Gorey gain U-14 football glory
Naomh Eanna power past Martin’s with super display
Naomh Eanna were mighty impressive as they powered past St. Martin's in St. Patrick's Park on Wednesday to claim a memorable New Ross Standard Under-14 football Division 1 championship title.
Naomh Eanna 3-11 St. Martin's 2-4
The Gorey boys were given a tough battle by their Piercestown and Murrintown opponents, and there was just three points between the sides after a cracking first half (1-5 to 1-2). However, they eventually pulled away to claim back-to-back Under-14 Division 1 crowns.
Playing an attractive brand of football, Naomh Eanna started the game well. Kevin Budeanu turned over possession in the St. Martin's defence and fed Seán O'Brien-Murphy who off-loaded to Cian Browne, with the dangerous full-forward smashing past Oisín Waters.
Lee Cushe pointed after strong work by Ryan Connolly to make it 1-1 to nil in the fourth minute. Joe Barrett scored a dead-ball at the other end but it only momentarily halted the Gorey momentum as Cian Molloy, Connolly and Browne all registered minors.
At that stage it looked like the boys in green and white would pull further ahead. However, John Codd caught John Hennessy's shot in the 15th minute, quickly turned towards goal and fired to the net.
The Wexford District side went close again when Codd drilled across the face of goal. The purple patch for the maroon men ended when Darragh Levingston popped over a free after O'Brien-Murphy was fouled, although Barrett did respond in the 25th minute to leave three between the sides at the change-around.
Despite their strong first-half showing, St. Martin's probably needed to start the second period on the front foot too. Yet, Gorey had other ideas. Browne scored a pointed free, then played the key pass for a well-taken O'Brien-Murphy goal.
John Hennessy pulled a point back six minutes into the second period. Double scores ahead (2-6 to 1-3), Naomh Eanna kicked on. Browne tapped over his third free and Cian Molloy fired a stunning low shot past Waters to make it 3-7 to 1-3.
At that point weaker teams would have capitulated, but St. Martin's have never been known to throw in the towel and these boys were no different. Barrett kicked his third free before John Codd was taken down close to goal for a penalty.
The St. Martin's attacker had to be helped from the field with an injury but David Cantwell stepped up to take the spot-kick and made no mistake with a crisply-taken strike. Alas, that proved to be his side's final score.
Gorey dominated the final ten minutes. Browne almost broke the crossbar with a thunderous strike before Levingston nailed a couple of frees and drilled a penalty over the crossbar.
Cian Molloy ended a fine individual performance with his second raised white flag deep into added time. Moments later, the full-time whistle brought jubilant celebrations to the Naomh Eanna lads.
Naomh Eanna: Rory Tubritt; Cormac Doyle, Seáiní Quirke, Darragh Fitzpatrick; Brian Cushe, Paul Gibson, Rian Fitzpatrick; Darragh Levingston (0-4, 3 frees, 1 pen.), Cian Molloy (1-2); Lee Cushe (0-1), Ryan Connolly (0-1), Kevin Budeanu; Seán O'Brien-Murphy (1-0), Cian Browne (capt., 1-3, 0-3 frees), J.J. Twamley. Subs. - George Slattery for Twamley (34), Enda McCrea for D. Fitzpatrick (50+4), Seán Miller for O'Brien-Murphy (50+6), also Shane Flood, Shane Mahon, Seán Egan, Ruadhan Redmond, Scott Murphy, Michael Dineen, Niall O'Dwyer, Tommy Connors, Jack Curley, Tadhg Byrne.
St. Martin's: Oisín Waters; Diarmuid O'Leary, Jamie Berry, Jim McDermott; Rory Devereux, David Codd, Brian Codd; Conor Doyle, David Cantwell (1-0 pen.); Killian Corkery, John Hennessy (0-1), Joe Barrett (0-3 frees); David O'Boyle, Francis Dempsey, John Codd (1-0). Subs. - Killian Barry for O'Boyle (37), Joe Mernagh for J. Codd, inj. (39), Zach Breslin (capt.) for K. Barry (48), also Rory Walsh, Conor Keane, Chris Ryan, John O'Sullivan, Kevin Reck.
Referee: Brendan Martin (Ballyhogue).