Six goals secure U14 title
A two-goal flourish inside the opening four minutes inspired Ballyhogue to an eventual 20-point victory over Bannow-Ballymitty in this New Ross Standard Under-14 football Division 4 football championship final at Taghmon on Thursday.
Ballyhogue 6-7 Bannow-Ballymitty 1-2
Ballyhogue during that inspired opening spell seized the two goal opportunities, applying clinical finishing as they prised open the defence with sweeping moves.
As a result of this start the outcome was somewhat inevitable even from this early stage as they were the physically stronger side while their footballing skill and ability to use possession was delightful to watch.
However, credit to Bannow-Ballymitty for the manner in which they tried to recover from a start that surely shattered their confidence.
They built numerous promising attacks, creating two clearcut goal chances, but they were denied by clinical defending and the post, while they also had three further scoring attempts which rebounded back into play off an upright.
The game was just one minute old when Ballyhogue midfielder Liam Doyle broke clear inside the defence to find the net from 14 metres, while centre-forward Tommy Kennedy almost immediately tagged on two pointed frees.
Then on four minutes Evan Murphy, who was to pose problems all through, right-footed a shot high into the top right-hand corner of the net, making it 2-2 to nil.
Bannow-Ballymitty began to come more into the game with Cathal Cummins pointing a free after six minutes. After Lee Whelan had restored his side's eight-point advantage, Josh Devlin had what appeared a goalbound shot cleared off the line, when a green flag would really have helped the Bannow-Ballymitty cause.
After a Tommy Kennedy free had extended his side's lead, Bannow-Ballymitty struck back for a goal right on the break through substitute Evan Sinnott-Colfer, leaving the interval scoreline at 2-4 to 1-1.
While Bannow-Ballymitty did all the pressing on the resumption, they were unable to translate their chances into scores, so much so that one had to wait until the twelfth minute for the opening score of the half, a Tommy Kennedy pointed free.
Once Ballyhogue lifted the early second-half siege, they responded with a flourish of late goals from a Lee Whelan penalty, Tommy Kennedy with two and Jason Roche, while limiting their opponents to just one second-half point, a Cathal Cummins 41st-minute free, as they ran out comfortable winners.
Ballyhogue: Nicholas Dempsey; Conor Rodgers, Ben Harrington, Jamie Fitzpatrick; David Hennebry, Eamonn Doyle (capt.), Jack Kinsella; Lee Whelan (1-1, 1-0 pen.), Liam Doyle (1-0); Conor Dawson, Tommy Kennedy (2-5, 0-4 frees), Lewis McComiskey; Alan Doyle, Evan Murphy (1-0), Tobias Redmond (0-1). Subs. - Jason Roche (1-0) for A. Doyle, Adam Broaders for Redmond, Martin Doyle for Rodgers, Tiernan Cleary for Dawson, also Seán Furlong, Michael Humphrey, Odin Doyle, Cormac Kehoe, Ben Asple.
Bannow-Ballymitty: Darren Cadogan; Michael O'Dwyer, Michael Harpur, Dean O'Neill; Josh White, Christopher Keating, Daniel Wickham; John Harpur, John Crosbie; Eoin O'Connor, Cathal Cummins (0-2 frees), Michael Gaynor; Joseph Devlin, Lorcan Breen, Dylan Scott. Subs. - Evan Sinnott-Colfer (1-0) for Cummins, inj., Cummins for Scott, Michael Watts for Gaynor, Dylan Murphy for Crosbie, Cillian Cullen for Devlin, also Seán Fleming, Lee Kennedy, Eoin Roche, Alex Power, Aaron Hogan, Corey Connick.
Referee: Damien Donovan (Volunteers).