Morris points the way

Ferns St. Aidan's 1-8 HWH-Bunclody 1-6

Ferns St. Aidan's made a successful start to their Amber Springs/Ashdown Park Hotels Intermediate football championship Group A campaign with a two-point win over HWH-Bunclody in Monamolin on Sunday.

The very fit and influential Bunclody midfielder, John Dunne, took advantage of a free ball in the fifth minute and his attempt saw the green flag being raised to mark side's opening score. Eoin Kelly added a point, leaving Ferns were in need of a score.

Paul Morris was the most impressive man on the field for the red and white squad, and he started his tally of well-kicked points to counteract Bunclody. John Dunne was reliable over dead balls and his slick style proved successful for Bunclody.

David Reck secured a point for Bunclody but Morris quickly cancelled this out with a kick from 45 yards. Bunclody seemed well ahead before Ferns gathered themselves with five minutes left in the first-half. Morris and John Breen claimed a point each to leave one goal between the sides at the break (1-4 to 0-4).

The pace of Bunclody was matched by Ferns in the second-half. Ryan Nolan featured on the scoreboard in the opening two minutes whilst a much-needed goal was added when the Bunclody goalie made a save from a Ben Cowman shot but found his body behind the line and the green flag was raised.

A transfer of points between Darren Kehoe and Morris left the sides draw level with ten minutes remaining. 

A red card to Bunclody's Peter Atkinson saw Ferns with an extra man on the field and they utilised this by edging ahead, with Patrick and John Breen being the main men in attack. The tensions were high in the concluding two minutes but Ferns drove home the victors with two points to spare.

Ferns St. Aidan's: Ivan Meegan; Declan Byrne, Pádraig Bolger (capt.), Brian O'Neill; Keith Breen, James Tonks, Peter Nolan; Patrick Breen (0-1), John Breen (0-2 frees); Paul Morris (0-4), Peter O'Toole, Derek Thorpe; Ben Cowman (1-0), Jonathan Dwyer, Ryan Nolan (0-1). Subs. - Tomás Hawkins for O'Toole, Tommy Dwyer for Cowman. 

HWH-Bunclody: Patrick Kavanagh; Billy Kelly, John Atkinson, Enda Slevin; Colm Farrell, Martin O'Connor, Pádraic Sinnott; John Dunne (1-2, 0-2 frees), Seán Kenny; Josh Martin, Eoin Kelly (0-1), Keith O'Hara; David Reck (0-1), Darren Kehoe (0-2 frees), Peter Atkinson. Subs. - Conor Crean for Martin, Peter Atkinson for O'Hara.

Referee: John O'Loughlin (Monageer-Boolavogue).

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