Foley steers Fethard into decider
Darren Foley steered Fethard into the Enniscorthy Farm Systems Junior 'B' football championship decider as they overcame the challenge of Crossabeg-Ballymurn in the semi-final replay in Taghmon on Saturday.
Fethard 1-12 Crossabeg-Ballymurn 2-4
The full-forward kept his cool from the penalty spot to help Fethard to a 1-7 to 2-3 half-time advantage, and the seasiders picked off enough points after the interval to comfortably book their place in the final.
Crossabeg-Ballymurn enjoyed a dream opening quarter, and built up a 2-3 to 0-3 lead by the 15th minute, but they were a held to a solitary point thereafter by a committed Fethard defence, with Evan Rowe in particular catching the eye.
The New Ross District outfit did get the first two points on the board, with Daniel Johnston opening their account after seeing his initial effort on goal well saved by netminder James White.
Darren Foley doubled their tally before Paul Walsh opened the Crossabeg-Ballymurn account with a fine point on the run in the sixth minute.
Two minutes later the Wexford District champions were two points ahead.
Billy Roche's floated effort at a point was just short, and with Daithí Redmond and goalkeeper Seán Foley competing for the dropping ball, it wriggled its way over the line.
Darren Foley fired over a fantastic point a minute later, but Crossabeg-Ballymurn were quickly back in the ascendancy, with Eoghan Kehoe converting a free and Billy Roche adding a fine score.
Things got even better in the 15th minute when substitute Barry Coughlan, who had only been introduced for the injured Eoin O'Connor moments earlier, hit the back of the net.
Mick Eviston played in a long delivery and Coughlan showed a real predator's instinct to slide the ball home off the ground to give his side a six-point advantage.
However, Fethard were quickly back in the game thanks to a Darren Foley spot-kick.
James White made a fine save to deny Damien Browne, but when a defender picked the ball off the ground in the small square referee Nicholas signalled for a penalty, with Foley making no mistake.
Fethard closed the gap further with points from Ciarán Dwyer and Darren Foley, with the latter firing over rather than under the bar with the goal at his mercy, and two excellent Damien Browne scores had them ahead at the break (1-7 to 2-3).
Damien Browne and Kevin Sludds swapped points at the beginning of the second period, but Crossabeg-Ballymurn failed to work the scoreboard again.
Goalkeeper James White pulled off another good save when Jean-Luc Tubritt tried his luck, but points from Tubritt, Darren Foley (two) and Mikey Barden ensured Fethard's safe passage to the final where they will meet Monageer-Boolavogue or Réalt na Mara.
Fethard: Seán Foley; Seán Sutton, Evan Rowe, Frank Barden; Conan Murphy, Brian Donohoe, Cillian Murphy; Peter Mullan, Daniel Johnston (0-1); Mikey Barden (0-1), Ciarán Dwyer (0-1), Jean-Luc Tubritt (0-1); Damien Browne (0-3), Darren Foley (1-5, 1-0 pen., 0-1 free), Robert Swan. Subs. - Diarmuid Byrne for Swan, Shane Tubrid for Sutton, Tommy Power for Browne.
Crossabeg-Ballymurn: James White; Jimmy Grannell, Eoin O'Connor, Conor Gormley; Conor Barlow, Mick Eviston, Oisín O'Connor; Luke Redmond, Shane Whelan; Daithí Redmond (1-0), Billy Roche (0-1), Paul Walsh (0-1); Eoghan Kehoe (0-1 free), Emmet Kehoe, Kevin Sludds (0-1). Sub. - Barry Coughlan (1-0) for E. O'Connor.
Referee: Nicholas Kehoe (Cloughbawn).