Flynn makes his point for the Reds
For Monageer-Boolavogue this was all about the ability of Pádraig Flynn to pick off excellent scores as he eventually steered his side to a four-point victory over Ballyfad in this highly entertaining All-County Hurling League Division 3 final at Monamolin on Saturday.
M'geer-B'vogue 0-17 Ballyfad 0-13
From the start it was evident that this was going to be a close contest as the sides continued to trade points, but the accuracy of Flynn eventually separated the teams. The corner-forward emerged with a personal tally of 0-8, with four of his scores excellently struck from open play despite being put under real pressure.
The tireless workrate of Ballyfad kept them in this game right up to the closing stages. Despite the absence of the influential Conor Devitt (unavailable) along with the injured Niall Hughes, the excellent play of Bobby Hughes at midfield kept them in touching distance of victory for so long. In the closing quarter the absence of their two most influential hurlers came home to roost though, as their scoring ability could have been the difference between defeat and victory.
However, credit to Monageer-Boolavogue who upped their performance in the second-half, fully meriting their victory in the end. They kept driving on, and with Flynn picking off the crucial scores they fashioned a deserved victory that should stand to their championship challenge in a few weeks' time.
Ballyfad opened quite impressively with four points inside the opening ten minutes through Denis Jones (two), Bobby Hughes (free) and Denis Jones to lead by 0-4 to nil.
The Enniscorthy District side opened their account through an excellent Mark Gahan 13th-minute point off the sideline.
The eventual winners settled after this score as they came right back for four points without reply though Tommy Breen, Mark Gahan, and two from Flynn ('65 and free) to lead by 0-5 to 0-4 after 22 minutes.
Bobby Hughes and Peter Hughes (line ball) regained the lead for the north Wexford side, but an additional time point from Dean Fenlon had the teams level (0-6 each) at the interval.
On the resumption Pádraig Flynn sent over a great left-handed point off the sideline, but the sides were still deadlocked (0-9 each) after 38 minutes. Flynn then struck a purple patch with three excellent points, while Mark Boland and Peter Hughes with a second sideline cut kept the opposition in touch.
Monageer-Boolavogue led by 0-16 to 0-11 going into the closing five minutes though. Points from Peter Hughes and a Bobby Hughes free left three separating the sides, but a late Niall O'Loughlin point sealed the league title for his side.
Monageer-Boolavogue: Seán Murphy; Niall O'Reilly (capt.), Stephen Murphy, Dean Fenlon (0-1); Damien Fenlon, Chris Daly, Mick Sweeney; Mark Walsh, Matty Dunne (0-1); Colm O'Loughlin, Tommy Breen (0-1), Mark Gahan (0-4); James Gahan, Niall O'Loughlin (0-2), Pádraig Flynn (0-8, 3 frees, 1 '65). Sub. - Shane Kehoe for J. Gahan.
Ballyfad: Matty Forde; Enda O'Leary, Edward Hughes, Cillian O'Toole; Aidan Jones, Colm Kavanagh, Stephen Hughes; Bobby Hughes (0-5, 4 frees), Denis Jones (0-2); Dean O'Toole (0-1), Tommy Boland, Mark Boland (0-2); Tom Hughes, Peter Hughes (0-3, 2 line balls), Lorcan Clare. Subs. - Conor Byrne for T. Boland, Emmet O'Toole for T. Hughes, Shane O'Toole for C. O'Toole, Niall Gethings for D. O'Toole.
Referee: Damien Donovan (St. John's).