm Kehoe; Davin Murphy, Barry Carton; Connal Flood (0-3), Alan Carton (0-1), Paul Foley (0-8, 6 frees, 1 '65); Bob Whitty (0-1), Joey Lawlor, Harry Kehoe (0-2). Subs. - Tomás Foley (0-1) for Lawlor, Corey Bolger for T. Foley.
Rathnure: Dermot Flynn; Chris Redmond, Michael O'Leary, Brian Quigley; John O'Connor, Declan Foley, Antony O'Connell; Paddy Whiteley, Aidan Redmond; Michael Redmond (0-1), Jack Guiney (0-10, 9 frees), Shane Lawlor (1-1); Brendan O'Leary, Robbie Codd, Ciarán O'Connor. Subs. - Pádraig Doyle for A. Redmond, inj., James flynn for C. Redmond, Eoin Higgins for C. O'Connor.
Referee: Seán Whelan (St. Martin's).