Fethard punish waste of rivals
Bannow-Ballymitty off target
Fethard crept past a wasteful Bannow-Ballymitty to take the New Ross District Junior 'B' football championship crown in Cushinstown on Friday.
Fethard 1-6 Bannow-Ballymitty 1-5
The seasiders trailed by 1-3 to 0-4 at half-time but saw corner-forward Robert Swan score 1-1 in a 60-second spell at the start of the second period to turn the game on its head.
The secret, if there was one, to Fethard's success was their clinical nature when the chances arose.
They kicked 15 fewer wides than their wilting opponents and were generally a little more organised in scoring positions.
Bannow-Ballymitty will wonder how this one got away. It wasn't just a spell of poor shooting that cost the Grantstown side, it was a consistent problem throughout the game that they just couldn't solve.
Fethard started on the front foot with Darren Foley showing his considerable talents.
The full-forward flashed the opening score over from just outside the '20 and followed it with a floated effort a minute later.
At the other end Clem Rossiter sliced an early goal chance wide. Four minutes later Barry Sinnott broke in on goal from John Farrell's long ball but dragged his strike to the wrong side of the post.
Brian Donohoe's eighth-minute point would prove to be his side's second-last of the period. When John Mernagh fed Alan Barden, Bannow-Ballymitty had their opening score, enough to leave them 0-3 to 0-1 behind after the first quarter.
There was a moment of controversy in the 18th minute when Foley's sinking boomer slipped out of goalkeeper Jason Sinnott's grasp and behind him.
While not conclusive, it looked like the ball crossed the goal-line and one non-neutral umpire signalled as such.
After consultation with his own umpire, Anthony Tobin wiped out the goal, although the formality of crossing the flags, after the green one had been waved, didn't take place. The non-neutral umpire promptly downed tools and left.
Fethard did soon add another point through Darren Foley to lead by 0-4 to 0-1.
However, Jack Farragher and Barry Sinnott added points before both were involved in the game's first goal that the former thumped past Seán Foley.
Trailing by 1-3 to 0-4 at the break, Fethard set about responding. They took the lead when Robert Swan punched Mark Hannon's dipping ball to the net, and the corner-forward quickly added another minor.
A long scoreless spell ended when Mark Hanton kicked a free in the 50th minute (1-6 to 1-3). The last ten minutes were almost exclusively played in the Fethard half of the field.
Jon Reville pulled a point back with six minutes remaining, and then the deficit was reduced to the minimum when Barry Sinnott kicked a fine score. In the time that was remaining Bannow-Ballymitty booted four wides but couldn't find the leveller.
Captain John Rice collected the silverware on behalf of his side but Fethard now have bigger fish to fry, as they meet the Wexford District winners in the county semi-final on Friday in Taghmon (7 p.m.).
Fethard: Seán Foley; John Rice (capt.), Francis Barden, Seán Sutton; Brian Donohoe (0-1), Evan Rowe, Andrew Whelan; Peter Mullan, Danny Johnston; Conan Murphy, Damien Browne, Jean-Luc Tubritt; Robert Swan (1-1), Darren Foley (0-3), Mark Hanton (0-1 free). Subs. - Jamie Dillon for Browne (24), Shane Tubrid for Dillon (39), Diarmuid Bird for Sutton (46).
Bannow-Ballymitty: Jason Sinnott; John Mernagh (capt.), Robbie Mageean, Donal McLoughlin; Stephen Fahy, Jon Reville (0-1), Conor Anglim; Jack Farragher (1-1), Paudge McCormack; Clem Rossiter, Paudge Barden, James Crosbie; Bríain Howlin, Barry Sinnott (0-2, 1 free), Alan Barden (0-1). Subs. - David Staunton for Howlin (44), Keith Gaul for Crosbie (55).
Referee: Anthony Tobin (Geraldine O'Hanrahans).