Dunne display was pure class

Davidstown-Courtnacuddy 4-7 Blackwater 2-12

Alan Aherne

Davidstown-Courtnacuddy finally gained the win that might just kick-start their season in St. Patrick's Park on Saturday.

They had lost all five championship engagements - three football and two hurling, as well as conceding a walkover in the latter - prior to this gutsy one-point victory over Blackwater in an entertaining and high-scoring Enniscorthy Farm Systems Junior championship Group B encounter.

The game started and finished with key contributions from county hurler David Dunne, and he was undoubtedly the main man in downing the seasiders who were shipping their third loss from four football games.

Just 18 seconds had elapsed when Dunne played in Walter Furlong who slotted home a goal, giving Davidstown-Courtnacuddy the perfect start.

And with the sides level in the last minute of normal time, and the outcome in the balance, Dunne left his calling card again with a sublime score.

Despite his lack of height he claimed a spectacular mark and soloed goalwards before hooking a high kick over the bar for the winner.

It was a double blow for Blackwater as goalkeeper Robert O'Leary's reaction to that point, conveyed to a neutral umpire, earned him a straight red card.

The losers will look back with regret on some aimless first-half shooting which resulted in ten wides before the break.

They had managed to play themselves back into contention after that early goal, and only trailed by 3-2 to 1-6 at the interval, but they had enough chances to be ahead by that stage.

Blackwater did hold the lead once, after Kerill Sutton set up midfielder Denis Carroll for a 23rd-minute goal to push them clear by 1-4 to 1-2.

However, David Dunne's huge influence continued as he picked out James Doyle for a brace of majors.

The first was tapped into an empty net after Dunne stretched to get to the ball ahead of advancing goalkeeper O'Leary and a defender before delivering a soccer-style lateral pass.

The second came from a well-timed handpass and, although Denis Carroll and Dean Whelan pulled back points, Blackwater still trailed by two at the interval.

The first seven minutes on the re-start yielded 1-3 without reply for the leaders, and those scores were essential in securing victory.

Dunne, lively substitute James Kelly and Doyle struck points before they surged 4-5 to 1-6 clear in the 37th minute after a mark by David O'Dwyer.

County Minor Pádraig Loughlin and Walter Furlong combined to put Kelly through and, although his first shot was saved by Robert O'Leary, he calmly side-footed the rebound to the net.

Blackwater were in serious bother, but the strong running of Richard Blake opened up the opposing defence numerous times and one such burst led to a quick response in the form of a Dean Whelan goal on their next attack.

They went on to register six of the following seven points, while Denis Carroll hit the crossbar and a Dylan Dixon effort in the aftermath was cleared off the line near the end of the third quarter. They continued to apply pressure though, and Kerill Sutton eventually kicked the leveller from a Dixon pass in the 59th minute.

Either team could have sneaked it at that stage, but it was fitting that David Dunne should kick his third point, to go with those three goal assists, for the winner as his class was evident throughout.

Davidstown-Courtnacuddy: Stephen Dunbar; Andrew Furlong, Johnny Delaney, Kevin Keane; Donal O'Shea, Pádraig Loughlin (0-1), Daniel Delaney; David Dunne (0-3), David Shore; James Doyle (2-1), Walter Furlong (1-1), David O'Dwyer; Stephen Sheridan, Paul Sheridan, Stephen Kennedy (capt.). Subs. - James Kelly (1-1) for P. Sheridan (HT), Ciarán Walsh for S. Sheridan (HT), Edward Frayne for D. Delaney (43).

Blackwater: Robert O'Leary; Richard Blake, Anthony Roche, Mark Donoghue; Darragh Doyle, Paul O'Leary, Kevin O'Brien (0-1); Denis Carroll (1-1), Michael Lillis (capt.); Declan O'Leary, Harley Dunne, Kerill Sutton (0-2); Dylan Dixon, Joe Neville (0-2), Dean Whelan (1-4, 0-3 frees). Subs. - Kevin Murphy (0-2) for Neville (25), Shane Wright for Dunne (HT), Lar Leacy for D. O'Leary (48), Jack Sheridan for Sutton (60+2).

Referee: Aidan Foley (Shelmaliers).

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