Fethard hit the Hogues for six
Fethard 6-7 Ballyhogue 3-6
There was no deviation from the form guide in O'Kennedy Park, New Ross, on Saturday when Senior side Fethard captured the Enniscorthy Electrical Wholesale and Plumbing All-County Football League Division 2 title with a high-scoring win over Intermediate outfit Ballyhogue.
This was an open and entertaining affair as the final tallies might suggest, with the defending from both sides leaving a lot to be desired.
And perhaps the ten-point margin is a little misleading as Ballyhogue must have entertained high hopes of causing an upset when midfielders Hughie O'Neill and Shane Byrne combined to release full-forward Jim Bob Levingstone for his second goal less than half a minute after the interval.
That score left the Enniscorthy District side with a 3-2 to 2-3 lead, but Fethard underlined why they're a grade higher in the championship with a powerful response.
Joint captain Kevin Rowe contributed three points from frees to regain their advantage before an exchange of scores between Garrett Foley and Shane Doyle, with the latter's piledriver touched over by netminder Paul Foley (2-7 to 3-3).
Remarkably, the next four scores were Fethard goals, with the seasiders emphatically putting the issue to bed between the 43rd and 55th minutes.
Garrett Foley got the first after Brian O'Donohoe punished a defensive error, with substitute Rúairí Tubrid then drilling a low shot home from a Mikie Dwyer pass.
Ciarán Dwyer then came into his own, latching on to a Tubrid handpass for the fifth before completing his own hat-trick 60 seconds later after catching a long ball from Foley.
Ballyhogue did strike the last three points from Seán Ring (free), Richard Dunne and Noel Roche but they were mere consolations.
The blue and whites had taken the lead in the eighth minute when Syl Byrne goaled from a Hughie O'Neill handpass, but Mikie Dwyer replied with a Fethard point before his pass picked out his brother, Ciarán, who rattled the net for the first time.
It was 2-2 to 1-0 by the 18th minute after the Dwyers combined to set up wing-back Chris Molloy who sent a cracking low shot across the body of Myles Roche and into the far corner of the net.
However, Ballyhogue had the gap down to 2-3 to 2-2 by the break after the experience Jim Bob Levingstone netted in the 23rd minute, but they couldn't build on that dream start to the new period when he added his second.
Fethard: Paul Foley; Martin Power, Daniel Mullan, Seán Donohoe; Chris Molloy (1-0), Graham O'Grady (joint capt.), Joe Sutton; Jesse Foley (0-1), Kevin Rowe (joint capt., 0-4 frees); Richard Waters, Mark Wallace, Brian O'Donohoe; Mikie Dwyer (0-1), Garrett Foley (1-1), Ciarán Dwyer (3-0). Subs. - Rúairí Tubrid (1-0) for Wallace (35), Mikey Banville for Waters (43), Noel Colfer for Power (51), John Rice for S. Donohoe, black card (56), Jean Luc Tubritt for B. Donohoe (57), Ricky Rowe for M. Dwyer (59), also Eddie Power, Shane Tubrid, Peter Mullan, Martin Doyle, Kieran Furlong, Conor O'Donohoe, Danny Johnson, Seán Sutton, Seán Foley, Alan Boland, Tommy Power, James Dillon, Conan Murphy, Mikie Barden, John Tubritt.
Ballyhogue: Myles Roche; James Parle, Seán Rochford, Tomás Moriarty; Arthur Dunne, Richard Dunne (0-1), Graham Parker; Shane Byrne, Hughie O'Neill; Shane Doyle (0-3, 1 free), Syl Byrne (1-0), Tony Ryan; Nick Doyle, Jim Bob Levingstone (2-0), Mick Condon. Subs. - Noel Roche (0-1) for Shane Byrne (37), Dylan Dalton for Condon (41), Seán Ring (0-1 free) for Levingstone, inj. (45), Shane Murphy for Syl Byrne (51), Liam Kelly for Ryan (53), Denis Leacy for Rochford (57), also Enda Byrne, Dean Doyle, Eddie Galavan (capt.), Enda Minogue, Conor Byrne, Gerry Heanue, Darragh Byrne, Shane Roche.
Referee: James Mullally (Gusserane).