Kelly's goal the key
HWH-Bunclody secure silverware
Eoin Kelly's goal just seven minutes from full-time proved to be the moment of inspiration that HWH-Bunclody needed to see them past Crossabeg-Ballymurn in the All-County Hurling League Division 2 final in St. Patrick's Park on Sunday.
HWH-Bunclody 1-14 C'beg-B'murn 0-12
The game was deadlocked at 0-12 each - after being tied at every pair of scores from when Oisín Foley made it eight-all nine minutes after half-time - when Aidan Nolan floated a high, hanging ball from midfield into the goalmouth.
Kelly rose above his marker to haul in the slippery sliothar, coolly turned in towards goal and flashed an unstoppable shot into the left corner of Mark Dempsey's net. Top scorer Billy Kelly added two more points to his tally after the major strike as Half Way House took the win.
The first-half was a tight affair which had too many niggly fouls to allow the game to get into an attractive rhythm.
It suited free-takers Billy Kelly and Barry Murphy just fine as two of the best exponents of the dead ball in the county traded scores.
Kelly notched four of the first five, with John Paul Connors kicking the other over the bar when baring down on goal.
At the other end Murphy scored all his club's points in the first-half, with four of the five coming from frees, and he took a fair bit of punishment for those himself.
A late spurt at the end of the period saw a 0-5 apiece tie change to an 0-8 to 0-5 interval lead for HWH-Bunclody following another brace from Kelly and Connors' second minor from tight to the right touchline.
Eoin McDonald, Bill Eviston with a cracking effort and Foley saw Crossabeg-Ballymurn tied the game inside nine minutes of the re-start, and they went ahead when McDonald grabbed his second a minute after the leveller.
HWH-Bunclody equalised through county Under-21 Seán Kenny, and then each time the Wexford District side went ahead up to 0-12 each.
However, it was Eoin Kelly's goal that broke the tie open and gave the cup to the border boys.
HWH-Bunclody: Art O'Neill; Barry Kehoe, Darren Kehoe, Enda Slevin; John Atkinson, James Moorhead, Conor Crean; Colm Farrell (capt.), Seán Kenny (0-1); Aidan Nolan (0-1), Conor Kinsella, Billy Kelly (0-10, 9 frees); Kevin Dunne, John Paul Connors (0-2), Eoin Kelly (1-0). Subs. - Conor Hendrick for Dunne (46), Mark Murphy for Atkinson (48).
Crossabeg-Ballymurn: Mark Dempsey; Martin Redmond, Billy Roche, Matt Sludds; Cormac O'Rourke (0-1), Pádraig Foley, Paddy Devereux; Conor Devereux, Bill Eviston (0-1); Barry Murphy (capt., 0-7, 6 frees), Eoin McDonald (0-2), Oisín Foley (0-1); Sam Kelly, Andy Butler, David Jackman. Subs. - Alan Byrne for Butler (44), Liam Kehoe for Jackman (53).
Referee: Anthony Tobin (Geraldine O'Hanrahans).