Happy Horeswood as strong team display seals honours
A powerful team performance from Horeswood propelled them to Féile Peil na nOg Division 2 football glory in St. Patrick's Park on Tuesday.
Horeswood 2-8 HWH-Bunclody 2-3
The New Ross District side sauntered to the final with a string of clinical performances. While HWH-Bunclody gave them all they could handle, Horeswood found the scores easier to come by as they took the title with style.
The victory was built on a strong team performance from back to front. Horeswood excelled in the full-back line, limiting their opponents to just five scores, proved energetic in the middle third, and being deadly accurate in front of goal.
One of their stars, Joe Sullivan, launched a long-range free to the Bunclody net in the third minute - an inch-perfect effort that dropped just under the bar, making it impossible for goalkeeper Derry Mahon to keep it out.
However, the underdogs took less than 60 seconds to respond. Collecting the ball just inside the '45, the excellent Ciarán Regan drove past several defenders and smashed a low shot past Ryan Rowe to the Horeswood rigging.
Darragh Farrell went close to a second goal for the Enniscorthy District club in the eighth minute. It would have been a great fillip to land the goal at the time but Oisín O Ceallaigh was able to add a point in the twelfth minute to give his side the lead.
Horeswood re-grouped and tacked on the next two points through Josh Shannon, from a Jason Murphy pass, and Calvin Donovan-O'Rourke seconds later. Yet the sides were level again when Regan pointed in the 16th minute.
Just when it seemed that the sides would go in deadlocked at the break, Horeswood registered 1-1 in less than a minute to take control. Matthew Foley sent over a booming point from 35 metres out before Neil Ennis scored a thumping goal from a Jason Murphy assist.
Leading by 2-3 to 1-2 at the interval, Horeswood pulled further ahead with two Sullivan frees. Matthew Foley scored a left-footed dead-ball to put seven between the sides but Bunclody responded with a Regan free after Mylie 'Red' Connors was fouled.
Half Way House flooded forward looking for a way back into the game. Any other team might have collapsed under the onslaught but Horeswood defended magnificently to keep them at bay.
Nice counter-attack scores by Foley and Ennis looked to have put the game to bed for the south county side, but a stunning slalom run and finish to the top right corner of the net by James Black gave Bunclody renewed hope of a dramatic comeback with three minutes left.
Attacking relentlessly until the final whistle, Bunclody came up just short in the end.
Horeswood, who had captain Jason Murphy collecting the silverware, will now represent Wexford as the 'B' champion in the national tournament in Kerry and the surrounding regions.
Horeswood: Ryan Rowe; Ryan Mylett, Alex Molloy, Alan Kehoe; Dermot Clancy, Kevin Wall, James Murphy; Joe Sullivan (1-2 frees), Jason Murphy (capt.); Matthew Foley (0-3, 1 free), Conor Foley, Daryl Walsh-Parle; Josh Shannon (0-1), Neil Ennis (1-1), Calvin Donovan-O'Rourke (0-1). Subs. - Adam Harris for Walsh-Parle (33), also Conor Doyle, Liam Sinnott, Daniel Wallace, Cathal Parker, Ewan Russell, Kyran Mylett, Danny Nolan.
HWH-Bunclody: Derry Mahon; Páuric Doyle, Eoin McDonnell, Thomas Fitzgerald; Rory Byrne, Ben Martin, Stuart Power; James Black (1-0), Páuric Nolan (capt.); Larry Connors, Darragh Farrell, Mylie 'Red' Connors; Ciarán Regan (1-2, 0-1 free), Mylie Connors, Oisín O Ceallaigh (0-1). Subs. (not used) - Liam Carton, Thomas Jeffers, Rob Black, Faoileán O Ceallaigh.
Referee: Shane Quinn (Réalt na Mara).