Duffry always had edge
All-county football league semi-finals
Duffry Rovers were always in control but never particularly comfortably so in this All-County Football League Division 2 semi-final clash played at Coolree on Tuesday.
Duffry Rovers 0-14 Ferns St Aidan's 0-11
The table-topping Duffry - who must be pleased with their league performance, given that they are competing against Intermediate teams when their own championship status is Intermediate 'A' - led fourth-placed Ferns all the way through, but still had to dig in hard during the last ten minutes after the visitors fought back to close the gap to just one point (0-11 to 0-10).
The Duffry found the finish they needed though, as they added three more points in the closing stages compared to just one for Ferns, and so they go through to a final against Glynn-Barntown - who, incidentally, were the only team to beat them in the round-robin stages of the league.
The home side had the first three scores on the board and had much the better of play throughout, but still led by only a point after 25 minutes (0-4 to 0-3) as territory and possession didn't always translate into scoring chances.
They kicked on a bit before half-time though, as Tim Bowler (two), Robert Frayne (free) and Aidan 'Chesney' Byrne, with one of the points of the night, helped them lead by double scores (0-8 to 0-4) at the break after all Ferns could manage in that time was a point by midfielder Ivan Meegan.
Ferns St. Aidan's introduced no less than four substitutes at the interval, with Tomás Hawkins, Christopher O'Connor, John Breen and Jamie Whelan all entering the fray.
The first three had a point each and free-taker Ryan Nolan added a couple to the Ferns tally too as they came back to within that one point of their hosts with ten minutes to go.
It was all in vain though, as Niall Beggan (free), Robert Frayne and Paddy Nolan got the scores at the other end to wrap up the win for the Duffry.
Duffry Rovers: Bobby Larkin; Conor Jordan, Donie Doyle, Feargal Kenny; Robert Frayne (0-4, 3 frees), Aidan Byrne (0-1), Johnny Flynn-O'Connor (0-1); John McCarthy (0-1), Loughlin Rafter; Eoghan Kavanagh, Niall Beggan (0-2 frees), Tim Bowler (0-3); Gavin Rafter; Matthew Flynn-O'Connor (0-1), Paddy Nolan (0-1). Subs. - Kevin Nolan for G. Rafter (HT), James Codd for Bowler (49), Kevin O'Brien for L. Rafter (53).
Ferns St. Aidan's: Jason Maguire; Pat Nolan, Declan Byrne, Brian O'Neill; Keith Breen, Pádraig Bolger, Robert Vickers; Ivan Meegan (0-1), Ian Byrne; Frankie Devereux, Aaron Collier (0-2), Ben Cowman; Ryan Nolan (0-5, 3 frees, 1 '45), Patrick Codd, Barry Breen. Subs. - Tomás Hawkins (0-1) for Cowman (HT), Christopher O'Connor (0-1) for Devereux (HT), John Breen (0-1) for Codd (HT), Jamie Whelan for B. Breen (HT), Peter Codd for Meegan (58).
Referee: Brendan Martin (Ballyhogue).