Kenny inspires HWH-Bunclody
HWH-Bunclody escaped by the skin of their teeth with a victory following a remarkable five-point turnaround in this tense Courtyard Ferns Intermediate hurling championship Group B game at Monamolin on Saturday.
HWH-Bunclody 0-15 Blackwater 1-10
The opening exchanges were nervy as both teams struggled to get to grips with the game. Jason Cowman and Dean Whelan pointed for their sides before Mick Lillis ('65) and Aidan Nolan with a fine individual effort, dashing up the sideline and pointing with composure from a difficult angle, exchanged scores to leave it at 0-2 apiece after over ten minutes.
An impressive James Dooley score did give Blackwater an injection of life before Dean Wright lashed Shane O'Leary's parried shot to the net to put daylight between the sides.
Wing-forward Seán Purcell and Mick Lillis extended the lead to 1-5 to 0-2 before Peter Atkinson and Billy Kelly stopped the rot for Bunclody with points.
James Dooley responded for Blackwater before Seán Kenny, fresh from his heroics with Sligo in the Lory Meagher Cup, got his first point to leave Bunclody trailing by five at the break (1-6 to 0-5).
When Dean Wright turned sharply and pointed over his shoulder to give Blackwater the opening score of the second period, it looked as if it would be the Wexford District side's day.
However, Bunclody rallied with Seán Kenny drifting out the field and causing all sorts of problems while striking two points either side of a Billy Kelly free to half the deficit. Soon they were level with three further points from Colm Farrell, Kenny again and Bryan O'Hara to complete the six points on the trot and give them the lead for the first time (0-11 to 1-7).
Dean Whelan levelled matters as the game ebbed and flowed in the final ten minutes, with Mick Lillis twice pegging back Bunclody leads (0-13 to 1-10). However, with one minute remaining that man Seán Kenny stepped up once more and edged his side in front.
Blackwater desperately went in search of an equaliser but the final score came at the other end as Colm Farrell used all his experience to point in the dying seconds of injury time.
HWH-Bunclody: John Byrne; Enda Slevin, Conor Kinsella, Thomas O'Neill; James Moorhead, Aidan Nolan (0-1), Conor Crean; Billy Kelly (0-3, 2 frees), Colm Farrell (0-2); Bryan O'Hara (0-1), Seán Kenny (0-6), Peter Atkinson (0-1); John Connors, Arthur O'Neill, Jason Cowman (0-2). Sub. - John Dunne for A. O'Neill.
Blackwater: Robert O'Leary; Anthony Roche, Diarmuid Murphy, Eanna Carroll; Richard Blake, Darren Byrne, Shane Wright; Mick Lillis (0-4, 1 free, 1 '65), Brian Dooley; Seán Purcell (0-1), Lar Leacy, James Dooley (0-2); Dean Whelan (0-2), Dean Wright (1-1), Shane O'Leary. Subs. - Wayne O'Connor for Leacy, Kevin Murphy for B. Dooley.
Referee: Eddie O'Sullivan (Ballyfad).