Naomh Eanna's rise continues
Naomh Eanna 3-13 Oylegate-Glenbrien 2-9
The compelling story of Naomh Eanna continues as they took their first piece of Senior silverware with a dominant display that helped them comfortably dispose of the Oylegate-Glenbrien challenge in this Enniscorthy Electrical Wholesale and Plumbing All-County Hurling League Division 2 final in Bellefield.
There were scenes of delight on the final whistle as the victory meant so much to this young Naomh Eanna side, only recently up from Intermediate ranks, and the manner in which they disposed of their opponents must have been most gratifying.
While the losers were short some regulars including the injured Damien Reck, Naomh Eanna for their part gave a commanding attacking display even without their main talisman, Wexford stalwart Conor McDonald.
There was no doubt as to which side bossed this game. Naomh Eanna could even afford the luxury of 21 wides and still have a seven-point winning margin, while their opponents struck eight wides as their attack failed to make any worthwhile impression on a staunch winners' defence in which Brendan Travers, Lee Kinsella, Seán Doyle and Gary Molloy were outstanding.
Both sides hit the ground running through the opening ten minutes. They exchanged two points apiece through Pádraig Doyle (free) and Darragh Hughes for Naomh Eanna, while Jamie Reck and Seamus Casey (free) were on target for their opponents.
Then on ten minutes, Jamie Reck produced a fine individual piece of play, a solo from the wing through the defence to find the net from an acute angle, giving his side a 1-2 to 0-2 lead.
Having shot some dreadful wides from distance, Naomh Eanna eventually hit a high note when corner-forward David O'Brien got on the end of a Conor Hughes sideline cut to finish to the net. That gave his side a 1-4 to 1-2 advantage at the end of the opening quarter, a lead they were never subsequently to lose as they added a further goal one minute before the break.
Gearóid Cullen found space and picked out Darragh Hughes whose shot was blocked by goalkeeper John Foley, but Cullen reacted quickly to the breaking ball to shoot low to the net from a few metres, a score that gave his side a 2-6 to 1-5 interval lead.
After Seamus Casey (free) and Darragh Hughes had exchanged opening second-half points, the decisve score arrived as early as the 37th minute.
Darragh Hughes powered in a tremendous shot from 25 metres and 'keeper Foley got his hurl to the ball, with the umpires awarding the goal despite the claims of the opposition that he had deflected it around the post.
However, the officials were happy it had crossed the line, leaving the Gorey town side leading by 3-7 to 1-6.
There was no way back for their opponents as the eventual victors continued to dominate the remaining 20 minutes, with Jamie Reck securing his side's second goal for a consolation three minutes into additional time.
Naomh Eanna: Barry Kinsella; Peter Travers, Brendan Travers, Jack Cushe; Seán Doyle (0-1), Lee Kinsella, Gary Molloy; Aodhán Doyle (0-1), Conor Hughes (0-1); Eoin Conroy, Pádraig Doyle (0-3 frees), Darragh Hughes (1-3); William Cullen (0-1), Gearóid Cullen (1-0), David O'Brien (1-1). Subs. - Charlie McGuckin (0-1) for G. Cullen (52), Eoin Molloy for Cushe (52), Kevin Harrington for C. Hughes (52), Michael Murphy for D. Hughes (56), Jack Cullen for W. Cullen (57).
Oylegate-Glenbrien: John Foley; Robert O'Connor, Michael Heffernan, Ciarán Hourihane; Bryan McCormack, Mark Kavanagh, Fergus Heffernan (0-1); Shane Reck, Pa Cullen; Seamus Casey (0-3 frees), Jamie Reck (2-1), Fergal Doran (0-1); John McCormack (0-1), Conor Heffernan (0-1), Conor Doyle (0-1). Subs. - Barry Dunne for McCormack (42), Jack Reck for Doyle (42), Marty Kelly for C. Heffernan (42), Daithí O'Mahoney for Cullen (50).
Referee: James Flood (St. Mary's, Maudlintown).