Oylegate book District final spot
A 51st-minute Seamus Casey goal proved decisive as it helped Oylegate-Glenbrien to a hard-earned four-point victory over Duffry Rovers in this Enniscorthy District Under-21 football Roinn 1 championship semi-final at St. Patrick's Park, Enniscorthy, on Sunday.
Oylegate-Glenbrien 1-9 Duffry Rovers 1-5
While Oylegate-Glenbrien dominated the opening ten minutes, very little separated the sides for the remainder. The eventual winners were clinging to a one-point lead when Casey struck for his side's only goal to give them a winning cushion.
Duffry Rovers, for their part, enjoyed their share of outfield possession, but the lack of penetration in attack came back to haunt them.
They built some nice forward movements but for some reason allowed themselves to be blocked out or delayed the final shot, leaving their opponents time to get back and cover, with two balls cleared off the line midway through the second period.
Oylegate-Glenbrien raced into a 0-4 to nil lead inside eight minutes of the start through points from Seamus Casey, Conor Heffernan (free), Barry Dunne and Brian Doran.
Duffry Rovers had to wait until the 13th minute for their opening score, with Robert Frayne cutting in from the left before drilling a low ball across the goal into the opposite corner of the net, leaving it 0-4 to 1-1.
The sides could only muster a single score in the second quarter, a Conor Heffernan pointed free, which left his side leading by 0-5 to 1-1 at the interval.
The teams exchanged early second-half points. After Conor Heffernan had registered to increase his side's lead, Duffry Rovers responded in positive fashion with marauding wing-back Gavin Rafter carrying the ball forward before sending over a fine point.
A Robert Frayne point had the sides level (0-6 to 1-3), after 40 minutes, a score that inspired his colleaguse as within a minute a Stephen Watchorn pointed free put the Duffry in front for the first time.
Oylegate-Glenbrien now began to bring a more direct approach to their game. A Seamus Casey 43rd-minute point had the sides back level, before a Conor Heffernan free put the eventual winners in front again. Then came Casey's goal as he applied the finishing touch from close in after a number of efforts had been blocked in front of goal.
Now leading by 1-8 to 1-4, Oylegate-Glenbrien managed to close out the game with a Conor Heffernan point. The Duffry boys had the final say with a Robert Frayne point, but it was too little to alter the result.
Oylegate-Glenbrien: Eddie Mernagh; Stephen Ring, John Lambert, Kieran Lambert; Ciarán O'Brien, Damien Reck, Lee Kehoe; Jim White, Shane Reck; Pa Cullen, Conor Heffernan (0-5, 3 frees), Brian Doran (0-1); Conor Doyle, Seamus Casey (1-2), Barry Dunne (0-1). Subs. - Kevin Reck for Cullen, Michael Reck for Dunne, Ciarán Hourihane for O'Brien.
Duffry Rovers: Gavin Watchorn; Brian Watchorn, Ciarán Pender, Aaron Coleman; Gavin Rafter (0-1), Conor Jordan, Thomas Dunne; Craig Casey, Conor Nolan; Robert Frayne (1-1), Tim Bowler, Conor English; Michael Doyle, Stephen Watchorn (0-3, 2 frees), Shane Rafter.
Referee: Brendan Martin (Ballyhogue).