Jack's the lad for seasiders
Blackwater win with late goal
Corner-forward Jack Sheridan was the toast of Blackwater in sun-splashed Tagoat on Sunday when his injury-time goal shook St. Anne's to the core and brought the Wexford District Junior 'B' hurling championship title back to the seaside village for the first time since 2012.
Blackwater 1-11 St. Anne's 1-8
A closely-fought game was in the 63rd minute when the number 13 grabbed a delivery from James Roche and coolly slotted it to the net past Pádraig Parle to set up a county semi-final clash with Adamstown in Oylegate on Saturday afternoon.
It embellished a busy few weeks for the club's second string after requiring a replay and extra-time to see off the Rory McCarthy-inspired St. Martin's at the same venue in the penultimate round.
Blackwater had more of the play in the first quarter but could only muster a 0-2 to 0-1 lead courtesy of points from a Peter O'Brien free and Paul Murphy after Josh Cloney had given St. Anne's an early advantage.
And they were punished for the failure to turn possession into scores when the boys in blue hit the front with a goal in the 15th minute when Kevin Redmond flicked home Conor Hannigan's handpass.
Diarmuid Kelly and Jess Codd widened the gap to 1-3 to 0-2, but Blackwater had the margin down to two by half-time (1-4 to 0-5) after scores from Peter O'Brien (free), Paul Murphy and Tomás O'Brien (free) yielded just one response from a Codd placed ball.
It remained tight throughout the second-half, with Jack Sheridan getting Blackwater back to within a point early on before Codd ('65 and free) left St. Anne's ahead by 1-6 to 0-6 by the 38th minute.
Conor Hannigan was playing well for the leaders after his move to the half-back line, but Blackwater made another burst towards the end of the third quarter.
Tomás O'Brien (free) and Paul Murphy reduced arrears to one point again, while Anne's defender Paul McDonnell cleared a Ger Lynch shot off the line.
The outcome hung in the balance after Jess Codd and Tomás O'Brien swapped pointed frees, before the latter levelled for Blackwater in the 54th minute (0-10 to 1-7).
Diarmuid Kelly edged St. Anne's in front again, but they were destined to meet the same fate as last year when they lost this final to St. Martin's.
A foul on Joe Neville enabled Tomás O'Brien to equalise nearly two minutes into added time, and the winning goal from Sheridan followed on the next Blackwater attack.
They defended a late Ben Moore free and kept their composure in a tense conclusion to bring a welcome District crown back to the parish.
Blackwater: Brendan Murphy; Mark Donoghue, Aidan Whelan, Ian Curran; Gavin O'Toole, Denis O'Brien, Kevin O'Toole; Joe Neville, Tomás O'Brien (0-5 frees); Ger Lynch, Joey Murphy, Peter O'Brien (capt., 0-2 frees); James Roche, Paul Murphy (0-3), Jack Sheridan (1-1). Sub. - Aaron Nobbs for K. O'Toole (40).
St. Anne's: Pádraig Parle; Gavin O'Brien, Ray Kelly, Vinny Carroll; Gavin Howlett, Tomás Byrne, Paul McDonnell; Josh Cloney (0-1), Patrick O'Brien (capt.); Roy Nunn, Diarmuid Kelly (0-2), Ben Moore; Conor Hannigan, Jess Codd (0-5, 3 frees, 1 '65), Kevin Redmond (1-0). Subs. - Niall Roche for P. O'Brien, inj. (47), Patrick O'Brien for Howlett (54).
Referee: James Flood (St. Mary's, Maudlintown).