Nothing in the tank

Duffry no match for Westmeath side

Dean Goodison

Published 29/10/2016 | 00:00

Duffry Rovers captain Stephen Watchorn is tackled by Connal Flood (Cloughbawn) in Friday's Co. final
Duffry Rovers captain Stephen Watchorn is tackled by Connal Flood (Cloughbawn) in Friday's Co. final
The Cloughbawn squad before Friday's Joyces Expert IAFC final defeat in St. Patrick's Park, Enniscorthy

Less than 41 hours after ending a rip-roaring Intermediate 'A' football title decider, Duffry Rovers were back out again, going through the motions in their AIB Leinster Junior football championship quarter-final in Castlepollard, Co. Westmeath, on Sunday.

Castletown-Finea-Coole-Whitehal (Westmeath) 3-16 Duffry Rovers 0-4

Difficult as it is to turn around after an emotional high and expect a performance, the Coolree side had even more than that to overcome.

Maybe a home tie might have helped, but the long three-hour journey is difficult to successfully navigate in top form at any stage of the season, never mind less than two days after a county final.

What Rovers would have known before leaving was that they were heading into primarily hurling territory.

The flip-side of that was their hosts were a combination of four clubs, all small-ball entities, combined.

With such a pick, it was unsurprising that they can play a bit. That said, how good they actually are is still up for debate as a Duffry Rovers side, hamstrung by some pretty shoddy fixture scheduling in recent weeks, couldn't muster the energy required to give them a game.

The Wexford men played with a strong breeze in the opening half and took an early lead when county final hero Robert Frayne kicked a nice opening score from 35 metres out after taking Aidan Byrne's pass.

Their rivals dominated possession but wasted plenty of chances in the opening quarter. Johnny Flynn-O'Connor collected Frayne's handpass and kicked a superb point in the twelfth minute to make it 0-2 to 0-1.

Their opponents replied with three straight points.

Trailing by two points heading into the final five minutes of the half, the Duffry had their best chance to make a game of it when Flynn-O'Connor and Frayne combined to send Tim Bowler away. His shot was powerful but well parried by Shane Moran in the hosts' goal.

Matty Flynn-O'Connor, one of three first-half substitutions, kicked a free after Byrne was fouled but his side went in 1-4 to 0-3 behind after Joe Rabbitte latched on to possession after some hesitant defending before firing to an empty net.

The tone for the second-half was set when star man for the locals, Kelvin Brazil, hared through after good work by Ryan Plunkett, and fired high to the net past Bobby Larkin who had no chance.

It was 2-8 to 0-3 to the Westmeath side when Matty Flynn-O'Connor was fouled and Robert Frayne kicked the resulting free in the 46th minute.

It would prove to be their only score of the half and they rarely went close to adding others.

The leaders scored 1-8 in the final twelve minutes as the legs completely fell off the Duffry.

Allen Devine clinically fired home their goal in the 51st minute to pile on the misery.

The Wexford club will now be able to enjoy their celebrations, no doubt tinged with a little disappointment about being snookered in their Leinster campaign.

Duffry Rovers: Bobby Larkin; Conor Jordan, Feargal Kenny, James Codd; Thomas Dunne, Paul Nolan, Craig Casey; Eamonn Doyle, Donie O'Connor; Aidan Byrne, Johnny Flynn-O'Connor (0-1), Tim Bowler; Robert Frayne (0-2, 1 free), Stephen Watchorn (capt.), Gavin Watchorn. Subs. - Matty Flynn-O'Connor (0-1) for G. Watchorn (15), John McCarthy for Casey (24), Alan O'Neill for S. Watchorn (30+1), Joe Coleman for Dunne (39), Micheál Doyle for D. O'Connor (52), Michael Doyle for Frayne, inj. (55).

Castletown-Finea-Coole-Whitehall: Shane Moran; Darren McCormack, Johnny Hardiman, Willie Coyne; Emmett Corrigan (0-1), Ronan Doolin (0-1), Derek McNicholas; David Higgins, Darren Kilcoyne (0-1); Allen Devine (1-1), Kelvin Brazil (1-4), Ian Kilcoyne (0-1); Ryan Plunkett (0-4, 1 free), Joe Rabbitte (1-0), Danny McDermott (capt., 0-1). Subs. - Andrew Dermody for Coyne (39), Donnie Moran for I. Kilcoyne (46), Warren Casserly for Rabbitte (46), Micheál Moran for Hardiman (52), Martin Egan (0-2) for McCormack (54).

Referee: Davy Moore (Laois).

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