Forth, Bargy retain crown
Blackwater lose by 12 points
For a combination outfit, Forth and Bargy Gaels turned in a fine team performance to dispose of a depleted Blackwater in this Greenstar Wexford District Under-21 hurling Roinn 1 championship final at Innovate Wexford Park on Tuesday.
Forth and Bargy 0-20 Blackwater 0-8
The opening half was a close-run affair, but in the second period the south county side showed their potential, totally dominating proceedings while restricting their opponents to just two second-half points, as they added 13 to their own total.
It was expected that the holders from Forth and Bargy Gaels would dominate, given that their selection included three parishes: Rosslare, Our Lady's Island and Ballymore. This gave them a much wider player selection, compared to Blackwater who had to draw on the limited resources of a small rural parish.
Blackwater may have been weakened through the absence of some key players, but this did not show through the opening half, a period in which they matched their opponents in most aspects of the game.
The real difference between the sides through the first 30 minutes was the eventual winners' midfielder, county Minor Jack Pettit, who accounted for five of his side's tally of seven points, with the remainder coming from Jason Pettit and Darragh Heffernan, as they led by 0-7 to 0-6 at the interval.
Their opponents responded through Shane O'Leary (two), Richard Blake, Dean Whelan, Joe Murphy and Shane Wright.
As the second-half unfolded, the dominance of Forth and Bargy Gaels became more pronounced. Two early points from Eoin Wright and Darragh Heffernan set the tone for what was to follow, as Blackwater had to wait until the 39th minute for their opening second-half score, a Dean Whelan point.
The Gaels pulled away in the closing quarter as they hit ten unanswered points, with Pettit chipping in with four, while their opponents' second score of the half, a Dean Whelan pointed free, did not arrive until two minutes into additional time.
After that it was fitting that county Minor Pettit closed out the scoring with a point.
Forth and Bargy Gaels: Andrew Morris; Jason Ellard, Seán Finan, Craig Wright; Cathal Devereux, Jim Rossiter, Cian Boggan; Jack Pettit (0-10, 5 frees), Quinn Saunders; Matt Homan, Eoin Wright (0-4), Darragh Heffernan (0-4); Tom Cullen, Jason Pettit (0-1), Donal Shanley. Subs. - Shane Sinnott (0-1) for Jason Pettit, Peter Goldsmith for Homan, Robert Coakley for Cullen, Ciaran Sheil for Ellard, Philip Lambert for Heffernan.
Blackwater: Darren Byrne; Mark Donoghue, Shane Wright (0-1 free), M.J. Kelly; Tomás O'Brien, Richard Blake (0-1), Eanna Carroll; Aaron Nobbs, Dylan Dixon; Dean Whelan (0-3, 2 frees), Gavin O'Toole, Joe Murphy (0-1); Shane O'Leary (0-2), Cathal Fortune, Darren Corrigan. Subs. - Kevin O'Toole for G. O'Toole, David Purcell for Fortune, Emmet Fortune for Corrigan.
Referee: Pádraig McMahon (Shelmaliers).