Holders make winning start
St Anne's made a winning start to the defence of their Tom Doyle Supplies Senior football championship with a workmanlike victory over St Fintan's at Innovate Wexford Park on Sunday.
St Anne's 0-9 - St Fintan's 1-3
The underdogs got off to a blistering start, racing into a 1-1 to 0-0 lead by the third minute, but once the holders found their feet they never really look like losing their grip on the game.
Fintan's were out of the traps like a high-class greyhound with an early Shane Sinnott free quickly followed by a fine goal from Joey Wadding, the forward doing well to gather a Kevin Day pass before expertly firing into the net.
St Anne's suffered a further blow when talismanic forward Redmond Barry had to leave the fray due to injury in the sixth minute but they showed all their experience to take control of the contest, with St Fintan's not working the scoreboard again until the 39th minute.
Diarmuid O'Keeffe got the ball rolling for the Rathangan men, while Mark Furlong also chipped in with a point and a quick-fire Sean Gaul double had them level in the 14th minute.
A minute later Rory Stafford, who recently returned from America, shot them ahead for the first time, an advantage they never really looked like relinquishing despite not firing on all cylinders.
However, they did have goalkeeper Richard Cleary to thank for maintaining their advantage when he saved well from Tomas Power in the 21st minute. Impressive midfielder David Fogarty stretched St Anne's lead at the break, taking advantage of hesitancy in the Fintan's defence before splitting the posts.
Fogarty added another just after the restart before Joey Wadding ended a barren spell for Fintan's with a well struck 45. Diarmuid O'Keeffe, who looked dangerous every time he ran at the Fintan's defence, grabbed his second and when David Fogarty fisted over his third point to make it 0-9 to 1-2 in the 57th minute it looked like game over.
To their credit Fintan's battled to the death and came within a whisker of setting up a nervy finish when Robert Coakley's curling effort off the ground came back off the crossbar, with Conor O'Reilly gathering the rebound before firing over the bar.