Injury leads to an early finish
Group B of the Enniscorthy Electrical Wholesale Junior hurling championship remains unresolved after this tie between Ferns St. Aidan's and Bannow-Ballymitty in Oylegate was called off after 33 minutes.
Ferns St Aidan's 2-5 Bannow Ballymitty 1-6 (abandoned on 33 minutes)
A nasty-looking injury to the ear and general head area of Bannow-Ballymitty's Gary Morton was the reason for the abandonment. He suffered it while diving in to try to block a clearance from John O'Leary of Ferns St. Aidan's. He missed the block, and in what was a complete accident, O'Leary's hurl caught him around the ear on the follow through.
Morton went down roaring in pain and it was immediately obvious there was significant blood loss. He was attended to while lying on the sideline by representatives of both clubs, and an ambulance was called.
Play was at first suspended, and some 15 minutes later was called off altogether, as light began to fade and the stricken player remained prone on the sideline.
The re-fixture is next Sunday, and a win for Bannow-Ballymitty would send them through to the quarter-finals. For Ferns, the play-offs are out of reach, but a win would see them secure their status for next year and condemn Bannow-Ballymitty to the relegation final instead.
They seemed on their way to getting that win on Friday as they led by 2-5 to 1-6 at the break despite having played into the wind. Paddy O'Leary was scorer-in-chief as he struck 1-2 in the first five minutes and added another point with 23 minutes gone, while the other goal came from a bullet of a free by 'Scoby' Dwyer that rocketed past seven Bannow-Ballymitty men on the line.
The Bannow-Ballymitty goal, meanwhile, had come when Pat Fitzharris converted a penalty on 14 minutes, while two good points by midfielder Art Sweetman as half-time approached had given them hope for the second period.
As things turned out though, there would be only three minutes of play after the break before Morton suffered his injury and things were called to a halt.
Ferns St. Aidan's: Edward Cullen; Brian O'Neill, Seán Walsh, Peter Nolan; P.J. O'Neill, Patrick Codd, John O'Leary; Anthony Dywer (1-1, 1-0 free), Keith Breen; Jonathan Kearns, Peter Codd, Peter O'Toole; Andy Cash (0-1), Pádraig Walsh, Paddy O'Leary (1-3).
Bannow-Ballymitty: John Sinnott; David White, Paudge Barden, Aaron Diskin; Mark Wallace, Niall Murphy, Conor Furlong; Art Sweetman (0-2), John Mernagh; Nicky Doyle (0-1), Kevin Doyle (0-1), Pat Fitzharris (1-2, 1-0 pen., 0-2 frees); Micheál Murphy, Gary Morton, Darragh Murphy. Subs. - Fintan White for D. Murphy, inj. (8), Michael Barry for D. White (14).
Referee: Lar Doyle (Taghmon-Camross).