Goals give Fintan's edge
St. Fintan's 4-9 Ferns St. Aidan's 0-16
As tired old clichés go, goals win games is up there among the most well worn. However, it is a fitting adage for this Amber Springs/Ashdown Park Hotels Intermediate football championship Group A clash that was played in Bellefield on Saturday.
Ferns St. Aidan's may have worked the scoreboard more often than their opponents, but it was the Wexford District's side's ability to cut through the last line of defence that proved the difference.
Shane Sinnott and Jason Pettit both got the green flag waving inside the opening nine minutes, with Pettit adding a second major just before the break and Conor Sinnott sealing the deal with a penalty deep into second-half injury time.
St. Fintan's couldn't have asked for a better start to the game, plundering the opening goal with just a minute on the clock. Donal Shanley picked out Shane Sinnott with a pass through the heart of the Ferns defence, and he did the rest, rifling the ball beyond Ivan Meegan.
They had to wait seven minutes for the next score, but again it was a green flag that the umpire raised aloft. Conor Sinnott pumped a delivery into the danger zone and the ball fell to Jason Pettit, who turned and finished with aplomb.
Conor Sinnott knocked over a 20th-minute free to extend the advantage to 2-1 to no score, and although Ferns did manage to register three of the next four points, through Christopher O'Connor (two) and John Breen (free), they were hit with a real sucker-punch deep into injury time.
Peter Goldsmith angled in a long ball from the right wing, which Niall Moore gathered. The corner-forward did well to earn himself a yard of space and picked out Jason Pettit who slid a low shot to the net to give them a 3-2 to 0-3 half-time lead.
Ferns rallied to get within four points by the 39th minute (3-3 to 0-8) thanks to a Christopher O'Connor point and four on the trot from Paul Morris, but St. Fintan's managed to keep the scoreboard ticking over, with Conor Sinnott accurate from placed balls and Jason Pettit and Shane Sinnott knocking over nice points.
An injury time John Breen score did leave Ferns just a kick of the ball away from what looked like a highly improbable win moments earlier (3-8 to 0-15).
However, after Shane Sinnott and Jonathan Dwyer swapped points, St. Fintan's finally got the chance to put the game to bed when substitute Shane Sinnott (Cregg) was dragged down for a penalty.
Up stepped Conor Sinnott, and he made no mistake in sliding a precise shot into the right-hand corner of the net.
St. Fintan's: Patrick McDonnell; Jimmy Staples, Frank Staples (0-1), Brian Lacey; Peter Goldsmith, Joey Wadding, Jamie Sinnott; Pádraig Doyle, Robert Coakley; Eoin O'Callaghan, Shane Sinnott (Mayglass, 1-3, 0-1 free), Donal Shanley; Conor Sinnott (1-4, 0-4 frees, 1-0 pen.), Jason Pettit (2-1), Niall Moore. Subs. - Shane Sinnott (Cregg) for Coakley, Adrian Murphy for O'Callaghan, David Moore for N. Moore, Pádhraic Rossiter for Lacey.
Ferns St. Aidan's: Ivan Meegan; Anthony Dwyer, Pádraig Bolger, Brian O'Neill; Keith Breen, James Tonks, Peter Nolan; Patrick Breen (0-1), John Breen (0-2, 1 free); Paul Morris (0-8, 6 frees), Tommy Dwyer (0-1), Derek Thorpe; Peter O'Toole, Jonathan Dwyer (0-1), Christopher O'Connor (0-3). Subs. - Ciarán Roberts for O'Neill, Tomás Hawkins for O'Toole, Colm Whelan for Nolan.
Referee: James Mullally (Gusserane).