Junior 'B' joy for St. Anne's
The Junior 'B' crew will continue to fly the hurling flag for St. Anne's despite the Seniors' exit some hours later thanks to this deserved five-point win over the St. Martin's third string in the Wexford District championship final in Kilmore on Sunday.
St.Anne's 1-17 St.Martin's 2-19
And the boys in blue have a double in their sights too as they are pitted against Gusserane in the penultimate round of the Junior 'A' football competition, with many of the same players on board.
They utilised wind advantage to lead by 1-11 to 1-5 at the break and, although the gap was narrowed to four at one stage, in truth they always had an edge on their rivals who did very well to get this far.
The Martin's second team won the county title at this level only two years ago and are now in the Junior 'A' semi-final, so it's a fair achievement to have a competitive collection of thirds for good measure.
Both first-half goals were of the 'avoidable' variety, with St. Martin's pouncing first when a speculative pull from Eoghan Rackard ended up in the net in the sixth minute.
That score brought the sides level (1-0 to 0-3), but St. Anne's regained their lead and then embellished it in the 19th minute when ace opportunist Francis Simpson punished slack defending with a trademark finish (1-7 to 1-3).
The accuracy of centre-forward Alan Kehoe from placed balls kept St. Martin's in touch, although one effort from play was the sweetest of the lot as he tossed the ball over a defender's head before applying a clinical finish.
St. Anne's had a greater spread of scorers though, with Jess Codd, Kevin White and Shane Mythen all offering plenty of support to Simpson in this department while team captain Paddy O'Brien worked hard at midfield.
The gap stood at seven points when Alan Kehoe slammed home a consolation goal in added time, but Diarmuid Kelly closed the Anne's scoring before District Chairman Thos. Ryan had the pleasant task of presenting the cup to his long-serving clubmate, Paddy O'Brien.
St. Anne's: Conor Kavanagh; Gary Cloney, Tomás Byrne, Ray Kelly; Tony McDonnell, Niall Doyle, Gordon Simpson; Diarmuid Kelly (0-1), Paddy O'Brien (capt., 0-1); Michael O'Brien, Jess Codd (0-3), Kevin White (0-3); Shane Mythen (0-5, 3 frees), David Kavanagh (0-1), Francis Simpson (1-3). Subs. - Jack Moore for McDonnell (37), Josh Cloney for Mythen (60+2).
St. Martin's: Darin Sane; Tomás Coleman (capt.), Derek Howlin, Páuric Rossiter; Cian Ryan, Darragh Murphy, Martin Whelan (0-1); Diarmuid Byrne, Maurice Walsh; Mark Hayes, Alan Kehoe (1-7, 0-3 frees, 0-2 '65s), Barry O'Connor (0-1); Eoin Ennis, Eoghan Rackard (1-0), Stephen Doyle. Subs. - Phelim Crotty for Ennis (39), John White for Hayes (49).
Referee: Niall McDonald (Crossabeg-Ballymurn).