Fethard beat Ballyfad with remarkable recovery

Dave Devereux

Published 17/09/2016 | 00:00

Fethard staged a remarkable second-half fightback to overhaul Ballyfad in Bellefield on Saturday and book their place in the semi-final of the Top Oil Intermediate 'A' hurling championship.

Fethard 3-11 Ballyfad 0-14

The north county side held an 0-11 to 0-3 advantage as the teams switched ends but they were outscored 3-8 to 0-3 by a rampant Fethard outfit after the interval.

The impressive Ciarán Dwyer kick-started the revival, arrowing over four splendid second-half points, and when a long-range Garrett Foley free found the back of the net in the 54th minute to edge Fethard in front for the first time there was only going to be one winner.

The swashbuckling Fethard of the final quarter was a complete contrast to the side that limped through the first-half, with Ballyfad assuming almost full control in the first 30 minutes.

It was nip and tuck in the early stages with Ballyfad holding a 0-4 to 0-3 advantage after 18 minutes, with Bobby Hughes (two), Niall Hughes and Dean O'Toole splitting the posts for the Gorey District side and Mikey Dwyer replying with two fine points and Mark Wallace slotting over a free for Fethard.

However, Fethard didn't raise a flag for the remainder of the half and Ballyfad simply sauntered into a sizeable lead, with Tommy Boland getting on the scoresheet, Dean O'Toole firing over two quick-fire points, Peter Hughes matching that tally and Bobby and Niall Hughes adding to their personal accounts.

Ballyfad appeared to be in total control, but Fethard emerged from the dressing room with real fire in their bellies and reeled off six points on the trot by the midway point of the second-half.

Ciarán Dwyer was certainly red hot during that period as he picked off four sweet scores, while Mikey Dwyer and Garrett Foley (free) also found the range to crank up the pressure on a beleaguered Ballyfad.

A Bobby Hughes free stopped the rot but back came Fethard and Garrett Foley knocked over two placed balls to leave the minimum between the sides.

On 53 minutes when Garrett Foley stood over the sliotar and eyed up the posts it looked like Fethard were about to get back on level terms, but it was even better for the seasiders with the ball squirming its way to the back of the net.

A Mark Boland point gave Ballyfad a semblance of hope, but Fethard raised the green flag again seconds later, when Mark Wallace fired a ground stroke to the net after being teed up by Mikey Dwyer.

A Bobby Hughes free left three points between the sides but Fethard put the icing on the cake in injury time when Joe Sutton got on the end of a Garrett Foley delivery and flicked the ball beyond goalkeeper Tom Hughes.

Fethard: Seán Foley; Seán Donohoe, Richard Waters, Martin Power; Michael Roche, Kevin Rowe, John Tubritt; Garrett Foley (1-3 frees), Joe Sutton (1-0); Christopher Molloy, Mark Wallace (1-1, 0-1 free), Graham O'Grady; Ciarán Dwyer (0-4), Mikey Dwyer (0-3), Daire Barden.

Balllyfad: Tom Hughes; Enda O'Leary, Edward Hughes, Killian O'Toole; Niall Gethings, Aidan Jones, Jim Hughes; Mark Gethings, Richard Hughes; Dean O'Toole (0-3), Tommy Boland (0-1), Denis Jones; Bobby Hughes (0-5, 4 frees), Peter Hughes (0-2), Niall Hughes (0-2). Subs. - Mark Boland (0-1) for P. Hughes, Lorcan Clare for J. Hughes, Michael Byrne for O'Leary, Jim Hughes for Byrne, Shane O'Toole for T. Boland.

Referee: Frankie Morrissey (Glynn-Barntown).

Wexford People

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