Monageer-Boolavogue make the drop
Ferns St. Aidan's escaped from Farmleigh with their Enniscorthy Electrical Wholesale Junior hurling championship lives intact despite playing 38 minutes with 14 men on Saturday.
Ferns St. Aidan's 3-9 Monageer-Boolavogue 1-12
It's Monageer-Boolavogue who see their second strong drop down to Junior 'A'. The condemned side have pulled off the odd Houdini act over the past several years to maintain their status but their resistance finally came to an end, despite a rousing recovery from an horrific start.
Much of the first quarter was spent by umpires at both ends stretching their arms to signal a wide but when Ferns went low they had some joy. Pádraig Walsh flew away on the left to open the scoring with a well-taken goal and a second quickly followed.
It was Patrick Breen's ball into the danger area that produced the second but it needed a superb finish by Peter Codd to beat Morgan Gahan.
Monageer-Boolavogue's only score of the first quarter came from an Ed Rowsome free, but the experienced attacker could only watch on as Jamie Whelan lapped up Andy Cash's break from Patrick Codd's long ball to make it 3-3 to 0-1.
Peter Codd got his marching orders at this point for kicking out at an opponent and it was just the break Monageer-Boolavogue needed to kick-start their challenge as John O'Loughlin found Cathal Walsh for the major that their side was desperate to get.
Leading by 3-4 to 1-4 at the break, Ferns suddenly looked vulnerable. Amongst others, a brace from O'Loughlin helped his side within two just five minutes into the second-half.
While Ferns just kept their noses in front, Seán McCabe's shot, that was deflected over his own bar by Seán Walsh, left one between the sides with 18 minutes left (3-6 to 1-11).
Yet, Monageer-Boolavogue would manage just one further 51st-minute Robbie Donnelly point as Ferns used scores from Pádraig Walsh (two) and Anthony Dwyer to secure their Junior status for another year, after a nervy final quarter.
Ferns St. Aidan's: Pádraig Dunbar; Brian O'Neill, Seán Walsh, Peter Nolan; P.J. O'Neill, Patrick Codd, Patrick Breen; Anthony Dwyer (capt., 0-4, 2 frees, 1 '65), Keith Breen; Peter O'Toole (0-1), Peter Codd (1-0), Pádraig Walsh (1-2); Andy Cash, Jamie Whelan (1-1), Jack O'Hagan (0-1). Subs. - Johnny Kearns for Cash (31), Ciarán Doran for Whelan (58).
Monageer-Boolavogue: Morgan Gahan (capt.); Seán Doran, Liam Gahan, Ray O'Brien; Shane Gahan, Paul Gahan, James Walsh; Seán McCabe (0-2), Diarmuid Breen; Patrick Walsh, Brian O'Loughlin, Ian Hawkins; Ed Rowsome (0-4 frees), John O'Loughlin (0-2), Cathal Walsh (1-2). Subs. - Diarmuid Fenlon (0-1) for Hawkins (31), Robbie Donnelly (0-1) for Rowsome (40), Denis Walsh for Doran (48).
Referee: David O'Leary (Rathnure).