Extra joy for Blackwater
Blackwater 3-24 Forth and Bargy 2-22
Blackwater needed extra-time to navigate their way past Forth and Bargy Gaels in Carne on Tuesday and into the Wexford District Under-21 hurling Roinn 1 championship final.
In a cracking contest, that swung this way and that, Blackwater looked to have the game in their hands heading into added-time in regulation, however, Quinn Saunders scored a dramatic last-gasp equalising goal to see the Rosslare, Our Lady's Island and St. Fintan's trio into overtime.
From there, the combination side looked to be on their way to victory when they moved 2-20 to 2-17 clear, but Dean Whelan scored a superb goal after moving into full-forward and his major sent Blackwater on the road to victory.
After a quiet first 60 minutes, Darren Byrne was a colossus in extra-time. He scored two of his points, Kevin Corrigan also grabbed a brace, while Dean Whelan, Ben Redmond and Dillon Dixon were on target too as Blackwater won with a late scoring spree.
The visitors certainly didn't play as well as they can in the opening 30 minutes. Darragh Doyle scored two goals in the half, both after block-downs on the opposing goalkeeper, and they proved absolutely critical in keeping Blackwater in the game, despite playing with the breeze.
In truth, Doyle was exceptional for his side. He netted from full-forward and was later switched to centre-forward and midfield and dominated wherever he went. His performance was only matched by Saunders who had a tremendous game for the combination side.
The powerful centrefielder was joined by his industrious midfield partner Cian Meyler in impressing. Shea Boggan was a strong performer at centre-back while Naomhan Rossiter had a fascinating battle with Darren Byrne throughout.
It was 2-6 to 0-8 to the visitors at the break, a lead that extended further with Kevin Corrigan on song from dead-balls. However, Forth and Bargy halved the deficit (2-10 to 1-10) in the 37th minute when Dean Corish scored an excellent individual goal for the hosts.
The game went back and forth late on, and the Gaels led with five minutes left only for Blackwater to pull ahead courtesy of Darragh Doyle, Dean Whelan and Corrigan.
A goal behind in added-time, Saunders set up extra-time with an expertly-placed low 20-metre free to the net.
In the end Blackwater prevailed in overtime with a burst with the breeze in the second period. They now play St. Anne's in the Wexford District final this evening (Tuesday) in Ballymurn at 7.15 p.m.
Blackwater: Aaron Nobbs; Mark Donoghue, Ennae Carroll, Robert McGuinness; Jake Nobbs, Darren Byrne (0-4), Eoin O'Neill; Dillon Dixon (0-2), Dean Whelan (1-3); Shane Wright (0-3), Ian Curran (0-2), Ben Redmond (0-2); Mikey Byrne, Darragh Doyle (2-2), Kevin Corrigan (0-6, 4 frees). Subs. - Paddy Cullen for M. Byrne, Chucka Berry for Carroll.
Forth and Bargy Gaels: Philip Foley; Josh Burke, Robbie Cloney, Liam Flood; Jason Ellard, Shea Boggan, Adam Devereux; Cian Meyler, Quinn Saunders; Kevin Power, Naomhan Rossiter, Rees Broaders; Dean Corish, Darren Goff, David Pettit. Sub. - Kevin Wright for Foley.
Referee: Dan Crosby (Kilmore).